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Archive for the ‘Construction Costs’ Category

Getting Atlanta contractors to bid on your home improvement project before final closing

Friday, June 29th, 2012

Contractors get many calls from buyers looking to receive estimates on a home they have purchased prior to final closing.  Of course they love it when someone calls them for business!  However, the usual sequence ends up like this.  The caller states they are closing in two weeks and want to start the work right after.  However, they don’t have time to meet at the home.  A detailed estimate and/or a budget amount is prepared based on a site review or via desktop software (mainly roofing or gutter work).  This is generally sent via email with a concurrent phone call.  We never hear from them. Ever. Not one word of thanks for your time or the estimate or anything!  This has been the general experience for years.  Boy! Talk about feeling used.

Is it any wonder home buyers cannot find a contractor to bid their project?  Most contractors offer free estimates, but are not willing to give free consultation especially when the owner can’t find the time to meet you.  Take the right steps and be sure to receive a valid, reasonable bid.  After all, you are the one who will rely on the information.

Contractor bids can vary by well over 100% from low to high.  So, how do you get a reasonable bid? Find one or two quality contractors and take the time to meet them on site.  The contractor will be much more willing to assist you in hopes of future business.  They will also understand what you want them to bid on and the specifications YOU desire.  Otherwise you might get a bid for a very cheap or a very expensive project neither one being what you want.  How will you even know if you don’t meet up with them to discuss your needs?  If you ask a car dealer “what’s the price for a car” you will get 100 different answers.  You need to tell them what kind of car and what options YOU want.

You may not hire that contractor for this project, but perhaps you may just find a good contractor’s name for the future.  Without taking these steps, you will have no idea if the bid you receive is worth the paper it is printed on.  So take some time out to meet up.  It will be well worth it.

How can I get the best deal for home renovations in Atlanta Georgia?

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Finding a good contractor in Atlanta can be a real nightmare. The other day a prospective customer called said he and his wife felt they could trust Schantz Home Improvement more than the other companies they met with. He wanted to choose the Schantz team, but had received one quote about the same, and one significantly lower, more than 20% less. He asked if we could match.

Significant price gaps in proposals should be a big red flag. Much like buying a car, if the specifications are exactly the same, the price differences shouldn’t be that significant from contractor to contractor. Sure, there will be some variances, but 20% is unlikely, especially on a larger project.

The prospective customer gladly faxed a copy of the proposal. The contract was one page which said simply, “replace roof” and ” 5-year guarantee”. Other than that, it was simply the contractor information and the customer address. It doesn’t matter who the contractor is or how long the company has been in business. If you ever see anything like this RUN! The entire project is left completely to verbal communication and the homeowner has no recourse if unhappy with any aspect of the work.

Most homeowners will tell you a key reason they choose Schantz Home Improvement is because of our proposal detail. This establishes a high level of trust and eliminates misunderstandings after the project is underway. Some contractors won’t put in detail “because the homeowner won’t understand it anyway.” Our philosophy is to educate homeowners, making them aware of quality differences between materials so they can make knowledgable choices.

So the next time you’re looking for a great deal, make sure you compare the details. The project scope and materials should be clearly outlined, right down to the nails being used in the project.

About Schantz Home Improvement:  Schantz Home Improvement Company of Atlanta, Ga. has earned the distinction of being appointed a Master Elite™ Residential Roofing Contractor by GAF. We only use high quality products with superior manufacturers warranties, and even offer a limited lifetime roofing warranty.  This, we believe, will allow for years of worry-free enjoyment of your home improvement in your most important investment, your home. When comparing roofing companies, it’s critical to compare materials as well.

“Worry-Free”And “Hassle-Free” Warranty Options
Because of their unique training and factory-certified status, roofs installed by Master Elite™ Contractors are eligible for special warranties — all backed by GAF’s financial clout as North America’s largest roofing manufacturer. After all, a warranty is only as good as the manufacturer that stands behind it.

Price vs Cost

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

It is easy to be confused when comparing various contractor bids.  In tough economic times it is even more important to choose wisely. Comparing price to cost is critical. Price is what you will pay out of pocket now. Cost is what you will pay over the life of the purchase.  Low bids and even choosing the middle bid can be much more expensive than the high bid. Did you ever buy a shirt that didn’t make it throught the first wash? How about a car that suddenly needed numerous repairs after 50K miles?  I think you get the point.  So how can you judge the right Price? Evaluate your “contractor” not the “bid.” Check online references such as Kudzu and the BBB. Check how long they have been in business through the BBB or verify thier incorporation date through the state registry. Generally past perfromance is a good indicator of future performance.  Walk away from anyone you can’t find extensive information easily through the internet.  There is a reason companies hide. It is a choice, not by chance.

Rising cost of building materials expected to impact all sectors

Thursday, September 1st, 2005

Atlanta, Ga.– September 2005

Hurricane Katrina will contribute to the overall increase in building materials nationwide in 2005 and beyond. While government agencies ponder the data to determine the overall impact of Katrina, most consumers are already feeling the impact in their everyday lives, primarily at the gas pump.

Gasoline rates have a far reaching impact in all products. Delivery companies are already tacking on “fuel surcharges” to shipments of materials. Some industry insiders think this is more palatable to consumers rather than raising prices because it’s simple to grasp.

For residential construction, buyers can expect a triple whammy- increase cost of materials, increased disposal fees, and general job cost increases because all operating costs are rising. Some building material costs have risen 20% or more already. Is this the death blow that has long been touted by economic naysayers? Most experts agree that the short term impact will not significantly affect the home improvement market, however with increases of 5-8% or more, new homes sales may be impacted in some markets.

“Schantz has always offered fair prices, ” said Greg Schantz, President of Schantz Home Improvement. “We will continue to provide quotes that are in line with current costs so our customers are not surprised later by additional fees from rising materials costs. Because of the speed in which we complete our work, in most cases we can lock in prices once a contract is signed. For estimates that are not acted on quickly, there may be some fluctuation in final contract costs. Bottom line – fuel costs are going to affect everything in our lives and customers should not hesitate to lock in prices now.”