Bartlett Builders
Dec 20 2018

Quote Etiquette

Is Your ‘Free Quote’ Really Free?

In a competitive building industry, it has become common-place for many builders (and other tradesmen) to offer free quotes. While this is a fantastic perk for homeowners, a ‘free quote’ actually costs considerably more than you may suspect.

Free quotes take a considerable amount of time on your builder’s behalf. Even a simple estimate based on square footage and a brief conversation, still takes time out of a builder’s day.
More in depth quotes take considerable time, effort, and cost on the builder’s behalf. Your quote will normally involve a site visit or phone call, as well as the time involved in generating a customised and accurate quote.

While this has become a standard cost of doing business that many builders absorb, there is an etiquette that many builders appreciate when providing you with a free quote. Here are just a few tips on how to get through the quoting process without a faux pas:

Let the builder know if they are unsuccessful (if you’re feeling generous, tell them why)

Builders put a lot of time into providing you with an accurate quote, but this doesn’t mean you are obliged to engage their services. However, it is always appreciated if you can take a few moments to send an email or call to let the builder know that you are going with a different builder. This means they won’t send unnecessary follow ups. For many builders, it can also be helpful to know why you chose to go with another builder. They may learn that there is a more effective quote method, or they may need to find new suppliers to reduce costs.

Be upfront about your budget

It has become a common piece of advice from well-meaning onlookers, that you should withhold your real budget from your builder. This is counter-productive. If you don’t trust the builder enough to tell them your honest budget, then you don’t trust them enough to build your home. The right builder will not try to exhaust your budget – they will give you an accurate estimate of what you can expect for that. If you are looking to save costs where possible – tell your builder.

Similarly, give an accurate time frame

Telling your builder that your project is ‘urgent’ or must be done by a certain date may mean that your builder may assume a higher cost of materials because of the short notice. Or the builder may pass on the project altogether because their lead time does not fit with the project. Being clear about the timeline you expect is a great way to get off on the right foot, and avoid disappointment.

Calling during non-work hours

While many builders try to accommodate working homeowners, your builder does have a homelife too. Understandably you are excited about your project, but if you have something you need to discuss at 10pm at night, please send an email or a text message. Your builder will likely get back to you first thing the next day!

If you would like a free quote, then please contact Bartlett Builders today! Our friendly team will be more than happy to help you with your dream home.