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Well i just wanted to create this thread because i am a bit curious on other people's estimating practices. How do you guys go about giving an estimate, do you guys give the estimate on the spot? verbally? in writing?

Personally i do a walk through of the job to be done first, then I go home and prepare my estimate. Finally i mail a copy of the estimate to the potential customer. Is this how you guys do it also, or do you guys do it less formally?
 

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saucedo80 said:
Well i just wanted to create this thread because i am a bit curious on other people's estimating practices. How do you guys go about giving an estimate, do you guys give the estimate on the spot? verbally? in writing?

Personally i do a walk through of the job to be done first, then I go home and prepare my estimate. Finally i mail a copy of the estimate to the potential customer. Is this how you guys do it also, or do you guys do it less formally?
Yep thats how I do it. I ask first if they want it faxed, e-mailed or mailed back to them.
 

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Formal estimates are in writing and delivered by one of the methods that you mentioned or, preferably, by hand. If someone tries to pin me down on a verbal, I stress that it is non-binding and go high. It's much easier to come back with a lower formal proposal than a higher one.
 

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On most of my jobs there are just too many variables, especially if the customer or designer have already picked out tiles, slate, marble, etc.
It often takes me a week or better to put together a proposal.
 

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Teetor, on big jobs or ones with many variables, I usually do bring them back to the office, but before I go, I always set an appointment to come back and deliver the proposal, hopefully when both husband/wife or buying principal are there. But for most (85%) paint jobs, it can be done on site. I pm'ed you and sent email about the mobile office system, never got a response. You still want a copy?
 

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ProWallGuy said:
Teetor, on big jobs or ones with many variables, I usually do bring them back to the office, but before I go, I always set an appointment to come back and deliver the proposal, hopefully when both husband/wife or buying principal are there. But for most (85%) paint jobs, it can be done on site. I pm'ed you and sent email about the mobile office system, never got a response. You still want a copy?

Mobile office system? For painters?
 

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I have a laptop and printer in the car.
I have folders and pre-printed warranty docs and back of contracts ready to go.

I have my estimates set up so I just type in clients name/address/ and measurements and then hit print. Mold Disclosure form, payment terms, and contract are ready in minutes. Then I bring everything back in and show the client about 20 referrals and copies of my insurance docs.

My win rate is 40-50% :D
 

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Pro, I'm still interested. Don't know what happened.
Granite countertops are HUGE right now, they are usually my biggest hangup. The prices are like the spot market.
 

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I have a laptop and printer in the car.
I have folders and pre-printed warranty docs and back of contracts ready to go.

I have my estimates set up so I just type in clients name/address/ and measurements and then hit print. Mold Disclosure form, payment terms, and contract are ready in minutes. Then I bring everything back in and show the client about 20 referrals and copies of my insurance docs.

My win rate is 40-50%
Same here. :Thumbs:

Teetor, pm me your email addy, I'll send it your way.
 

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My goal is to do every quote on the spot. I'm capable of that on most small jobs, but bigger ones throw me right now or if special products are required to solve a problem and I don't have the costs on hand. Getting a laptop and printer into the truck will certainly help me with that goal.

Usually the homeowner brings it up with an "oh, I thought you would have to get back to me", Anytime I can do an estimate on the spot I certainly use that to my advantage, I like to reply with something like "Yeah, I get that a lot. I always have to wonder if a contractor doesn't know how to figure out what it is going to take to do the job without going home and looking it up in a book somewhere, how well he is actually going to perform doing the work if you hire him?"
 

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I do all estimates on the spot. I excuse myself to the van when I have all the info I need. I don't have a laptop in the van, I write out the scope of work in detail with very neat writeing. Usually takes 30-60 minutes to write it, but I like to strike while the iron is hot. And since it's written on my contract, I'm ready for a signiture when I go back in with my price.

One question though. I have two copies of the contract. I use carbon paper when writeing the scope of work part. Then I just staple the other two sheets of the contract to the first one then have the customer sign/date both their copy as well as mine. Not sure if this is the most effcient way, I'm open to suggestions.
 

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Nathan said:
I have a laptop and printer in the car.
I have folders and pre-printed warranty docs and back of contracts ready to go.

I have my estimates set up so I just type in clients name/address/ and measurements and then hit print. Mold Disclosure form, payment terms, and contract are ready in minutes. :D
I got the laptop but I am piling up the forms now:) could you send me some my way please...willing to share anything I come up with on my own
[email protected]
Thanks a million
 

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Normally I share everything but I'm not letting my estimate forms/processes get out. Sorry, but its so automated its basically my company.

Thanks....
 

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Nathan said:
I have a laptop and printer in the car.
I have folders and pre-printed warranty docs and back of contracts ready to go.

I have my estimates set up so I just type in clients name/address/ and measurements and then hit print. Mold Disclosure form, payment terms, and contract are ready in minutes. Then I bring everything back in and show the client about 20 referrals and copies of my insurance docs.

My win rate is 40-50% :D
Nathan, do you use the excel form you mentioned before? or a development
of it? Would that give you a line item type scope of work? And being excel
could that become part of a Word proposal?
 

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Nathan said:
Normally I share everything but I'm not letting my estimate forms/processes get out. Sorry, but its so automated its basically my company.

Thanks....
No worries...it's understandable...
 

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George Z said:
Nathan, do you use the excel form you mentioned before? or a development
of it? Would that give you a line item type scope of work? And being excel
could that become part of a Word proposal?
It is an Excel spreadsheet that pulls from several different pages of data and includes drop down menus and intergraded contracts. Our next step is to drop everything into Microsoft Access and make parts of the database available online so customers can track jobs and so different sales managers can share data and schedules.

I suppose you could drop it into Word but I'm not sure why you would want to. It just creates another step.
 

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Bump

donb1959 said:
One question though. I have two copies of the contract. I use carbon paper when writeing the scope of work part. Then I just staple the other two sheets of the contract to the first one then have the customer sign/date both their copy as well as mine. Not sure if this is the most effcient way, I'm open to suggestions.
Some input puhleez. :cheesygri
 

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ProWallGuy said:
With your set-up, it seems about as efficient as it can be. I would assume you give the client the carbon copy? I had a boss years ago that would only give carbon copys to customers, so they wouldn't be able to alter it after the fact. I thought he was paranoid, but I guess you can't be too careful.
Yup Pro they get the carbon. One of these days I'm gonna be a tech savy high end contractor and git me a laptop and printer. First I have to get me 3 new mice to power my treadwheel for my home puter :)
 
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