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Old 07-09-2010, 03:52 PM
 
433 posts, read 2,415,024 times
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I'm renovating a house, and I have gotten estimates from several contractors--painters, carpenters, tilers, etc.

I'm wondering how often, and what happens when, the contractor goes over or under the estimate. Does this happen frequently? What if I'm quoted $2000 for a tiling job and they end up saying it really cost $4000? Is it common that this happens? I'm a first time home-buyer and renovator, so I am new to this process.
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Old 07-09-2010, 05:48 PM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
10,427 posts, read 29,987,000 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bass101 View Post
I'm renovating a house, and I have gotten estimates from several contractors--painters, carpenters, tilers, etc.

I'm wondering how often, and what happens when, the contractor goes over or under the estimate. Does this happen frequently? What if I'm quoted $2000 for a tiling job and they end up saying it really cost $4000? Is it common that this happens? I'm a first time home-buyer and renovator, so I am new to this process.
A contractor LICENSED - INSURED - BONDED who shows you proof of such will present you with an written estimate or a proposal. This price should spell out specifically each product, quantities, brand names, warranty offered, time to finish, payment schedules.......to name a few. The price they quote you is for that work.

If you choose to use contractor A, he will now write you an invoice with basically the same information that was on the estimate or proposal and
and THEY CAN NOT charge you more if you both have your signatures on that invoice or we can now call it a contract.

Now, there will be escape clauses. If you are quoted to pay A $500 to tear out a wall and resheetrock and then they notice there is termite damage, you both will sign a change order specifying the changes to the contract and the additional monies to repair this problem that no one could have foreseen.

Another example is you sign and agree to pay $5000 for a new roof which includes only shingles. When they tear off the shingles they find all rotted roof decking or sheathing. A change order is written for the agreed additional money and you both sign and away they go.

Here is a tip. I do believe this to be law in 47 states. If a someone who calls them self a contractor does the job, the consumer has zero obligation to pay for that work. Whow!!!!!

During these economic depression times, the unemployment rate among construction tradesman exceeds 60%. Anyone with a tool box and a pick up truck are out there calling themselves a contractor. No license, no insurance, no nothing.
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Old 07-09-2010, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Alaska
5,154 posts, read 9,519,015 times
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There's also a time and materials contract. It can end up costing you a lot more unless you can be there constantly keeping track of the work and even then it can cost you. You should never enter into one if you can avoid it.

The other thing to be aware of are change orders. This is where you're into the project and decide you want to do something a little differently. Every time you change your mind, it will likely cost you.
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Old 07-09-2010, 07:02 PM
 
Location: South Park, San Diego
2,526 posts, read 3,209,307 times
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100% of the time over; 0% of the time under.
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Old 07-09-2010, 07:40 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
12,134 posts, read 22,273,218 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. Damon View Post
100% of the time over; 0% of the time under.
Not true.

I know a LOT of Contractors who give a quote and will never go over unless there is a real problem and there is a change order made for that change. Most will make a new bill for under the quoted price if the job goes a lot easier than expected or materials are lower than they quoted. Most Contractors are decent hard-working people who are more honest than a lot of the people they do work for.
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Old 07-09-2010, 08:07 PM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
10,427 posts, read 29,987,000 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bydand View Post
Not true.

I know a LOT of Contractors who give a quote and will never go over unless there is a real problem and there is a change order made for that change. Most will make a new bill for under the quoted price if the job goes a lot easier than expected or materials are lower than they quoted. Most Contractors are decent hard-working people who are more honest than a lot of the people they do work for.
I wish I could make this a 100 FONT. How can any post ever be more correct then this?
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Old 07-09-2010, 08:25 PM
 
6,680 posts, read 3,637,505 times
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All the time. end of story
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Old 07-09-2010, 08:32 PM
 
Location: South Park, San Diego
2,526 posts, read 3,209,307 times
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Oh you guys are taking me too seriously- I work with contractors all the time and yes, many are as honest as can be and most of the time the budget is busted by the change orders of the owners/clients or other unforeseen circumstances- such as conditions revealed only after walls are torn apart.

Perhaps the answer should be is that 100% of the time the job will go over the budget and time-line and it may or may not be the contractors fault or responsibility.
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Old 07-09-2010, 08:39 PM
 
Location: Prospect, KY
5,269 posts, read 11,713,232 times
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We have hired honest contractors who have complied completely with staying on budget. We had a total kitchen remodel - gutted down to the studs. The only extra costs were ones I opted for during the process (nicer window coverings than originally budgeted, a few extra things I decided I wanted that weren't in the budget. Other than those few things, all costs were within the budget and the kitchen turned out beautifully.

Conversely we had a landscaping company that went over budget and they did not comply with quite a few of the things that were in the contract.

So, good and bad experiences but I think to say that all contractors are over budget all the time is simply not true.
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Old 07-09-2010, 09:56 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
11,748 posts, read 27,321,510 times
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In commercial work, most seem to be very close. The big issues are change orders and delays. Not as familiar with residential stuff.
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