Bring On The Wind
Join Date: Apr 2012
Thanked 14 Times in 14 Posts
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Re: Hiring Contractors - Are component/part prices typically higher than online?
There are some very good points here from the contractor side and the reality is yes they have to make money off the items they purchase for jobs or they would not be in business long.
I use an industry dictated software estimating package that includes material, labor and considered essentials for each task and and industry approved 10% profit and 10% overhead which is shown on each line item and totaled on the summary page at the end of the estimate, I then provide the customer a budget on the materials and explain if they choose a higher than budget item they do not pay just the difference in price but the overhead and profit markup on that item also as there are administrative cost associated with changes.
I will not under any circumstance provide a warranty for something the customer purchases and require them to be present when it is delivered or opened to inspect the item for defects, as it is their warranty.
The reality is I question the costs and rates charged to me in the other parts of my life (mechanics, boat repair, etc.) just like everyone else but end up paying them because I don't do those things, I just don't want to hear that phone call that states "we have this problem and it's going to cost this much more" when that should have been noticed from the get go. I'm lucky there is a sailboat shop where I live, the next closest one is 3 hours away, and while they don't have everything I need I'll buy everything I can from them even though I usually overpay just because I don't want to see them close.
In the end we all overpay for the items we want or need, we just want to be treated respectfully through the experience so as to not feel taken advantage of at the end. Should you research a contractor, absolutely, should you ask for referrals, absolutely, should you ask for an itemized quote, absolutely, should you ask for a discount, that's up to you but if everything is laid out in front of you then there's not really any wiggle room unless they are trying to hit a homerun off you. If there is enough profit for them to use "if you do it now I'll knock this much off" I'd walk away as the only real way to discount something a certain percentage is to have marked up at least that much in the first place.
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