A Message from Jerry Jackness, President of Craftsman Construction:
I sometimes get asked if I can provide an iron-clad fixed quote guaranteed not to change.
I completely understand this question and where it’s coming from. At first glance, a promise of a fixed cost sounds like a good thing. It also might make you think that anyone giving you a fixed price is automatically the most trusted choice.
What I’d like to do is explain what I see as the drawbacks of fixed quotes, and what I recommend instead.
To state the obvious, every builder & remodeler needs to make a profit to stay in business. What does this have to do with a fixed quote? Well, anyone who has been doing this for any time at all knows about changes and unexpected issues that can come up, and add to costs.
To make sure of a reasonable profit, the contractor is going to have to pad their fixed quote to handle the unexpected. This means you could very well up paying much more than you should have. I think a better way is to pay only for the products and labor that you actually get (more on my method is below).
The other problem with fixed quotes is they make adjustments during the process more difficult. The contractor might be resistant to changes you want because he doesn’t want to increase costs on a fixed quote. The flip side of this problem is you might get a contractor who is constantly asking you to sign change orders authorizing more and more and therefore changing what was supposedly a “fixed price.”
At Craftsman Construction, we’re transparent: we aim for a 10% profit margin on every home. While some builders alter the price of the home to the perceived wealth of the buyer, we have a firm policy at Craftsman Construction to treat all our customers fairly and equally. This has worked well for us and has allowed us to maintain a great relationship with all of our homeowners.
While Craftsman Construction is not always the lowest bidder, our pricing is very competitive. The saying “you get what you pay for” applies to custom homes as much, if not more, than it applies to anything else in life. We have always found that there was a strong relationship between those people who “hired the lowest bidder” and those people who described their building experience as a “nightmare.”
Finally, I do want you to know that just because I avoid absolute iron-clad fixed quotes that doesn’t mean you’ll be flying blind. I’ll be very clear and transparent with my estimates and what can be variable and what won’t change. You’ll never be made to feel like you don’t have a firm handle on pricing.
If this honest, straightforward approach to quoting a build or remodel appeals to you, please give me a call.