Many of our Central Maine customers have a lot of questions as to what to expect, as far as pricing and work scope for many of the projects they want done.
Many times we are the 2nd or 3rd contractor to meet with them and discuss their project. More often then not the first 2 contractors gave them a “number” but didn’t explain actually what they actually get for their money or the work scope or outline involving the project and timeline. This can lead to wrong materials bought and installed or even worse the dreaded, “2 month kitchen remodel during the Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday!” We have also seen a surge of rework for us the past few years due to contractors not pulling permits and having things built to code or properly inspected by code enforcement during the build process.
So here is a brief Q&A to help some of our Bangor and Central Maine customers with common questions regarding pricing and scope, insurance claims, and such:
Q: We are looking for someone to hang and finish drywall in a few rooms. How much do you charge?
A: There’s a lot of different ways to come up with pricing for drywall. Here are some guidelines: Drywall installed in an old house usually runs around $1.25 a square foot installed and finished. Demo of existing wallboard or lath and plaster is extra as well as debris removal.
Q: I have a small project north of Bangor I need done quickly. I have called a bunch of contractors and only one showed up. He quoted me $800.00 to install a few interior doors? What can I do?
A: We do small projects. Sometimes they are a bit harder to schedule in since we also do large jobs, so you may have to be a bit flexible with scheduling. We have a minimum labor fee of $300.00 but we are always interested in helping with small projects. We are confident that you will be impressed with craftsmanship and pricing which will lead to big projects with you in the future.
Q: How can we save costs on our small to medium projects? We need some remodeling done on our cottage on Unity Pond but are on a tight budget, any tips would be useful.
A: Here are a few tips to save a few dollars but you have to be careful you don’t cost yourself a few in the process:
- Pick up material and have it delivered and ready for the contractor, make sure to pick up extra and return what he doesn’t use. If he runs out partway through the project I’m sure the money you tried to save will be spent on him going to get more.
- Do the cleaning up of the project- masking off of the area yourself as well as the final cleanup.
- Demo! Doing the demo yourself can save you a good deal of money. WARNING: Be sure to communicate clearly with your contractor AND take notes on what needs to be demolished and removed and what needs to stay untouched. Removing and destroying important pieces doesn’t save money.
Q: We have had a hard central Maine winter; ice falling from my roof damaged my siding, deck, patio, door, etc. What do I do now?
A: The first call should be your insurance company to discuss the claim and your homeowner’s policy. The second should be to us or to your contractor.
Q: We got a few estimates but our insurance adjuster offered us much less than the contractor’s proposals. He said he needs more information from the contractors but I am getting nowhere?
A: Call us ASAP. Many contractors don’t provide a detailed enough work scope for adjusters which leads to you not getting enough money to properly do the job.
Q: Great, so I can get what I need from you?
A: Yes. We do charge a small fee to provide you with a detailed project scope in order to support your claim and get the maximum benefit from your insurance company. This fee is credited to your bill once we finish your project.
Q: What do you guys do? Carpentry is very general.
A: The better question is what DON’T we do. We don’t do plumbing or electrical. We sub out these trades to comply with local building codes. We use only the best plumbing and electrical guys in order to give you the best value.
Q: Since we are talking about your company. Why should we hire you?
A: We provide the same or usually better quality than the bigger guys and most of the time can save you 10-30% with the same or higher quality materials.
Q: Glad you brought up pricing. Do you offer any type of price matching if you are higher than your competitors?
A: Yes and no. Let me explain:
- The first thing I would do is compare work scope and materials to make sure there is an “apples to apples” comparison. If I’m pricing a Cadillac and he is pricing a Yugo, there will be a significant price difference.
- If we are doing a more in-depth type of work than our competitor then we may be higher priced. If I believe our higher craftsmanship is necessary to do the job right, I will not deviate from the proposal. I always have YOUR home’s best interest at heart.
- We price match if work scope and materials are the same and they are one of our competitors. The competitor has to be in good repute and established.