Money Is Not The Only Issue

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Posted by: from Welland
11/17/2011 at 12:56:22 PM

Just looking into this forum and found the title interesting. I really have nothing to add except that price is not the only issue when getting work done.

A good contractor should give you options based on materials used, finishes and "future proofing" as it were. Experience tells me often what you pay for is what you get. I can sell you a $75 surge protector or a $300 one. For the most part they do the same thing...but the $300 one comes with a $10,000 replacement warranty for 10 years where the $75 one offers nothing. Seems like a no brainer to me...but as a client you need to have that information...once all things are equal, then look at the price.

Often we see "How much does it cost to do....". Prices vary by city, region, province. Some places you need permits, some you don't, so be careful when posting those questions as a tile floor in Toronto is not the same as a tile floor in Broken Elbow PEI.



John Kuehnl-Cadwell

Master Electrician

Datawise Solutions Inc

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Date/Time11/17/2011 at 1:30:50 PM

Good Morning John:

I like your attitude. Today, the consumer is, for the most part in a disposable mode. True, technology for the most part has made a lot of products more reliable, and mass production has to some extent lowered the costs, but not for the majoity of products.

Before starting into building, I was in what I term the Protective Coatings industry, namely paint. How much, both by the "PRO'S" (anyone who can buy a brush and charge) and the consumer. Quality went furthur, was more durable and counting labour to recoat, was far less. Today, I build homes to overcode and use TJI'S instead of 2/10's and only on crawlspaces. The paint that I use on casings COSTS my firm, with discount $53.00 a gallon. Benjamin Moore). However THREE coats on casings lasts and is washable. However, I have only had a couple of customers who were concerned with the quality of products. Small options, done while construction, turn a house into a HOME, and don't cost much at that time. 16 in centres on all walls: over code costs more, but give more supposrt to the home. 30 year roofing instead of 15 year roofing: hey, it all looks the same, will do for a few years, but then the real costs come into play.

Pay for quality: your salesperson/contractor is not there to get more profit: most add ons are at cost and the margin is built into the entire project. A true Professional is there to help the consumer save their future dollars, not only in lasting quality, but service and satisfaction.

There is no substitute for "QUALITY" at an honest price. Also, the more colourfull and bigger: figure it out consumer! Overhead costs a lot of $$$$. Do your research for all your prospective suppliers. We are a small firm on Vancouver Island and have never had a warranty concern in over 9 years. We build them, design from the gound up, and use only qualified trades and top grade materials. It pays huge dividends to the consumer, your valued customer.

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Dave from 360renos in Navan
Date/Time11/17/2011 at 8:45:02 PM

Remember, when it comes to costs and charges for renovations you may overpay for mediocre work, but you will almost never underpay for high quality craftsmanship.


613-429-5000 or

Cell 613-282-2124

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Date/Time11/18/2011 at 6:22:51 PM


THAT I like! Is that your tagline or just simple wisdom?

Brett Barager, MSW, CHI

Lone-Wolf Contracting

(A Division of Lone-Wolf Enterprises)


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John from Pisces Woodworks in Duncan
Date/Time11/20/2011 at 9:00:43 PM

The joy of a cheap price is quicky overshadowed by poor quality materials and workmanship. I have been very frustrated in recent years since the economic downturn by the perception of Clients to work vs. price. Everyone seems to want the cheapest price but they also want a champagne job on their beer budget.

Everyhting has gone up for us Contrtactors, i.e. employee wages, materials, inmsurance & fuel etc. I cannot do a A-1 job for you and do it cheap! I will not do these kinds of jobs, so I take less work and put extra into the jobs I do get.

As for those who don't agree, I wish you luck since I could fill 10 pages here with the horror stories of the people who have been ripped off by the" guy who had a way better price"

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Date/Time11/21/2011 at 2:49:56 PM

I think the worse thing about pricing now a days, is that there are many "cheap" under qualified people doing the work and it's at be mediocre < I'm being polite. So many armchair contractors out there due to DIY and the Mike Holmes revolution. What happen's when a customer chooses the cheapest price is that they get what they pay for. Once it becomes apparent that the work is crap and the quality of product is crap, that customer blames the industry and paints every Honest ethical contractor with the same brush as the "quick fix and duct tape guys".

Now we have to do jump so many hoops to just prove that we have great review's, insurance, a shop, WSIB, licensing, history, and so on and on. There's quite a few ads on this site that shows that, and I don't mind providing all these things for customer's but, I can't give them a price breakdown of each item and can't provide all the above mentioned without incurring cost due to lost time, or man hours for the client to only say "we found someone cheaper" .

Lately, I've been running into quite a lot of jobs in which someone in the past had done "something" and really it was a band aid fix, and now the problem is worse, or you have to spend time removing the band aid, and doing the job right. Which is by all means ok, but it's really hard to convey to someone that they've been lucky that the black tape holding their 220 line together in the wall under the drywall surrounded by insulation is unsafe and we should have a license electrician come deal with this as well as we should look at any other stuff that was done by the guy who did that. I've been in basements that are about to cave in, one house cut roofing bracing to put a 3rd floor staircase to what was an attic but now a 3rd floor, not just one bracing, but about 9, or skim coated foundation walls that turn to sand when you touch them.

Some how, we honest, ethical companies need to come together and put this industry back on track. We need to communicate, consult and not allow shortcuts or maybe's. No more armchair contractors that watch a Holmes on Holmes episode and become pro's. Examples need to be made of these shoe makers, and the honest ethical guys that do quality, we need to make sure we communicate and consult properly. We all know someone's cheaper, and we know, something important is being cut to be cheaper.

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