Good quality workmanship comes at a price. Property maintenance and renovation projects require a lot of time and effort, especially when they are done well. That is why every project should start with an accurate estimate before you commit to the project and hire a contractor.
An accurate estimate will allow you to properly budget for your project, and avoid any rude surprises when it comes to the timeline or the final bill.
Get an Estimate Before You Commit
You wouldn’t order a pizza without knowing how much it will cost, so why would you start a renovation or maintenance project without doing the same basic due diligence?
Imagine this scenario: It’s dinner time and you don’t feel like cooking, so you decide to treat yourself and your family to a pizza for dinner. You spot a pizza joint on your drive home, so you decide to stop. There isn’t a menu listed, so you ask the person behind the counter how much a pizza costs.
Instead of asking you what size of pizza you want, and what sort of toppings, the person behind the counter simply tells you that their pizzas start at $10. Satisfied with the price you order a custom large pizza with lots of toppings and sit down to wait for your order.
Imagine your surprise when the person behind the counter rings up your order and informs you that because you ordered a large pizza with lots of extra toppings you actually owe them $25.
There are two ways you can handle this situation: You can either pay the $25 (which you didn’t agree to do in the first place) or walk out empty handed. Either way, it is unlikely that you will want to order dinner from this pizza place again.
This scenario mirrors what happens when you don’t get an accurate estimate for the entire cost of your renovation or maintenance project, though it is a lot easier to walk away from a pizza if you aren’t satisfied with the price.
As a result, you may find yourself in a scenario where your project is significantly over budget, and you either have to absorb the additional costs or find out where you can reduce costs as the project is progressing.
Either way, you run the risk of jeopardizing the quality of the project or causing it to fail entirely.
Why We Charge For Estimates
Each project is unique, so accurate estimates require a lot of time and effort to do well, and this takes valuable resources away from other equally important tasks. We charge for our estimates and quotes in order to:
Weed Out False Prospects
All professional businesses operate on the same basic principle: To provide a good or service in exchange for money.
The same goes for any contracting company, which is why we are not able to offer our services if we don’t think there is a good chance we will get paid work out of it. By charging for our estimates we are able to focus on serious potential customers.
Discourage People Who Only Want Freebies
We have found that a few prospective clients feel that collecting a bunch of free quotes is the best way to find out the going market rate for property maintenance and other contracting services without doing their own research. By charging for our quotes we are able to offset the time, effort, and other resources it takes to put together a comprehensive quote and better serve our customers.
When we write up an estimate for a prospective client we make sure it lays out all the details. In order to dedicate the time and resources required to craft a comprehensive quote or estimate, we need to charge for our services. By charging for our quotes we can better weed out individuals who aren’t serious about hiring us or are simply using our time and resources to do their research for them.
The customer also benefits when we charge for quotes. Since we know we are getting paid for our time and efforts we are able to ensure our quotes are more accurate and defray overhead costs, and better avoid unforeseen costs or delays.
It does mal perfect sense to charge for estimates. What is your price range for quotes?