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You know I am fair and do good work or do not do it at ALL. I am getting sick of people calling and getting me to come over to bid jobs. This stuff aint eazy it takes time out of your day. To figure out framing, sheeting, moldings, paint, plumbing, lighting ect and the guy that took up 4hrs of your time (driving over making quote up) had no frickin intention of getting you to do the job. But the plumber one house over just made 4-6 service calls and charged $50.00 or $70.00 each call. Why not band together. Carpenter's, general contracters, roofers, drywaller's, stucko guy's, painters, ect and start charging. Why are the plumbers the only people getting paid for service calls or estimates. Last time i looked my truck and his van have the same size tires and filled up at the same fuel station :censored:.
 

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Hardwood floors/custom cabinets
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I live in a rural area & work a 90 mile radius, somtimes a tad further if the job warrants. When they call, I tell them, if I'm working in your area, I'll gladly stop by & write you a bid. If they want me to make a special trip, I tell them up front, there'll be a service call charge for the trip. If we settle on me doing the work, I'll waive the service call charge. Fuel is expensive & my time is valuable, even in these slower times.
 

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Monster - This is talked about quite frequently. Its more about you pre-qualifying potential buyers before you even head over to give them an estimate.

I don't think free estimates are going anywhere unfortunatly although I would love to have them disappear.
 

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Pompass Ass
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Give them a ball park number, see how it goes and then if they are still interested work up a bid, you can charge them a fee for this and if they buy the job, deduct it from the contract price.
 

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From a owners view I can see where they would want to be paid for their time, but from a consumers view I would hate to be wanting to see about getting a job done and getting charged for somebody to come out to give a price. For myself I'll usually check with two or three to not only see what their price is, but also how I like the impression I get from the person and what their plan is. Usually I'll get a different view on how to do something and even though they might quote me a higher price they sell me because what they did and said. Everything isn't about price you also need to be able to sell yourself and your work some also.
 
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