Confessions Of A Contractor
A customer called me today and thanked me for my time. They explained to me that they were going with a competitor who was 20% lower that my best price. Don’t worry, I’m not going to cry. I get beat by competition all the time. It is the nature of the business. But this time I was able to get a peek at the competitions quote. The measurements were wrong, the square foot calcs were wrong and their web site looked like it was put together by a 10-year-old. It is and will continue to be my policy to not bash other contractors. After all we don’t want things to start getting nasty with a he said she said thing and my mother always told me that if I don’t have anything nice to say about someone, don’t say anything at all. So, I advised the customer to get it all in writing, ask for an insurance certificate, a warranty and I thanked them.
I am almost certain the competition got it wrong. He cut is throat on the job and he’s going to lose money. It’s left to their own integrity to eat it, finish the job and move on or stick it to the customer in a mess of change orders or maybe even walk off the job unfinished. So how do I know this? Here comes my confession, because I’ve been that guy. I’ve missed it and honestly sometimes I still do. Mind you the things I miss these days are smaller, but nobody is perfect, and estimating is a tricky business. Good contractors have a skill of estimating risk and we always build a little contingency into each job to cover the risks so if we do miss something, it does not turn into a mess.
Here is the moral of the story. All things are equal, if you got a few quotes, and one guy is lower than the rest, I would highly recommend not hiring them. Chances are they made a mistake and you are about to figure out if they are made the stuff that men (and women) are made of, or if they are only motivated by cash. Go to it and good luck.
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