drop down attic stairs

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Old 01-14-04, 05:53 PM
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drop down attic stairs

i got a estimate for drop down attic stairs for $1075.
i have a ranch with just the trap door access now. does this estimate sound right? does anyone have a ball figure for a good set of stairs?
thanks
 
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Old 01-14-04, 05:57 PM
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Yea...I'll do it for $1074! j/k Yea, get a couple more estimates. It's been a couple years since I did one but it was more like $500 if I remember correctly.
 
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Old 01-14-04, 06:11 PM
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webrebel,
thanks for your quick reply. i thought around $500 would have been my guess to,but then,thought i was out of touch with prices today. will get more estimates.
 
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Old 01-15-04, 07:06 AM
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You cant just look at the actual labor involved in putting in the drop down steps. Is there joist prep work? Is there additional cutting of the ceiling? Re-framing to accept the new stairs?

Too often consumers just :ASSUME: that it's a matter of cutting a hole, popping a few screws in and away you go. Not so. Yes, I would agree to get more estimates, but I would also ask what each contractor is going to be doing for the amount of money being charged. I wouldn't recommend you go with the lowest bidder, and I'll tell you why. Look below at what was sent to me from a fellow cabinet maker about doing business.




The common law of business

There is hardly anything in the world that someone cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man’s lawful prey.

It is unwise to pay too little.

When you pay too much, you lose a little money… that is all.
When you pay too little you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do.

The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot… it can’t be done.
If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is wise to add something for the risk you run.
And if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better.
 
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Old 01-15-04, 08:15 AM
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All what Furniture Bldr says is true, hence multiple estimates. If all estimates fall within the same RANGE then it's a matter of selecting the best man for the job. If one falls way out of range than the others, and you want to know why, simply ask him. Most contractors know their own work and will already know that his estimate is going to be higher and why. Mine usually is. But I explain in detail what I'm going to do. Most people are not idiots. I can walk away with or without the job knowing I bid it fair. At the risk of sounding conceded, it's your loss.
 
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Old 01-15-04, 08:24 AM
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I just bid a job a few days ago that came out to $70,000 This coming from a customer who said upfront he was prepared to spend big money but wanted what he wanted. Well needless to say, when he got the estimate, he said he wanted a few days to think about it, which is fine with me. I come to find out from a friend who got me the job, that he was having the cabinet maker who did his entertainment center give him a quote too. He said he called me in because he wanted someone with a "design frame of mind", which the other cabinet maker supposedly didn't.

I know for a fact, based upon the kind of job this guy did on his wallunit, that his price will be lower than mine and probably by a lot.

Based upon the work the guy did for him, I know it's not going to turn out very nice, but you will come to realize that with some people price is everything and that is where "The common law of business" comes in.

Some people will accept a "Fair" job if they get it for a cheap price and their willing to accept what comes with it.

One thing I've learned is that a deal is only as good as what someone is willing to spend and sad to say, most people don't appreciate good quality work anymore.

I would agree with the last post, if they are within a few bucks, then choose who had the best personality about the whole job and if one is a lot higher have them explain why. Irregardless, I would find out what each of them is going to do for the amount of money they are charging. Also, find out the quality of materials they are using. A lot of times, a job is cheaper because people use unreliable materials so they get the job. Those are the jobs that you hear all of the horror stories about how the contractor messed up big time and is no where to be found. Sound familar anyone?
 
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Old 01-15-04, 08:57 AM
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Originally posted by Furniture Bldr Some people will accept a "Fair" job if they get it for a cheap price and their willing to accept what comes with it.
Now THAT'S annoying to me too. BUT I usually ask or the customer flat out states they want the cheapest price. I know most the shortcuts and can explain to them what I COULD do (cheapen the quality) and what I want to do and the consequences of each. I always get those jobs.

Being a cabinet maker I can see where this comes into play on EVERY bid. But the cabinet makers I know have a reputation and that is what you buy. (btw, *I* can't afford their stuff)
 
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Old 01-15-04, 09:02 AM
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I personally WILL NOT cheapen the materials to get the job. For the money they will save in the materials, I will be adding my labor costs ontop of the cheap materials, just so I can "Attempt" to make the bad stuff "look" like the good stuff.

If client's want a cheap job, they shall expect nothing more.

My clientele know that I'm not the cheapest shop, nor am I the most expensive, but I do offer a high quality product for the money I do charge and have never/let me repeat..NEVER have I had a call back on anything I've ever done. Even when I worked for people, I never had a job come back. I was even let go from two places because I wouldn't do anything less than a high quality job; when they just wanted me to slam it out the door. Unfortunately, it takes a client having a nightmare with a contractor for them to realize that paying a little to much now is a lot better than paying a lot in the long run.
 
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Old 01-15-04, 09:42 AM
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wow! thanks to all who added to my question.
i have used this contractor beforehappy with his previous
bids and work. i guess i eas kind of taken by the price bid.
following is a description of the work he quoted:remove casing and panel, extend opening to 54"long,frame as nescessary,install
ultimate folding stairsystem,installnew 2 1/2 "ranch casing,clean and remove all debris.
i'm glad to hear that there are so many professional and capable craftsmen out there. your all right,i don't want a 'el-cheapo' job either and have no problem paying for the true value .

the more input i get will help me make a "intelleigent" choice.
hopefully.
thanks,
dawede
 
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Old 01-15-04, 10:02 AM
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MY advice to you is if this contractor has done work for you in the past and you've been happy with the quality of his work, then don't argue about the bid. Why take the chance to bring someone else in there who is giving you a better price when you don't know the guys work. You know the current contractors work and if you've been happy with previous work, why doubt him now. Pay the man/woman and let him/her do their job.
 
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Old 01-15-04, 02:00 PM
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Sometimes you have to keep him honest. If he feels you'll accept any bid with no competition then MAYBE he overshot this one. Maybe not. But if your gut tells you that sounds extreme then get a couple more bids. It doesn't sound like there's anything in that bid to rate such a price.
 
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Old 01-15-04, 04:44 PM
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thanks webrebel,
will keep that in mind.
 
 

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