Why estimates are not really free.

 

Most of us are familiar with the term ‘you get what you pay for’. This is never truer than in the concrete construction industry. As a concrete contractor with over 20 years of experience running my own business, I’ve provided thousands of quotes and managed hundreds of projects. I’ve also been called in to consult on numerous projects that have gone horribly wrong.

Over the last few years, the demand for quotes has increased dramatically - likely due to our growing reputation for quality work and excellent customer service. And while increased demand may seem like a good problem to have, the reality is that I was spending more time chasing leads and less time doing what I really love to do - design and build concrete projects that exceed client expectations.

 

Benefits of professional consultation - what is the value?

 

Concrete is an expensive and relatively permanent undertaking. In addition to aesthetic appeal, concrete can either alleviate or create serious issues, which is why the design element of your project is just as important as the build.

Our $250 fee is less than 5% of the cost of an average project, is fully refundable if we are awarded the job, and delivers value in the following ways.

A customized design concept based on years of experience. Typically, clients call us wanting to resolve a problem. Whether it’s aesthetic (I don’t like the way my concrete looks), structural (my steps are falling apart), or functional (water slopes toward my house and causes flooding) - a solid design concept is critical.

Scaled drawings to help you visualize the project and allow for revisions prior to starting construction. Sometimes it’s hard to envision your project based on a written description alone.

Increased value for your dollar, eliminating surprise costs and making the most of your budget. The cost of a concrete project involves more than square footage. Purpose and type of concrete, access to the site, addressing underlying issues, sub-contractor coordination, and strategic use of materials and resources all factor into cost. A professional consultation takes all of these factors into consideration and can often save you money.

Decreased risk. A lot can go wrong on a construction site. A professional consultation includes identification of potential risks, consideration of related building codes and bylaws, and proof of liability insurance, WCB and licensing.

Additional time spent up front minimizes misunderstandings and issues down the line. A quote should be accurate and provide a detailed explanation of scope of project, materials, general timelines, permits required, references, etc. You should understand exactly what you are getting and what to expect. You should be able to contact your contractor with any questions and expect a timely response.

Our consultation fee is applied directly to your project so the only quote you pay for is your own. There is no such thing as a ‘free’ estimate. The cost of fuel; on-site consultations; creating, delivering and amending quotes; and following-up are disproportionately passed on to paying clients. You shouldn’t have to pay for the cost of all those who are just curious or attempting to drive down a competitors’ price (yes, that happens).

Ultimately, we come back to ‘you get what you pay for’. You would never have your home built without blueprints, and your concrete work is no different (though on a smaller scale). A paid consultation is a small investment to make to ensure the best use of resources and your peace of mind.

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