Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Make Your Renovation Decision Before You Call A Contractor

Before you call a contractor for anything, you and your partner should take the time and decide on what work you want and what the scope of the work should be.

All to often I am called to a potential clients home to talk about a renovation or a repair and as the conversation proceeds the job that I have been called to quote on becomes murky.

Prime example; I was once called to a potential clients home to look at a leaky roof, after measuring and talking to the clients about the issues with the roof, the proper materials to use and ways to repair or replace the roofing membrane an argument breaks out between the homeowners.

One wants not to just fix the leaky roof but to add new railings and other items, the spouse doesn't care about the railing or the leaky roof, they want to put an addition on top where the leaky roof would then be completely removed.

The argument ensued with me trying to stay out of the way until a conclusion could be negotiated.

Conclusion being that they can't reach an agreement but they want a price on both.

At that point I inform them that there is no way to give a price for an addition without any kind of plans or drawings. Also I inform them instead of pricing the repair of the roof I will wait a little while and let them settle the issue of what should be accomplished. The odds of hearing from them again on anything is usually slim.

This is not the first time that I have been called out to a potential client for a quote and what I am originally there to quote changes. This is a problem in several ways, one of the biggest ones is that when you haven't decided on a course of action you haven't decided on a budget either. That means that when I quote you for the potential work there is a more then likely scenario that you will think the quote is to expensive and not do the priced work. The reason that most people end up thinking that the quote is to expensive is because they really hadn't decided on what they wanted to do in the first place, so their not committed to having the work done and your price justified them not doing it at all.

Like most contractors we do not charge for estimates, but pricing and creating estimates does cost us money and time. That's why we try to take the time either on the phone or via email and try to gauge the overall level of commitment before we do a sight visit.

Renovation success starts before the contractor you have called arrives onsite. You should take the time and decide on what you want either remodeled or repaired. With that starting point you can then gauge your budget and the cost of the job once you have received a quote. This will ensure that the contractor isn't wasting their time and you aren't wasting your own.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

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