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Time/effort spent on information gathering

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Posted by: from Okotoks
5/13/2016 at 3:11:02 PM

Can a contractor ask for a percentage of the quote if you decide to go elsewhere, based on his time spent with his subcontractors and on emails in acquiring information that has been asked by the customer?

REPLIES (8)
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Date/Time5/13/2016 at 4:34:57 PM

Hi Ron,

NO! I think this is poor business and unless you were asked for a deposit or design fee up front at the very beginning this does not make sense. I spend many hours working on estimates and re working projects for customers. I do not ask for a fee for this service. These types of things make me crazy as a contractor/estimator. Unless this was clearly stated in writing before hand and you were aware of this fee you should not have to pay it.

I have some projects where I have to pay for renderings for a project and in those instances I would collect the fee for these services BEFORE they were provided. BUT to ask a customer for a percentage of a quote is very poor business in my opinion.

Sounds like you have made a wise decision to move on and find another contractor!

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Date/Time5/13/2016 at 7:43:57 PM

I would say if the contractor has not started yet then they can't ask for anything, however, if he has started then cost up to that point should be paid out unless it's an extreme situation.

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Date/Time5/14/2016 at 2:38:52 AM

No and absolutely NOT..do not pay them. Who and what ever this company maybe clearly just started doing this line of work...if this company who you have dealt with has been in business for as long as they say they should know this is not professional at all. I myself have spent many hours on 3D floor plans for home owners but sometimes they may find better estimates or quotes elsewhere. But that is totally fine this is how it is contractors should know this before hand.

I hope all the replies to your question have been helpful and good luck...

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Date/Time5/14/2016 at 2:30:13 PM

Absolutely not!! its a very poor practice for a contractor to do this and its completely un-professional

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Steve from Proka in Montreal
Date/Time5/14/2016 at 11:25:09 PM

Lol, if that was the case I would be so loaded by now!

Most contracors offer free estimate, myself included . Sometimes people don't have a clue what it costs and delay projects for a later date

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Date/Time5/16/2016 at 1:07:00 PM

I've never actually heard of this, this is more something a lawyer would do, charge for every email sent, telephone calls done on your behalf and so forth. Most contractors make you sign a contract and you pay a percentage of that contract towards management fee. If 5% is the rate for management fee & your contract is for example $40,000.00 that means you are paying $2000.00 of management fee but that is for the entire contract, therefore if you did not even move forward with the quote and decided to cancel & not move forward, unless you signed a contract & then canceled & the contract states $1000.00 penalty for cancellation or something like that, I can't see how they could possibly do that.

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Vincent from James Renovations in Toronto
Date/Time5/16/2016 at 4:35:25 PM

You should not pay any contractor for submitting a quote. This is a part of going out there and competing for business. Norm in the home renovation industry is that the estimate is free.

Thanks

Vincent

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Date/Time5/23/2016 at 1:44:40 AM

Ron,

No, the construction industry does not consider a percentage of the quote, or the contract, as a measure of payment for this type of service, he is wrong to ask.

If he was green lighted by you at some point during the process to engage professional services ie design, draft, engineer etc and incurred costs as a result then he should present the documented costs and be paid.

He is not negotiating in good faith by any means, if he asks again get it in writing and forward it to your lawyer. Contact the BBB as well.

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