Price, how is price arrived at? What is a fair price? I’ll keep this short. Price is an intangible exercise for tangible results. A saying you may have heard goes something like this “He is a person who knows the cost of everything, but the value of nothing”. In other words, price and value are two different things. And having price as your first concern may not be in your best interests.

This happened to me, a potential client gave me her wish list and wanted a kitchen and bath within a set budget, so far, so good. The products she wanted and the scope of work came out to significantly more than her budget. I gave her the price, offered some options and did not get much further with this person. I called back two weeks later and was told by the woman that she not only found someone to do the work for her budget, but that they were doing even more work for the same amount? OK, how?

*The below figures vary in degrees from region to region & of course Quality in materials, availability, supply & demand, taxes and City/County ordinances and fees. April 22, 2010 new EPA RRP ruling for homes built prior to 1978 has to be factored in.

Here’s a little estimating work to consider:

  • Permit=$1000
  • Plumbing fixtures=$3600
  • Electric=$1100
  • Demo and build=$3200
  • Tile=$2500

Overhead and profit included for the total of $13,480 from my company.

Other guy bids $9100, wow what a great deal, but wait, if my hard costs are about $8000, how will someone else do this job for $1100 over cost.

Baths take about 120 man hours to do, plus a contractors costs for insurance, tools and so on. So my competitor is working for $9.00 an hour and providing for business expenses. Sure, and I can get a brand new Cadillac for the same price as a lawn tractor.

  • My point then is for the lower price you will not get the same value. You will get fixtures of a lessor quality and most likely work that won’t meet your expectations. Yes its a lower price, but is it a better price?
  • In all businesses you will find lower cost products that don’t actually compete with the higher priced products.
  1. Does a sports coat from Walmarts have the same fit and feel as a sports coat from JosBanks? Does a McDonalds hamburger compare with a rib eye steak, after all they’re both beef? Price is what you pay and value is what you get out of something.
  2. The sound of a Steinway piano will always be more pleasing to the ear than the sound of a Casio keyboard, but they’re both pianos, so why pay more? You pay more because in the long run in what really matters when making a purchase is that the ultimate satisfaction comes when you know you have something of quality that will last, something that gives you comfort and maybe even something you can impress friends with.
  3. Where would you go to impress a dinner guest, White Castle or Murry’s steak house? Murry’s, but isn’t that a higher price? Value, not everyone cares to understand value, children don’t, they always go for the biggest pile of candy, not understanding that the smaller pile has the candy they like best. Adults (myself included) can be led into making the wrong decision by a bigger pile of candy.

So what’s a fair price? If I buy something that does what I was told it would do and I was happy with the way it looks and performs, then whatever I paid was a fair price. If I bought something for half as much that I was disappointed in, then I paid too much. Value for me is getting what I expected to get, price is what I agreed to pay.

Paul Lesieur/ Silvertree

Paul puts it quick and to the point. I thought about writing my own, after meeting with a homeowner that wanted a full tile shower floor to ceiling, cement bed, rough in plumb move a wall, relocate a doorway, close of another, wire and the whole 9 yards. Sure they were buying some of the fixtures themselves from a box store. They had received a previous estimate at $6000.00 from a friend. Sure I can do stuff cheap and in 5 years or less you can have it redone. However not by me nor will I warranty it. Bottomline, I don’t roll that way. You want it done cheap, hire the lowball bidder, want it done right, then we can talk.

I won’t touch that. Even if I were to do a job at cost, those kind of jobs still cost me in the long run. Yeah the economy is down and yes we may negotiate price, but I refuse to work for nothing or just to break even.

I don’t advocate ‘price gouging’ as some firms do. I usually pass on most material cost savings on to my customers (Should I receive them). But, you know the old adage, ‘You get what you pay for’ this is very true with remodeling projects and the quality of materials. There is a big difference between cheap and inexpensive. It is human nature to ‘go cheap’ but ask yourself, ‘Is that how I like to view myself and treat myself?’ or Do unto others as I would have them do unto me’

Now, who doesn’t want a good deal? We ALL do. However, many folks have and still are in the mentality of ‘quick fixes’ and cosmetic rehabs. Flipping houses is one main area. (I suppose there is a time & place for that but my name isn’t on any & usually NOT a good deal for the buyer in the long run) Trust me folks, It bites in the backside a lot sooner than later. Another adage and principal, ‘You reap what you sow’. I cannot count how many times I had to go fix something or redo something because of inferior quality of materials and workmanship.

*I do want to put a disclaimer on the flipping houses contractors. There are some very reputable people that have done some fine work…it just hadn’t been the norm during the ‘housing boom’ and EVERYBODY was trying to do it to make some fast easy money.

I am not knocking anyone and I am my own worse critic. There are too many horror stories and ‘fly by night’ scams. I am for the customer and consumer rights. After all, I am a consumer myself. I believe in being fair and right. I warranty my workmanship and install products to the manufacturers specifications so the products warranty will be honored also.

This is a legitimate business and how I make my living, pay my bills, overhead, insurance, license, certifications, taxes, food, clothing, medical, dental, maintain my equipment/vehicles, hire folks, employ services of other local companies, give back to my community and donate to charitable causes when the need arises.

I am your doctor to your home or small business establishment

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