If you have ever solicited quotes for a home improvement project, you may have received quotes that varied in price and were difficult to understand. If you were confused trying to sort out what you were paying or and how much it really cost, this information might shed a little light on why the proposals you received could vary so widely, and how to compare remodeling prices to make sure you receive the best value.
Pricing is in the details. Regardless of the type of project — siding replacement, window replacement, roofing replacement, or any other home improvement — the price on the quote really doesn't mean anything unless you know the specifications of ALL the work to be performed. For example, "replace all siding on the home" is not a specification. Describing the process of replacing the siding on your home would be specific, and would contain a list of specifications. For example: Remove all existing siding and place in contractor provided jobsite dumpster. Does "replace all siding on your home" include removal of the old siding? Probably. But it may not include the disposal of the waste. All siding manufacturers require a moisture barrier (house wrap) between the structure and the siding. Would this be included in "replace all siding on your home"? Very doubtful. What about inside corner boards, outside corner boards, window trim, window flashing, and cornice molding?
Window replacement pricing can be just as confusing and sometimes misleading. A $189 window does not meet the same specifications as a more expensive window. For example, it probably will not have sufficient energy efficiency ratings to meet the Federal Energy Star qualifications. Replacement windows are manufactured using many different materials including: vinyl, cellular PVC, fiberglass, wood, and aluminum clad wood. A double pane window can be produced using single strength or double strength glass for each pane. The glass can then be coated with a low e coating. The low e coating can be applied to one or both panes of the glass. If it is applied to both panes, it is typically referred to as low e2. The low e coating will lessen the ultra violet sun rays and reduce the heat infiltration in the home. The glass coating efficiency will be reflected in the Solar Heat Gain Coefficent (SGHC) rating. The air space between the 2 panes of glass can be filled with a gas with more density than air such as argon or krypton which increases the insulating value of the glass and would be reflected in the U-Value rating. The other things that can affect window replacement prices are grids. Grids can be installed between the 2 panes of glass which is referred to as GBG (grids between the glass); installed on the interior and exterior of the glass which is referred to as SDL (simulated divided lite); or the grids can separate multiple panes of glass which is referred to as TDL (true divided lite). Again, pricing is in the details.
There are two ways a contractor can earn your business. He can try to offer the lowest price or deliver the best value; most of the time it is difficult to do both. The lowest price typically comes with a large amount of risk. A low price typically means the following: low overhead (lack of capital, needs large down payment), no business location (moves around a lot), no workers compensation insurance, no general liability insurance, no business license, and no contractor's license. This all adds up to risk for the home owner. Only a company with a solid reputation, experience and business history can offer the best value. The customer will know exactly what they are going to receive (detailed specifications), will have access to a large pool of references in their area, won't be asked to make a large down payment, will be provided with proof of insurance, a contact and phone number, proof of business license, and a state contractor's license.
Every reputable contractor bases prices on the same simple economics. But a larger company benefits from volume — a company that purchases more material and labor can negotiate larger discounts from their distributors. They may even be able to buy directly from the manufacturers. Labor is the same way. Do you think a roofing crew would prefer to work 3 days a week on average or 5-6 days on average at a little lower rate? Whether the job is performed by direct employees or subcontracts, people who are good at what they do and are highly specialized in their field want to be paid on their performance — a per job rate, not an hourly rate!
Don't end up paying the highest price after you accept the lowest bid. The benefit of working with an established contractor like EXOVATIONS is access to the highest quality craftsmanship, name brand products with superior warranties at the most competitive prices. Remember, pricing is in the details. Don't make assumptions or rely on verbal commitments. Keep us all (contractors) accountable. The more you keep us accountable to you, the customer, the more we have to account for each other. More competition leads to higher quality materials and workmanship at more competitive prices. Remember it's ALL IN THE DETAILS!