Offtopic: question about quote

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Old 06-19-19, 07:59 PM
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Offtopic: question about quote

hi-
we got a few quotes to install new flooring throughout some of our home. It's a big project and not going to be cheap.

When I told the guy we were ok moving ahead he told me he forgot to add on some things and its gonna be another $700 or so. He did leave the line item off the quote but it feels like the good old bait and switch to me.

I don't want to nickel and dime him but I'm not going back to my spouse to ask for more money now. I'm self employed and I would stand behind my quote and frankly I would be embarrassed to come back and ask for more money. Business is business and I would just eat it and focus on customer service, but that's me.

is this common in the field of home renovations to have the price change? we haven't signed anything but i' pretty sure we gotta walk on this one. just looking for thoughts.

thx!
 
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Old 06-19-19, 08:14 PM
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The only time I ever do that is when the first price I give someone is clearly an "estimate". "How much do you think it's going to cost?" "Oh maybe $2000." I usually try to guess high because no one ever likes it when the price is higher, but it usually is. Nothing is as cheap as we remember it was last time.

An estimate is not a bid. The very word "estimate" implies it is a ballpark price. In other words, I'm not going to sit down and count every board and nail on a job I may or may not get, that who knows how many other people are bidding. Estimates are often free... therefore I'm not putting a whole lot of detailed thought into it.

If you call me back and say your interested in a bid (contract price) then that's a different story. Now if I want the job I need to come up with a firm price that won't change no matter what. So guess what, I'm going to think a lot harder on this one and come up with a more complete price because you seem to be more serious now. I also need to cover my back side because not only do I want the price to be fair and competitive but I don't want to forget anything, since that comes right out of any profit I might make. So now that $2000 could easily become $2750 once I actually call around, get cost estimates on materials, add them up, more carefully estimate my time on the job and other expenses...

IMO, not surprising at all, assuming the first number was an estimate, 2nd number is a bid.

As a example of this very thing, I have a siding job that I've prepared an estimate AND a bid for... the guy I'm dealing with first contacted me 2 yrs ago... I have without a doubt spent at least 10 hours working on it, and after multiple phone calls and text messages, he still has not been able to pull the trigger and sign a contact with me and give me a down payment so I can order materials and start the job. Amount I have been paid for my 10 or so hours of labor estimating, measuring, talking to him, etc? $0.00. Not a dime. Not even sure I want to work for such a guy... seems to have all the warning signs written all over it.
 
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Old 06-19-19, 08:36 PM
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All very good points, thank you. BTW I feel you on your bid issue, I go through the same stuff and it can be painful.
 
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Old 06-20-19, 04:22 AM
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Not exactly the same, but when I get a request for how much a tow will cost and I screw it up [usually because I'm either not near the computer to do a mileage check or just wing it off the top of my head], I never charge the extra. I do, however, mention it to the customer so if I get repeat business from them for a similar tow I am not locked into the one-time mistake pricing. My mistakes are rarely more than $10 or so of course, but $700? Yikes.
 
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Old 06-20-19, 07:53 AM
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Yea I don't know what I'm gonna do. My thoughts right now are I consider this a bid since it was line itemed out (right or wrong on my part I don't know). I asked him specifically if the this was the price and nothing else and he said yes. This is a 25K project already and there needs to be trust both ways. He doesn't want to deal with a pain in the ass client and I don't want to deal with someone who doesn't get their stuff right. Seems like a really nice guy and I believe that he simply forgot but I've spent a lot of time working through quotes/bids with other people and hashing this out with my wife. It's a big decision. Plus we have the entire upstairs to as well. I'm really split on this one. With my business I have burned myself before and always just eat it, at the end of the day I fault myself and try and use it as a learning experience.
 
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Old 06-20-19, 08:28 AM
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I guess this is why I am a DIY, what the heck are you having done that cost $25K for wood flooring!
 
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Old 06-20-19, 08:31 AM
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I guess I should have given more context originally. If this were a 5K job and he said I'm off by $700 I would have been like Ok no big deal. The entire main floor of our 4400 sq home and stairs going up and stairs going down.
 
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Old 06-20-19, 08:36 AM
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I'm a bit spiteful, so providing he's not the only one that can do a good job, I'd go with someone else and teach him a very expensive lesson. I would've been mad about it too and probably couldn't get my mind past it. My 2 cents.
 
