I just read from Helen’s blog that she was quoted 7500 bucks for a paint job she needed for her house. This only covers labor charges for 3 skilled painters for a 5 days job. Now that is plain daylight robbery. There a few methods that one choose if they want certain things done.
The Lump Sum Method.
Get the contractor to quote you with everything included, even the clearing of rubbish after the job is done. Most contractors prefers to quote jobs in this nature. The reason is they have lots of left over materials from previous jobs that hey can utilise so they can save on materials. Sometimes it is cheaper to have contractors that you trust quote you this way. They will not include the leftovers that they can utilise back in their price and this can drastically reduce the overall price of the project. Of course some not so honest contractors will calculate their prices as new material even if they have left overs. That’s why it is always wise to get a few quotes to compare prices.
Give Them Your Specification when asking for quotes.
When calling for quotations, always write down your specified needs. For example if you want your house painted, make sure you specify the kind and brand of paint that you want. Don’t just say paint. Some might quote you very cheaply but when he gets the job, he uses the cheapest paint. So give each and every contractor your detailed specification and get them to quote according to your specification. This way, you can at least be assured you won’t be short changed.
Do all the necessary bargaining. You will be surprised how much they are willing to give way just to get the project in hand. Of course please don’t go overboard. Contractors have to make a living too. If you discount too much, he might just do a sloppy job at the end of the day. He won’t bring in his best and most experienced workers. He will just make do with a few half past six illegal immigrants.
The Cheapest is not always the best.
Be very suspicious when someone quote you way below the next lowest. Materials and labour charges don’t differ that much. If others cannot do that job for such a low price, then there must be something that makes that guy with the lowest quotation has to hide. A 10 to 20% difference in pricing is quite normal. When the price differs by as much as 40 % then you better be careful what he is offering you.
Pay him More than he Quoted.
A very good and effective way to win your Contractor’s heart over is to pay him more than he quoted you. For example if “A” quoted you $5000, “B” quoted you $ 45000 amd “C” quoted you $4000, naturally “C” will get the job. What you should do is call up “C” to tell him that you want his services, and you expect him to do a first class job. Tell him because you trust him so much, you will top up his quoted price by another $250. I tell you, he will be so happy that you will get more than your $250 worth of things that he is going to do for you.