Too Good Not To Share - General Discussion - Contractor Talk

Too Good Not To Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 02-23-2011, 07:53 PM   #1
Average Joe
Heritage's Avatar
Trade: Design/Build
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 1,209
Rewards Points: 524

Too Good Not To Share

To make a very long story is one of my prospective clients. We haven't signed anything yet but since they had concept drawings for their reno & addition to their home, I gave them a rough break down on costs.

The next step is for them to sign with me for pre-construction services. Before they do...they said they have a "laundry list" of questions. I said "Sure, send them to me".


Please bear in mind...this is just for PRE-CONSTRUCTION. I break my jobs up into 2 phases: Pre-construction and Actual construction. That's 2 separate contracts. At pre-construction, I put together concept drawings, permit drawings, detail/section drawings, a SOW, transparent budget, bids from subs, committee of adjustments/zoning passes...aka the "design package". Whether we actually contract for the actual work or not is up to them/me. They can take the package and have it bid on by others...I don't care.

I've had people ask me questions...but nobody ever wrote it all out and asked me to type the answers back...and it has to be in RED.

Without further A-do ...

Dear Peter,

Here are some questions that we have regarding the house renovation. We appreciate your time and effort in the pre-planning stage and look forward to your assistance in answering these questions. Please place your answers underneath the questions in red.

General Questions:
1) Will you be using subcontractors on this project?
a. If so, are your subcontractors licensed to work in these areas (such as plumbing, roofing, etc.)?
i. What is the average length of time they have worked for you?
2) How many jobs does your company have in progress right now?
3) What is the average number of jobs you do at the same time?
4) Do you have any other outstanding bids right now?
a. If these turn into jobs, will our job drop to the bottom of the list?
5) How do you manage your jobs on a day-to day basis?
a. Who checks for quality, mistakes and progress?
6) Who will be on-site and in charge of our home each day?
a. Will we have access to this person’s name, email and phone number?
7) Have you or your company ever been sued before?
8) Have you or your company ever sued anyone or filed mechanics liens before?
a. What happened? Why the disagreement?
9) What has been your best building experience?
10) What are your business ambitions?
11) What is the longest amount of down-time you experienced between jobs?
12) Who were your two best customers? Why?
13) Who were your two worst customers? Why?
14) Have you/your company ever caused/been involved in an accident that caused someone to receive hospital treatment or be hospitalized?
15) Do you plan to vacation during our job?
a. If so, who will manage in your absence?
16) Who are your top 3 material suppliers?
17) Do you have public liability and property damage insurance?
18) Do you have workers’ compensation medical insurance?
a. If so, are your sub-contractors covered for the medical insurance
19) Have you ever worked on a project that is similar to our home?
a. If so, what were some of the main challenges that you faced during construction?
b. And how did you time-manage the situation, and insure that you stayed close to the budget?
20) How would you handle a specific problem related to this project?
21) Could we have a list of 15 home references?
22) How and when do you clean up, particularly fine dust?
23) Does Nostco give written warranties?
24) To which professional associations do you belong?
a. Do you attend regular meetings or hold an office within the association?

House Specific Questions:
25) Could you start our renovation with the garage?
a. Could you start in the spring?
26) Will we have the opportunity to store our belongings in the basement while construction is going on?
27) Who would conduct our home inspection?
28) In regards to our roof, if we decided to slant the roof down, would that compromise the size of the garage? Are there any other options?
29) What are some cost effective ways that we could handle the entrance?
30) Do we require blueprints or building plans?
31) The attic entrance now resides in the master bedroom, is it possible to change that location?
32) Can you reposition the central vacuuming system into the garage?

Spreadsheet Specific Questions:
33) Were appliances included in the final price?
34) Line 157, Labour - $16,000
a. Please provide further breakdown of this labour
b. What is it referring to?
35) There are blank rows in the spreadsheet, are these services included in the project? If not, why? (example…Line 8-16 – Soft costs)
36) Are washroom facilities for your staff(sub-contractors) included in the cost?
37) Line 405, Toilets - $400
a. We will be reusing our existing toilets (2)
38) Line 84 - $4,000
a. We are removing the columns from the plans
39) Line 107, Stone Masonry - $5,000
a. Please describe what this entails
40) Line 146, Railing
a. What type of material will be used for the railing?
41) Line 184, Bathrooms
a. Does this price reflect all 3 bathroom renovations from the plans?
b. We have decided to take the bathroom number back down to 2 (Plans will be re-drawn)
42) Line 210, Roofing - $3,500
a. Is this just for the garage roof?
43) Line 294, Drywall
a. How much space will we lose in a room if drywall is applied?
b. Please describe a before and after scenario
44) Can you install a pre-fabricated shower stall and kitchen cabinets?
a. Will this affect the labour costs?
45) Line 338, Carpets - $2,000
a. We will only be using carpeting for the basement
46) Line 394, Plumbing - $3,000
a. Does this include internal and external pricing?
47) Line 456, Landscaping-Sub
a. What is this for?
b. We may have our own landscaper to the external landscaping
48) We have calculated that roughly $40,500 of the project is going to labour costs, how can you assist in lowering this cost to suit our budget?

Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. We look forward to hearing back from you.
Debra and Kaeisha ***x
Toronto General Contractor
The foundation stones for a balanced success are honesty, character, integrity, faith, love and loyalty.
-Zig Ziglar
Heritage is offline  

Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!




Old 02-23-2011, 07:59 PM   #2
The Remodeler
Splinter's Avatar
Trade: Home Remodeler
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 1,535
Rewards Points: 240

Re: Too Good Not To Share

Speechless... wow...


Splinter is offline  
Old 02-23-2011, 07:59 PM   #3
jmiller's Avatar
Trade: Roofing
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Indianapolis
Posts: 1,712
Rewards Points: 1,002

Re: Too Good Not To Share

Doesn't sound excessive to me. Can you not answer any of them honestly?
jmiller is offline  
Old 02-23-2011, 08:05 PM   #4
blackbear's Avatar
Trade: finish carpentry
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Saratoga, NY
Posts: 1,792
Rewards Points: 1,394

Re: Too Good Not To Share

wow, thats pretty thorough. They gonna make you take a drug test before work starts or give blood samples?
blackbear is offline  
Old 02-23-2011, 08:09 PM   #5
Want to play a game?
CrpntrFrk's Avatar
Trade: I do that too!
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Globe, Arizona
Posts: 4,522
Rewards Points: 4,196

Re: Too Good Not To Share

Most of the "General Questions" you should ask them back. Oh and get a SSN and credit score from them. Ask them how much they have in the bank(savings, checking, bonds, cds, etc)
My tools are always yelling at me cause the wife and kids take up too much room.
CrpntrFrk is offline  
The Following 17 Users Say Thank You to CrpntrFrk For This Useful Post:
422 plumber (02-24-2011), BC Carpenter (02-23-2011), Big Rig (02-24-2011), flatroofing (02-26-2011), jarvis design (02-24-2011), Joasis (02-23-2011), MAD Renovations (02-23-2011), Main Street (02-23-2011), Max10 (02-24-2011), MLV (02-24-2011), Mrmac204 (02-24-2011), Mud Master (02-23-2011), rex (02-23-2011), Rouerplastering (02-24-2011), stp57 (02-23-2011), svronthmve (02-23-2011), Willie T (02-23-2011)
Old 02-23-2011, 08:16 PM   #6
SSC's Avatar
Trade: Interior Remodeling Specialists
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Long Island NY
Posts: 1,273
Rewards Points: 500

Re: Too Good Not To Share

question #48 isnt this why we should try not to do breakdowns for our customers. almost everytime especially in this economy thats exactly what there looking for to save at our expense

good luck

The Finest in Interior Renovations
SSC is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to SSC For This Useful Post:
422 plumber (02-24-2011), BC Carpenter (02-23-2011), Big Rig (02-24-2011)
Old 02-23-2011, 08:17 PM   #7
"Deckem all"
Deckem's Avatar
Trade: Deck Builder
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: St Charles
Posts: 254
Rewards Points: 250

Re: Too Good Not To Share

I would add about $10,000.00 as a communication charge, these type of customers will be calling you every hour with new questions.
What is this labour they keep refering too? Is this the French word for Labor????
Just some personal advise here, I don't mind customers wanting information, they should, but they are asking for somethings that are really none of their business.
References, our policy is three that are comparative, we respect our customers privacy and won't overload them unnecessarily.
Best and worst customers.... there all good customers, nothing negitive
Lawsuits, not our policy to discuss, good, bad or indifferent
Suppliers, by having many stay competitive, but could be a good reference
Vaction schedule.. too personal, assuming you have qualified people to handle this project. Anything about you personell should be kept to the company's professional staff.
Deckem is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Deckem For This Useful Post:
SSC (02-23-2011)
Old 02-23-2011, 08:19 PM   #8
Full Service Renovations
MAD Renovations's Avatar
Trade: Residential Renovations
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 1,318
Rewards Points: 500

Re: Too Good Not To Share

They are certainly doing thier due diligence.

