Cheap Homeowners !!!

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12/9/2008 at 11:40:07 AM

hi there i am acontractor myself with his own business and i come across many homeowners trying to be cheap with me ,,, i do not charge high or even too less but in the middle where i feel comfortable ... now i tend to come across homeowners that want to do big jobs and then want to pay cheap ??? i have had people email me about wanting to know estimates and quotes online and then they end up finding other contractors to do it for cheaper ... and then i find them 1 week later emailing me telling me that the previous contractor never finished the job and took off ..... does this happen to only me or to many contractors too ??? any tips on what to do and to get people to understand that CHEAP is not always good ??? this is an investment to them if they want to sell there home later thats why its good to pay for a renovation , homeowners will benefit later ...

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Date/Time12/9/2008 at 7:12:31 PM

Hi Phil- welcome to the site. What you're talking about is what I call the Forrest Gump Syndrome- Stupid is as Stupid Does- which applies to clients who go cheap. You can try and educate them all you want, they'll just nod like they know what you are talking about, then ask if you can do it any cheaper. When I do a call now, I talk to the prospective clients for about 10 minutes about everything BUT what they called me for. You have to feel them out- if they're tire kickers, I get in, get out. If everything is about money- I tell them I'm late for the next appt. The serious ones with the right budget ask the right questions, usually not how much, but is one product better than the next, should I upgrade this at the same time, etc.

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Tamburro Home Renovations in Courtice
Date/Time12/10/2008 at 10:00:59 AM

thanks Bill its Phil ... thats probably what i may call these homeowners looking for a better deal ... they make me go over and say that price is not a factor and then i end up going there and wasting my time and gas ,,, WHY? could this only happen to me or to many contractors too? i advertise online and all i get are cheap people ... how does a homeowner tell us what the cost is and how long it will take ... if they knew, why look for a contractor ... this year has been the worst for me ,,, all cheap skates everywhere ,,, people just don't know that cheap is a bad thing ... i had 1 person tell me to come over for a plumbing leakage problem that was pretty bad and needed a snake tool to clear out the path and the owner wanted to pay $50.00 to do it ... now a real plumber would charge maybe $50/hr - 150/hr alone depending ... us contractors do good work and we should not have to get paid cheap for our work /// Bill can u email me at i would like to talk to u more ....

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Abba's Service in Huntsville
Date/Time12/13/2008 at 4:20:54 PM

Hi Phil We all have that exact same problem sometimes. When I talk to people on the phone I tell them in advance that I am not cheap. When it's for bathroom renovations I tell them I will not do the job less then $12,000. By giving your your price an sometimes adding a little on that it will help. Always keep saying quality, quality, quality. For example I will not do a bathroom renovation unless they are going to gut it first. I tell them that always. Then I give them an Idea of what it would cost just to do that. I have some people ask me to gut it for them and they didn't use me for the rest.

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Date/Time12/14/2008 at 4:13:17 PM

Hi Guys- you should be able to tell if someone is going to cheap out on you in about 5 minutes or less. If all the client talks about is price, get the hell out, you're wasting your time. As far as quality- you can't sell a caddy to someone driving a Sunbird. Often I'll price the job anyway after I check out the neighbourhood- if the homes are half decent & you do the job, there could be significant spin-off in that area. I have 1 neighbourhood like that now- I've done 8 basements & lots of other jobs ranging from bathrooms to decks to flooring. All 8 are now regular clients, so thats 8 people referring my company to anyone that asks & because my truck is lettered, people see it there all the time so I get work that way as well. 85% of the work I get is repeats & referrals, but new clients still make me nervous, because this is usually where the assholes turn up. As far as the cheap ones go- doing the odd one is alright by me, cause it could lead to big pay-offs, like I said. Just don't go broke doing it. Again guys, if the first words out of a clients mouth are "how cheap can you do this?"- dust them off & get the hell out.

1 more thing- if someone is asking for an online quote to do renovations, or they even want you to ballpark an estimate on something you cannot see, then you will not only get cheap, you'll probably get ripped off as well. No matter what size job, everyone must do their due dilligence- you as the contractor should meet the client, talk over their concerns/project, arrange to give them referrals/licence/insurance info, though not always right away. I myself send prospective clients to homes of other clients where the scope of work was in line with theirs- this not only opens up a trust between the client &you, but they meet people who have been through what they are about to go through. Clients- talk to the contractor- get to know him cause he's going to be as much a part of your life as everyone else around you. Go see his work, talk to some of his clients, find out if they had any concerns or problems. Both parties must vocalise any concerns they have- it's what you don't say that can lead to trouble.

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Date/Time12/19/2008 at 12:00:20 PM

Hello Gentlemen, this is a problem that has always been there however right now it is going to get worst. People figure that the economy is bad and therefore they seem to think that contractors are going to drop their prices. It doesn't work that way and they will always find a contractor that will take the job.

Right now gents, I get inquiries about large addittions and or custom homes and I don't do much unless the customer provides a bank letter saying that they have full financing for the project. Lots of people are going to rip us off for work.. Beware!!!! I have not seen a letter as yet from any of these people that have all these dreams.

Watch out guys, banks are very tight on putting out money right now.

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Abba's Service in Huntsville
Date/Time12/20/2008 at 3:10:38 PM

Frank is right on about that I just did an estimate for some people building a home close to me. They said they wanted the best insulation in there new home so I told them what it would cost. This is a 3500 sq/ft home and they wanted me to spray foam everything where air can get in then insulate with pink fiberglass over it and attic as well. I gave them the estimate it was around $40,000 and then they told me it was a little to high. I explained that just the spray foam would cost them around $20,000 and they shit on me! They expected me to work for free and that will not happen. Most customers don't understand that if they insulate there homes with the very best stuff it will cost a lot now but it will save them latter. An Properly insulated home will save them at least 50% on there energy bills every year they live there. and it raises the value of there home! They think because they are in my home town that they deserve some kind of big deal. Not happening. I will give them a break because they are close but that's it. I went straight to to the bank to see if they can afford this job gave a written estimate to the bank and they said they can not afford it. The bank will not even give them the money to finish the home! The bank also told me not to except checks unless it is certified. something to think about.

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