Blah, blah, blah


Estimate or price

In the construction business there are estimates and then there are prices. Get a price.

I have actually lost jobs to guys who tell the owner that they can do an addition for, lets say, $25,000. The owner then calls me and lets me know that Joe can do it for $10,000 lower than me. He is going with Joe. OK.

2 months later I run into the homeowner in the grocery store. I ask him how the build went. I find out that old Joe finally finished the build and billed the guy for $40,000. That is $5000 more than my price. What happened.

What happened, among other things, is that Joe gave the hom eowner an estimate. It probably stated that right on the piece of paper. "This is an estimate" or just "estimate". Pretty basic, but most people when they hear a lower number, immediately jump on it. That is what they want to hear.

I gave the guy a price. My number is a price just like when he buys milk in the store. The price does not change just because the store had to open another checkstand or bring in another pallet. Set in stone.

Always ask if the number is an estimate or a price.



Kevin Robinson is a building consultant. He is formally educated in general residential construction as well as "schooled" on the job. Formerly licensed as a general contractor in the State of Idaho, he currently shows potential owner builders how they can save thousands managing it themselves.  He has written guest articles for a few construction type magazines and also publishes his own small newsletter for owner builders. Email Kevin at


Next time, hire a building consultant!.


Comment balloon 1 commentKevin Robinson • October 25 2009 08:58AM


Kevin....your posts are always so enjoyable to make great points and address very important issues.....this one follows suit....thanks

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) over 9 years ago