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:confused1: As a rule a thumb, ever since I started my own company, we have charged a nominal fee for estimates. We have done this, as time is valuable, and it takes time to prepare a proper detailed estimate. Also this seems to weed out those who are just looking for the "lowest price". Of course the price of the estimate is absorbed in the contract should the client sign. This practice seemed to be the industry standard when I was working as a carpenter. There are many folks that will not pay for a proper estimate, and as predicted, the contractor with the lowest price will get the contract, and usually a client who turns out to be a headache throughout the project along with it. Just wondering if any one else still charges a fee for estimates. In this economy it seems like many contractorsare getting desperate for any kind of work, and in the process reflect to clients that the time that they invest in preparing an estimate is not very valuable. Would like to know what others think about this subject, be it pro or con. Thanks
 

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I will meet with them, see what they want, and then we decide if we want to go further. If you want my advice, opinion, or a price that I will do the job for, it's time to start paying. Some people get offended that you want money for a bid, and you most likely don't want their work.

Past customers can get a ball-park # if we worked well together in the past. It seems to work for me.
 

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Funny you should ask.

Just got off the phone with a lead. Realtor
, calling about her own house for a bath remodel, said she met me in a paint store or something a year ago and thought I was nice.

Getting ready to put the house on the market pretty soon.


Go through the preliminaries, describes what she wants to do. Repeats twice how her house is so big and nice, very well decorated, over 5000 sq feet and in the same sentence she stresses how she wants to do this 'cost effectively.'



Asks if we are busy or not.


I explain we have always been busy. She goes on to explain how she has heard that some people are staying in their homes and remodeling instead of moving so that is probably why we are busy.


I explain we are always busy.

Now comes the question... "So you do free estimates right?"


We aren't going to be seeing her big beautiful house that she wants to remodel on the cheap. :laughing:

I got the distinct idea she is in search of a not busy AKA 'desperate' contractor.
 

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Funny you should ask.

Just got off the phone with a lead. Realtor
, calling about her own house for a bath remodel, said she met me in a paint store or something a year ago and thought I was nice.

Getting ready to put the house on the market pretty soon.


Go through the preliminaries, describes what she wants to do. Repeats twice how her house is so big and nice, very well decorated, over 5000 sq feet and in the same sentence she stresses how she wants to do this 'cost effectively.'



Asks if we are busy or not.


I explain we have always been busy. She goes on to explain how she has heard that some people are staying in their homes and remodeling instead of moving so that is probably why we are busy.


I explain we are always busy.

Now comes the question... "So you do free estimates right?"


We aren't going to be seeing her big beautiful house that she wants to remodel on the cheap. :laughing:

I got the distinct idea she is in search of a not busy AKA 'desperate' contractor.
boy that sure is a shame:laughing:
 

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If they want a free estimate and you do not really want it, do not make the mistake of giving a low estimate that would cause anyone else to gut their price.

If you force the low-ballers down, you may feel good for a day, but you just forced the other guys down.

After all, you cannot expect to get every job you bid and obviously cannot do them all if you do get an award.

If you don't like the project spend as little time as possible and give a "comp" bid. If the owner likes YOU he may give you a chance to talk seriously about the real scope and what he can expect.
 

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If you dont want the job, why are you giving a low estimate? You should be high if you dont want the job.

Or am I reading the post wrong?
 

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:confused1: As a rule a thumb, ever since I started my own company, we have charged a nominal fee for estimates. We have done this, as time is valuable, and it takes time to prepare a proper detailed estimate. along with it. Just wondering if any one else still charges a fee for estimates. In this economy it seems like many contractors are getting desperate for any kind of work, and in the process reflect to clients that the time that they invest in preparing an estimate is not very valuable. Would like to know what others think about this subject, be it pro or con. Thanks
Are you still charging for estimates? Has your business decreased or increased?
 

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I'd love to charge, but I can't - because no one else does.

In this economy - Just do what you got to do.

Same here, every ad you see says free estimates.

About 10 years ago the building boom was crazy here. I think the free estimates was a brain storm idea to beat out your competitors. Then it just forced everyone into it.
 

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I'd love to charge, but I can't - because no one else does.

In this economy - Just do what you got to do.
I second this. I would like to charge a nominal fee, applied to the project if signed, but no one, and I mean NO ONE seems to do it around here. I tried, beginning of the summer, and seems like I was being hung up on more than I cared for.

I use a more thorough phone screening process. Unless the job is close to my home or a jobsite, then I can swing by on my way in or out for the day and look at it.
 

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If its a referal like most of my work is I don't charge, If it's out of the blue or a nosey neghbor you betcha I charge a min of $25 and explain I'll deduct that charge if I do the work.

ask a doc or lawyer for something free and see where you get! lofl
 
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