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Old 06-20-19, 08:50 AM
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I just donít want to be taken advantage of. It was just a very casual, oh btw I forgot this $700 line item, no big deal, youíre already paying $25k so weíll just tack it on. If he said oh my gosh I am so sorry I completely messed this up maybe I would feel better. I donít know.
 
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Old 06-20-19, 02:18 PM
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If I was a contractor, I'm not sure I would risk kissing off a $25K job over $700. That would be like me worrying about 3 or 4 bucks on a 100 dollar tow, although I know that's apples and oranges since I don't have any materials to account for.
 
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Old 06-22-19, 10:43 AM
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We compromised. Iím gonna remove the carpet which is only in a few rooms and heís gonna haul it away. I donít really want to tear it out myself but better than paying $700 for it. Personally I wouldnít have even brought it up if I were him but whatever, I donít know his profit margins are, Iím sure itís gonna be a pain in the butt installing all this flooring. I guess I could have taken a hard line but who knows what the right move was. Thanks for your opinion everyone, just needed to think it through.
 
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Old 06-22-19, 07:35 PM
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Wow..... $700 to remove carpeting in a few rooms. I've done it for free for friends.

Are they laying the new floor directly on what's under the carpet or are they picking up
some type of wood product first ?
 
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Old 06-22-19, 07:58 PM
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Yea I donít know what the deal with that is. All the old maple hardwood is coming up and the few rooms with carpet as well. I would think pulling the hardwood up would be more difficult but I donít know. I watched some carpet removal videos and it looks super easy. I just donít want to haul that stuff away because I donít have a truck and Iím not paying for someone to do it. Maybe he under bid and was trying to squeeze a few bucks out or me or maybe that is their MO, come back after I say yes and toss it on.
 
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Old 06-22-19, 08:12 PM
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If he's picking up the old flooring..... the rug had to come up anyway.
Is there a dumpster in this quote ? You're talking a lot of waste there.

A little off topic.....
Use a pair of pliers to pull the rug off of the tackless strips which should be all around the room.
Cut the rug in manageable strips that you can roll up, tie and carry away.
 
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Old 06-22-19, 09:37 PM
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Thanks for the tips. I should be able to bang it out fairly quick. Watch, Iíll be miserable and swearing up a storm when I do it

No dumpster that Iím aware of, they will probably toss all the old flooring in truck and take intro the dump here. I think you need to get permission to even have a dumpster here anyhow so itís probably not worth the hassle from our HOA. Itís super cheap for a lot of weight at the dump too.

Maybe they will keep the wood too, Iím sure they can repurpose it, it just needs to be sanded down and would match a lot of the homes where I live. Itís pre finished maple and nobody could find a decent match at a reasonable price so itís going to wood heaven.
 
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Old 06-29-19, 04:32 PM
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Pulling the carpet up ridiculously easy. The little tack strips or whatever they are called came right off as well. Probably the worst part was pulling the padding staples out around the perimeter of the room but I learned to just slide my pry bar along the floor with a little force, perpendicular to them and the popped right up.
 
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Old 06-29-19, 05:31 PM
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Concerning quoted price. I too believe that a price given should be stuck to as long as there is not major unforeseen circumstances. Even at our store when a screen is brought in for repair it's clearly stated that the price is an estimate and not a firm price and may change. I say BS! If I price up a repair its firm, regardless of any extra work i might need to do. And plenty of times I must improvise or add small extra items to make the job right. If I see the job entails a lot more I always call the customer and advise accordingly.
 
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Old 06-29-19, 07:44 PM
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Weíll see how it goes. He knows that we are going to do the entire upstairs excluding the bathroom and laundry room as well, so I dangled that carrot a bit when I got quotes from everyone.

Right or or wrong Iíll remember this and it wonít help him in the future. Conversely, if he said hey I forgot this but maybe you can think about me when you are going to do the upstairs. Then I would have felt somewhat compelled to try and help him out in the future.

I guess there is no right or wrong here but Iím self employed and often take hits here and there to make the experience the best it can be. I surely do understand that it sucks what happened, but it just comes across as bait and switch to me. I didnít even tell my wife because she would surely would have sent him packing.
 
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Old 06-30-19, 04:49 AM
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All the old maple hardwood is coming up
That is something that was not explained in the original post and explains the high price.

So that begs the question, why are you having all the original wood removed vs repair and refinishing?

Seems like a huge waste!
 
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