Last edited by MAD Renovations; 02-24-2011 at 12:19 AM.
MAD Renovations is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to MAD Renovations For This Useful Post:
jmiller (02-23-2011)
Old 02-23-2011, 08:26 PM   #9
Mike Finley's Avatar
Trade: Bathroom Remodeling
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Littleton, Colorado
Posts: 14,078
Rewards Points: 2,000

Re: Too Good Not To Share

That's unreal.

You really need this one that bad?

One customer like this would destroy any construction companies ability to manage any other projects at the same time. There one project with somebody like this will take up a companies time that they would commit to three projects at the same time.

You might want to tell them, they have so many questions and you don't have the time it will take to answer all of these in writing, and tell them the normal procedure is for the client to sponsor a dinner meeting at Hashimoto and they can ask you all the questions they want from at that time.
Mike Finley is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Mike Finley For This Useful Post:
422 plumber (02-24-2011), MAD Renovations (02-23-2011), MLV (02-24-2011), svronthmve (02-23-2011)
Old 02-23-2011, 08:31 PM   #10
charlie828's Avatar
Trade: Sort of retired GC, residential and commercial
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Western NC
Posts: 131
Rewards Points: 213

Re: Too Good Not To Share

Some of the General Questions seem a bit excessive. 15 home references? Most of the rest seem OK. I usually wind up answering them verbally during discussions. I have a tendency to talk a lot and wave my arms around at the same time. Cuts down on e-mails. Just a wild guess, but by any chance are these folks attorneys? If they are, you will earn your money. Good luck.
charlie828 is offline  
Old 02-23-2011, 08:38 PM   #11
ChrWright's Avatar
Trade: Builder/Remodeler
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Posts: 3,693
Rewards Points: 2,030

Re: Too Good Not To Share

Wow. Just wow.

Most of it seems pretty innocuous... But there are few in there that would give me cause to pause.

If they're that thorough... are you sure you didn't mean to post this in Hard Hat?
Christopher Wright, CR: President @ WrightWorks, LLC - Facebook - Instagram - Carmel Remodeling
Indianapolis Kitchen Remodeling Contractor - Master of the Home Feature
ChrWright is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to ChrWright For This Useful Post:
MAD Renovations (02-23-2011), Paulie (02-23-2011)
Old 02-23-2011, 08:40 PM   #12
svronthmve's Avatar
Trade: Contractor
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 1,789
Rewards Points: 2

Re: Too Good Not To Share

Originally Posted by jmiller View Post
Doesn't sound excessive to me. Can you not answer any of them honestly?
Are you serious?

Some of these questions are legitimate, some are out of line, many are just not called for. I don't have an issue responding to reasonable questions. You want me to give you FIFTEEN references? Do I have any other OUTSTANDING bids right now? What has been my BEST BUILDING EXPERIENCE? etc., etc., etc.

Sorry Buddy, if you've got time to answer all these questions, you've got way too much time on your hands!

I don't think there's any question as to where this is headed if this is already going on before any work gets started......

We all have DIY, Holmes, HGTV, etc. to thank for this!

I went and estimated 2 jobs today (both bathroom reno's). Both brought up Holmes on Holmes. The 2nd one mentioned she's now heard that she shouldn't be paying ANY money up front until the job is 100% complete because of all the contractor fraud out there. I spent awhile educating them, but I'll make sure my "extra / wasted time costs" are covered for sure.

I run a tight ship, above board, and completely legit. I stand behind everything (and plus) I do, but this is getting ridiculous.......Sheeeesh!
svronthmve is offline  
Old 02-23-2011, 08:40 PM   #13
building Contractor
FHS's Avatar
Trade: General Contractor
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Albert City, IA
Posts: 235
Rewards Points: 160

Re: Too Good Not To Share

Run Run Run ...dont Walk Run!

Nag nag nag, They are gonna be all over you thru the whole project.

I think you know how to proceed and have delt with people like this before, I know I have and thats why I wont do work for them. Most of the questions should have already been covered.

