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Discussion Starter #1
After 30 years in construction and working for other company's I decided to start my own residential remodeling company. I always do a lot of research first before leaning on others but I find myself struggling with something and the answer is alluding me. Specifically on full bathroom remodels and what I call the big three. Vanity/top, plumbing fixtures and toilet. How do I get these into the bid accurately when the customer has not picked them out yet but I want to get the deal sealed. I also see these as "personal" to each customer so even letting them buy them on their own seems to be a area of friction because then they say " so this is the price and I still have to get the vanity/toilet and fixtures? I am not in a position to put a catalog in front of them because I don't deal with a distributor so it seems impossible to give them a total bid. Also I cant just assume $***x amount then have them pick out a vanity that costs twice as much. Also I am missing out on some markup by having them go buy their own materials. I don't want the best of both worlds I am just throwing out there what's on my mind. I don't feel as professional as I should be when I have to exclude these items from my bid. Man I hope this makes sense to you guys.
 

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Remodeler
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If I give an all in bid, I give allowances. Say $750 for a median vanity / top, but explain if they want the $300 vanity in a box it could go down some, if they want full custom with blue granite top it's going to go up. Same with toilets, shower diverters, and tile too.

You should be able to get a feel for what their looking for( whether it's the cheapest crap on earth , or pretty high end) on the first visit. Just make it clear that their choices on material, DIRECTLY. Impact/ influence cost on both labor and material cost. Until they've made selections all you can give is an " estimate" , not a quote.
 

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Another option is to let the customer provide 'personal taste' items---

Tub and toilet ---you can provide---those are easy enough for you to research and price---but vanity/top---light fixture and towel bars?

Let them get those---you will spend more time on the phone and dealing with those small items that it is worth , on most bath jobs.

Just my spin on things-----you need to figure out what works best for your area,your selling style and what is customary in your region---
 

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Another vote for allowances..... It works the cleanest because it puts the cost into the homeowners hand. The same size vanity cabinet can easily be a 2000 dollar price difference just between the boxes. I always have decent allowances built in, and I explain this when reviewing the proposal with the homeowner. Some guys will bid a bathroom with 50 cent a square foot tile allowances, and then the homeowner is pissed when all the tile they like is around 12 bucks a square foot.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the input guys! That's how I did my last bid by allowing a fixed written price on those items in case they went higher or lower on it.
 

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i would make a small fixture book up.....low/middle/high.....give the customer 3 options...if you pick the right 3 options that appeal to most people you will find 90% of your customers will gladly pick a toilet or faucet out of the 3 options.

i have a standard fixture list....on every bid i include the same toilet/faucet/sink.....its mid level Kohler in BN........i spec out actual fixtures....this way its a real number and gives the customer a exact middle of the road fixture allowance

on large jobs like new homes i typically just throw a rough $ there....$7,500 or $15,000....depends on the house......no matter how high i go they always seem to go $5k over lately....and they are never happy about it
 

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Home Repairs
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I have done a few bathroom remodels this past year. I tell the clients to pick out what they want and I will work from there. I dont mess with the typical wishy washy....... I can't make up my freaking mind types anymore.
 
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