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Estimate or quote?

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Just curious what the majority is doing?

Myself I like to give a quote. I give the potential customer a solid quote that I stand behind. That is the price for the job PERIOD

I find this hard to do more and more every day though. I give my quote ( a solid set price for the job that I stick to) and some clown comes along with a ridiculously low estimate and gets the job.

In the end, more often than not, I get the satisfaction of the job not getting done right and coming in with a final bill that is more than my quote. But satisfaction does not pay the bills.

This is frustrating to me because I am starting to think that's what you have to do to keep working but I just don't have it in me....I am not a great salesman. I can not B.S my potential customers just to get the job. I have my price, which is fair, I state it from the start and that's what it is.

Most see it and understand after Mr. B.S Lowballer gets done with them and would hire me instead for the next project...if they had one. Most Home Owners only have one project to do.

So, for you guys that quote a job on the up and up. How do you go about building the potential customers confidence in you or explaining it well enough to them? So that they take your quote rather than the estimate which is sometimes as much as 50% lower than your quote...but more for the final bill?
 

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Starving Tile Artist
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1,216 Posts
The problem lies completely in "terminology".

Home Owners don't understand what the difference is between an estimate and a quote.

I recently had this problem with a client. I gave my quote of $3500 total cost to remodel a bathroom. Very small with specific cheap flooring and tub/shower insert.

Another guy comes in and tells her he would do it for $1800. He gets the job naturally. Problem is he didn't bother to inspect the crawl space to see if the was any wood rot or damage.

She calls me in the middle of the tear out and says he is now trying to charge her an additional $4000 for having to replace all the wood rot in walls and floor. Now she has and add on from the guy at $5800 which exceeds her budget by $2000.

What could I tell her since she had accepted his estimate and refused my quote?

I should have educated her from the start about the difference between quotes and estimates.
 

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I use an proposal to clarify scope of work and present different pricing options/details. Detail everything to be done, sometimes use a "good, better, best" option. When the customer decides what they really want/need/can afford then I turn it into a firm quote/contract.

If the HO was aware of the fact you were replacing rot, why did she not make sure lowballer did not include it in the estimate?

It's the old apple to oranges problem!
 

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Roofing, siding and decking I provide proposals. Remodeling where there aren'y many constants, I used to do estimates. New Pa regs...say no more time and material contracts:mad:
 

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What about bid?

Let me come on over and give you a nice low BID on your project!



:shutup:

It's always nice to hear from a prospective client "we're in the process of getting bids for our project, we've got 6 guys coming over on saturday to bid it, can you come over too? We really need a competitive bid to have our bathtub caulked" :blink:
 

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I give qoutes. I have customers ask me for estimates but what they really mean is a qoute.
lately I have given out a few ballpark estimates when I know the customer is price shopping to keep from wasting my time figuring everything to the dollar.
 

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Professional Instigator
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I give out contracts, specs, price and draw schedule all in one package. Why do it twice or have to do more work or answer more questions at a later date.

. I will give a verbal quote on site i can tell from their reaction and following conversation if its worth putting it on paper.

I would say price the job just as they want it and add options or conditions that you know that will come up put a cost to it as an option tell them these are things that might come up that often happens in the course of doing a job like theirs and list the amounts as options.
 

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First step is I come out to give an estimate. Say you want a 400 sq ft paver patio, outdoor wet kitchen, pergola w/ sunshade, landscape lighting, furniture, and greenery. I'll give an estimate of between $45,000 and $65,000 depending on materials used. If you don't have a heart attack I'll draw up a proposal. I'll take digital photos and run them through landscape pro to show you what the project will look like. You'll also get CAD drawings, a materials list, a proposal, contract, and a quote with the final price.

I'll complete the project for the quoted price, if things go to hell and I lose my ass that's my problem. I stick to the agreed upon price no matter what. That's what being a professional is about.
 

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I sure hope you're getting a nice non-refundable fee for handing them all that. :no:
Yep. $50 for the estimate (which I bill as a Landscape Consultation) and the design starts at $150. If it takes more than 5 hours to design then I bill design work at $55/hour. Before they get to see the design it must be paid for. I can take credit cards through my laptop in the truck just for this purpose.
 

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Starving Tile Artist
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I use an proposal to clarify scope of work and present different pricing options/details. Detail everything to be done, sometimes use a "good, better, best" option. When the customer decides what they really want/need/can afford then I turn it into a firm quote/contract.

If the HO was aware of the fact you were replacing rot, why did she not make sure lowballer did not include it in the estimate?

It's the old apple to oranges problem!
Most of the HO's I deal with can't tell who is lying or even what the scope of work for their project entails.

She wouldn't have known to make sure his pricing includes everything. She has never dealt with a contractor and doesn't know what is what when it comes to remodeling work.

Also she jumped at the lowest price which I deal with more times than not when working in this area.
 
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