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Trying To Sell A Porch With Black Railings

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Old 09-09-2008, 11:05 PM   #1
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Trying To Sell A Porch With Black Railings

Have a question for you guys.

Customer has old front stoop, porch. Brick with concrete slab on top, its falling apart. Wants it replaced, made longer into a 12' long 4' out. Wanting a nice front porch on a small but nice white stucco house.
Here is my delima, all Fiberon 20 year with black TT railings, framing and fasteners, Fascia boards over all wood, vertical composite decking spaced for the skirtings. All this pushes the material price to almost $2500 bucks.

How do you sell that little 32 square foot front porch that has that much allready in materials?

I am having a hard time finding the way to approch this one.

I still have labor in putting new porch together, demo old, permits and debris removal.

This has been on my plate for a while and it is starting to make my head hurt some.

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Old 09-10-2008, 09:19 AM   #2
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Re: Trying To Sell A Porch With Black Railings

i do that stuff all the time but with "historic Specs" ie mahogany decking, primed/painted, and wrought iron rails or custom FJ Fir rails.

labor and materials on some of these small porches gets expensive(5-20K). just b/c they are small doesn't mean they don't get the same first class treatment. ;-)

i find that some recognize they will need to pay for quality and then others need to learn that they want quality. depending on which type you are talking will determine how i approach them.

for the ones that want quality and know it will cost more (this happens with me when someone has been living in the historic districts for years.) this is sometimes an easy up sell b/c they had crap or they are used to the HPS telling them they have to use "period materials" ie fir or mahogany decking. so you can sell them a fir deck and be back in a few years or a mahogany and be back in 10-20(at least in my area YMMV). same principle in your case. your selling stuff that has very little upkeep ie no painting required. get a quote from your painter to show him what he will be saving every few years. i have done that before on some PVC/composite railing up sells - my painter hates me ;-).

for the ones that want quality and don't know how much it costs show them costs of one board. i bring samples of each type and explain the pluses and minuses of each. then you can explain of course b/c this is a smaller project you can afford to make it WONDERFUL with as little maintenance as possible. most of the time it works and if it doesn't then you can always fall back to cheap method and they love you for explaining everything to them.

i find my selling approach is just about always the same but it depends on how much detail i need to go into. i always recommend to bring samples if you can. when people fondle the merchandise its easier to up sell. but be careful some are out for a cheap price and you don't want to make it sound like you just want to do expensive work. i would also recommend giving them a quote for both ways. it can save you the time of having to do it after they get sticker shock and your trying to save the sale. plus it helps them maybe compare apples to apples if they got other bids for either build. i find when i have one typed up its not too hard to change is around for the lesser priced option. it also shows them how much more they get for the money.

just remember to always explain in your first meeting that just b/c its small doesn't mean it doesn't involve the same time as a large one to spec, permit, and inspect it.

hope this helps.

good luck


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Old 09-10-2008, 11:09 AM   #3
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Re: Trying To Sell A Porch With Black Railings

Why not call them up and tell them you're coming up with about $5 k, and see if that's within their budget before you write it up. Be prepared to let them know what the repl is with the current materials and if that's a figure we can move forward with ?

People have no idea what these things cost. It's your choice. Make the call or spend the 4 - 8 hrs writing it up for them.
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