About this time last year, as our business was rapidly expanding, we did a stocktake on the time the Builder was spending on quoting. While it varied due to the nature of the jobs we quote on, lets just say it was a LOT! This was the kick up the butt we needed to take a look at how we quoted, and introduce a fee for our quotes. It is a hotly contended issue and not for every client, but there are some really valid reasons why your builder should charge for quotes and today we’ll look at how it benefits you.
Why Your Builder Should Charge For Quotes
If you want your quote to be accurate, its going to take time and time costs money. When quoting a full house or a large renovation/extension your builder can spend up to a whole week of their time working on your quote. This is especially important for fixed price quotes, as if your builder doesn’t allow enough time they will need to over quote to ensure they cover themselves and are not out of pocket, but who could this then leave out of pocket? You, the client.
It is impossible for a builder to allow enough time for a comprehensive quote without being compensated. Afterall if a builder was sending out even one comprehensive quote a week, there would be little to no time to do any actual building works. That time needs to be compensated some how and financial remuneration is the right way to do so.
Pro Tip, you should expect your quote to be at least 5-8 pages long and very indepth!
Invested Client = Invested Builder
When a client is prepared to commit to a small cost to have their quote prepared, you are providing your builder with a commitment, and therefor they are then also committed to you. You are already a client, your relationship has started and you are both invested in the outcome. This situation creates a sense of investment for the builder, to ensure that their quote is not only comprehensive, but sharp. If the builder is being paid to put together the quote, being that it is a nominal fee, they will be invested in ensuring they do all possible to secure your business.
Pro Tip, You can expect your quote to cost from $250 up to but not limited to $1K
Prices vary for quotes, but nearly all will offer that money back when you sign up with the builder.
Knowledge = Savings
In order to gather the information required to complete a comprehensive quote, the builder will need to attend site, and be provided with plans, specifications and engineering. Some of what you are paying for when paying for a quote, is the expert knowledge of your trade professional, gathered over many years.
In the same way you pay to see a Doctor, for them to share their knowledge with you, a builder will provided their expert knowledge as a part of the package. For some builders, for example us, we no longer do preliminary work for free either. We have consultations in which the Builder and myself attend your site, and talk through your proposed plans. In these meetings, we have opportunity to share our knowledge and are very often able to save clients thousands of dollars, simply by having more practical ways to plan the works.
All other professional charge for their expert knowledge, you will find that tradespeople are now doing the same thing.
For far too long, trades have been pigeon holed as an unprofessional lot, however this is a generalization that is less and less true. Sure like every industry, we still have our cowboys, they are though diminishing and far from the norm. I feel it is time that we learn to respect the hard earned knowledge our tradies have, and respect them and their knowledge as we do any other professional. Paying a reasonable fee for a comprehensive quote is just one way to do this. As clients when seeking out builders, and actively choosing builders who charge for quotes, you are encouraging the continuation of professionalism within the industry, and guess who benefits, you!
I understand there will be many who don’t agree with me on this issue, and I would ask those of you who do not, when you take your car to the mechanic, are you happy to pay for them to look and your car and find out what is wrong? When you take you appliance to the repairer, are you happy to pay for them to look at your appliance and find out what is wrong? It takes time and often money for us to build our knowledge, and it is more than fair that tradies like every other profession, are compensated for those skills.
Have you been asked to pay for a quote? What are your feelings on paying for quotes?