The breakdown in labor is kinda bs in my book. And personal questions are a bit too much.
Tim Fuchs Construction
FHS is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to FHS For This Useful Post:
All-Craft (02-25-2011), stp57 (02-23-2011)
Old 02-23-2011, 08:42 PM   #14
katoman's Avatar
Trade: carpenter
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Kirkfield,Ontario, Canada
Posts: 6,102
Rewards Points: 2,000

Re: Too Good Not To Share

Holy, where do you find these clients?

I honestly wouldn't know how to respond to that other than maybe change my phone number.
katoman is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to katoman For This Useful Post:
Mrmac204 (02-24-2011)
Old 02-23-2011, 08:44 PM   #15
J F's Avatar
Trade: Carpenter
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: North of Atlanta
Posts: 9,058
Rewards Points: 2,000

Re: Too Good Not To Share

Hell, I missed the spot where you stated how much the fee was for this analysis...did you charge enough?
J F is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to J F For This Useful Post:
stp57 (02-23-2011)
Old 02-23-2011, 08:45 PM   #16
ExtremePride's Avatar
Trade: general contractor
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Southeast Kansas
Posts: 143
Rewards Points: 85

Re: Too Good Not To Share

Sounds like trouble to me. The last contractor I worked for had a client ask questions like that. We did the job, but they were breathing down our backs the whole time. Good Luck
ExtremePride is offline  
Old 02-23-2011, 08:48 PM   #17
Grand Rapids Remodeling
Paulie's Avatar
Trade: Remodeling Contractor
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Grand Rapids, MI.
Posts: 3,115
Rewards Points: 2,052

Re: Too Good Not To Share

Originally Posted by ChrWright View Post

Wow. Just wow.

Most of it seems pretty innocuous... But there are few in there that would give me cause to pause.

If they're that thorough... are you sure you didn't mean to post this in Hard Hat?
I'm with Chris on this one, move it to HH.
Paulie is offline  
Old 02-23-2011, 08:53 PM   #18
tgeb's Avatar
Trade: Excavation, Foundation, Concrete
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Maryland
Posts: 6,036
Rewards Points: 118

Re: Too Good Not To Share


14) Have you/your company ever caused/been involved in an accident that caused someone to receive hospital treatment or be hospitalized?
No....not by accident....
tgeb is online now  
The Following User Says Thank You to tgeb For This Useful Post:
CENTERLINE MV (02-24-2011)
Old 02-23-2011, 08:54 PM   #19
Joasis's Avatar
Trade: General Contractor
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Hennessey, Oklahoma
Posts: 8,985
Rewards Points: 1,558

Re: Too Good Not To Share

no way, unless my kids were starving. And a "couple" also....I see nothing but trouble, including line 48.
Ladwig Construction
Hennessey, Oklahoma
405 853 1563

Insulated Concrete Homes / ICF's
My Facebook Page
Joasis is online now  
Old 02-23-2011, 09:12 PM   #20
wellbuilt home's Avatar
Trade: ,additions ,kitchens baths house reno
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: NY
Posts: 172
Rewards Points: 168

Re: Too Good Not To Share

hay that isn't so bad ,
I answer most of those questions in my contract or at a construction meetings .
Every one wants you to do some thing about # 48 .
Its really like my kinda job , Most guys wont even price a job like that , and the hacks couldn't keep up with the questions .
If i have a customer like that i just call them before work 600 am and after work 800 pm and one call in the after noon.
It takes 30 minutes and they get tiered of talking to me in a few weeks . John


wellbuilt home is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to wellbuilt home For This Useful Post:
Metro M & L (02-24-2011)

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Any one have a good choice on a good Planer? Houston's Tools & Equipment 22 02-24-2011 10:40 PM
Creative Nonfiction Essay 1 Kowboy Off Topic (Non Trade) 35 10-23-2010 03:15 PM
Potential good news for everybody Mike's Plumbing General Discussion 20 09-08-2010 11:23 AM
Areas hardest hit by Financial Crisis Cdat Off Topic (Non Trade) 9 10-01-2008 10:43 PM

Join Now... It's Fast and FREE!

I am a professional contractor
I am a DIY Homeowner
Drywall Talk is for

At we cater exlusivly to professional contractors who make their living as a contractor. Knowing that many homeowners and DIYers are looking for a community to call home, we've created DIY Chatroom is full of helpful advices and perfect for DIY homeowners.

Redirecing in 10 seconds
No Thanks
terms of service

Already Have an Account?