Hello Trusted Pros Community,
Am a little frustrated - why do contractors that come out to a job not quote all the requirements for a job? I've had some quote not including some items thinking that we wouldn't want to replace that item. Example - we are trying to hire a contractor and one left a minor detail off for a kitchen reno that I think he thought he could "slide by us" - like we are going to spend thousands of dollars on a kitchen reno and not replace the crappy builders faucet????????
In addition to keeping the initial numbers low so they have a better chance of getting the job, some contractors don't want hassle of sourcing things like faucets so leave it to the homeowner. Those kinds of details are more on the design end of a project and some contractors don't have design experience or the desire to take that on.
My answer for the example you mentioned is very simple.....As one of the other colleges mentioned, the faucet price can vary and the difference is big. Much easier for both homeowner and the contractor is to let the homeowner source for what he is looking for and contractor to install it and to save time and some time hassle to get what the homeowner want within the contractor estimated price.
I can also speak from a specific trade perspective (electrical contracting in this case); if a client (home owner or GC) wants a light fixture installed we generally do not provide the light fixture and do not include the installation of the light fixture in the overall estimate. In most cases the style and value of the fixture is of no concern to us (unless it is very heavy or in a hard to reach location) as the work required to getting it working is exactly the same.
I have had clients that purchase a simple fixture that takes five minutes to install and clients that have purchased a fixture that have thousands of crystals on it and is 5 metres in the air and takes a day with two men to install. In addition, if you look at a less extreme example, you can still have a standard height fixture location with a fixture that still takes several hours to install; all of that to say up until the point of the actual installation of the fixture, the costs are known when the work is done to code.
In the trade side of things, there is little difference if we are install a fixture in a low or high value property; meaning for the most part, the new light fixture in the kitchen will cost the same no matter what value the property is until the client decides what type of fixture they will want there.
Datawise Solutions Inc
My two cents here.
Communication. You have someone coming to your home as a courtesy and qouting or estimating on your project. You shouldnt be presumptious and say he is sneaking something by. Give him the benefit of the doubt, contact him and let him know what he has forgotten. Perhaps walk through the job needs over the phone and make sure everything is covered.
This is the trades and I know from estimating that you are likely only going to get 25-35% of your jobs qouted. Depending on the qouting strategies sometimes each job may be 2-5 hours of work. From a simple 1 hour site visit-it can be hard to attain all of the information needed for a comprehensive qoute.
That is the issue with free estimates/qoutes. They need to be quick and efficent. If you like the contractor for who he is and his past work. Reach out to him, let him know your interest in hiring him and you'll see his shared interest in generating a more refined qoute/estimate.
Thanks for your opinion and input. However most of you are missing my point - significant items were not including in the quotes - example - why would you not put the material cost for the countertop in a quote - I get it - to lowball and get the job. It's too bad - I said it was a small job but I did not expect quotes to come in as high as they did - for a basic kitchen reno where most of the cost is the countertops the job/quotes kept on creeping up to over $15K - so guess what -I decided to go and hire the necessary vendors myself and project manage myself so will save thousands of dollars. Now it's a shame - as this experience has taught me that most contractors I can't trust - it's a shame as we will be finishing our basement and it's a very big basement so am likely to give the job not to the small local contractor like I should but to an American big box retailer that I can at least trust not to screw me.
I think I would be very certain when deciding who I am going to let in my home and renovate a space that I am going to live in and use everyday and create an experience in my life that i will remember forever whether it is positive or negative. I think talking to a companies past clients can be a very insightful way to know who this company is and what they do and how they treat people what the overall result of their whole experience was. This is how a lot of our clients say they did to decide to chose us and we treat their home like it is ours and ensure everything is perfect and completed the way we would want it. I would ensure the contractor will ensure everything is taken care of and included and communicated written down and agreed upon based on client reviews. If you can't confirm this from previous clients then I wouldn't hire and invest in them to come and work in my house. Just do your research and make you know who you want to have serve you and your family.
I hope all goes well!
M.D.S. Projects Ltd.
I just wanted to clarify and connect to my previous post - why would you not put the material cost for the countertop in a quote - My question is; was the material for the counter provided in the scope of work? Related to my previous post, I would not include a cost for a fixture or an estimate to install it because there are too many variables. In this case perhaps it is the same (I don't know, not my trade) so I cannot speak with authority on it.
As far as your desire to project manage yourself; I am sure you will find it an interesting experience. You must be prepared for a slow and arduous process; and in the end, as long as you calculate to give yourself a fair value for the time you have spent on the project you will quickly discover you will not save what you think. Quite frankly, a lot of work we get is to repair the work completed by many of the Big Box Stores and DIYers. I don't have a horse in this race, so no matter to me; however if you plan on acting as your own GC be sure to do all your research on the Canadian Building Codes, plumbing, HVAC and electrical codes and requirements. I can guarantee that if you do not have a solid grasp of that information, your experience as a homeowner GC will not be as positive as it should be or how you would wished it was.
Datawise Solutions Inc
Just to close this posting off - I was very SPECIFIC in what I was looking for - I get it that some contractors don't want to play nice in the sandbox - i.e. low ball - but they just hurt themselves in the end. As well, one of the contractors on this forum commented that I was likely looking for the lowest cost - not necessarily - I'm looking to compare apples to apples. So get me all costs - if you are unsure on the material cost - give me a reasonable range so I have an idea rather than low balling and then jacking up the price once you have the job.
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