Ever have a friend in this situation? They’re planning some home improvements and, after hearing of a good contractor, they give him a call. They meet to discuss some ideas, the meeting goes well, and soon enough the contractor provides an “estimate” of what the project will cost.
Fast forward six months: the project is complete (maybe!) and the final tab is double what the “estimate” quoted.
Many contractors will give a low ball estimate to get a job, then tack on “extras” after you’ve signed on with them. What can you do to avoid those “extras”? Insist on a QUOTE, not an ESTIMATE.
A quote is a set price for work detailed in a contract. It is a complete document, and should cover everything. An estimate, on the other hand, is a ballpark guesstimate.
A Simple Way to Make Your Quote Ironclad
If you don’t have the knowledge necessary to evaluate quotes from contractors, pay another contractor to them over. While this might sound strange, this kind of consultation could save you 10 times its cost. Not only will a consulting contractor help you to scrutinize the costs in a quote, they can pick out the loopholes that could cost you big bucks down the road.
How To Find a Local Contractor
Finding good contractors in your city can be challenging. Here are some tips to make your search easier:
- Ask friends and colleagues
- Check with the Canadian Home Builders’ Association. They have a database in their website that allows you to search for contractors by local home builders’ association.