Comparing Apples To Apples
Or, You Cannot Drive a Mercedes for the Price of a Yugo…
Congratulations you finally decided on a contractor, it really wasn’t that hard, you simply called and interviewed a dozen or so contractors, and went with the rock bottom cheapest price you could find. He’s starting next week he said, you already gave him the deposit and he also said he would be done faster than anyone else.
Everything should go smooth from here on out. You might as well go out to dinner someplace nice and get that new flat screen TV you’ve been eyeing for months. After all you deserve it you work hard for your money and you are saving a bundle with the contractor you hired.
As you might suspect this story that starts out like a fairytale more often than not does not have a happy ending. The cheap Contractor did not start next week but he did manage to deposit your check he charged “unanticipated extras” all the way down the line he was MIA quite often, seemed to be pulled in too many different directions with other jobs going on at the same time that always seemed more important than yours, and not only did you not check references you are not even sure if he is licensed and insured.
I lose quite a few customers to this scenario, but I have also gained a few on the back end. Some of my best customers are people who have hired me to fix other contractors work after they are gone. And by that point they are so frustrated and stressed out by the whole situation, money really is not that important any more, funny how things change. These people write me nice letters refer me to their friends and call me back to do more work time and again and they are really not shopping around anymore. I do not price gouge these customers, I charge what I would normally charge, to cover my overhead, which includes taxes, insurances, licences, truck and tool purchases and maintenance. My prices are typically in the middle, which is where I need to be to support a middle class family.
Are you really comparing apples to apples? When a contractor comes to do work on your house is he going to take that lumber delivery or siding delivery or window delivery and install it the same way that I am, no he is not. The material does not come with directions, and just like there is more than 1 way to skin a cat, there is more than 1 way to frame your house, build your deck install your windows and doors, there is more than 1 right way and every body has there own style but there are a lot more wrong ways to nail it up quick and run away with a check. When I order Certainteed siding, which I have been certified on, I am not going to install it the same way as the next guy who orders it, even though he is selling you the same material.
When you go shopping for a Mercedes you very well could shop at multiple dealerships and get the same quality of car regardless of where you buy it. When they build that Mercedes the transmission is only going in one spot, same with the steering wheel and the brakes. Really not a lot of opportunity to be creative for the people building that car, but this is a good thing they are producing a consistent high quality product and you actually can compare apples to apples in this instance. However you cannot buy it for the price of a Yugo. Should you be able to? They both have 4 rubber wheels, a steering wheel, frame made from metal, they both are supposed to get you from point A to point B, but there is a reason you don’t see too many Yugos on the road anymore it is not really a high quality product, in this instance you are comparing an apple to something more like a raisin and they really don’t compare at all and they really shouldn’t cost the same either.