Updated: May 17, 2019
At quick glance, which quote do you choose for your buddy’s little weekend project? Quote B is $65+ cheaper, so that must be the one, right? Call the supply house and get it delivered, right? If all these questions are causing you to second guess yourself, you are right. The bottom-line price suggests Quote B, but if you look at per each pricing, Quote A has the better deal.
Quote A is skewed by the quantities based on the take off the estimator at the lumberyard performed. So, did he make the mistake, or did the estimator at the other place screw it up? If you choose the quote with the lesser materials you risk running out midday Saturday and that supply house is closed weekends. If you run out, you’re stuck going to the big box and schlepping material through the warehouse.
You’re probably going to have to do the takeoff yourself to determine the amount of material you’re going to need, which at this point would have been easier from the beginning. That’s a lot of unnecessary work for such a little project. It’s a good thing they don’t make these kinds of mistakes on the house quotes you get from them with 100+ line items on it. Or do they make those kinds of mistakes? Is that why you had to return $2500 worth of material on your last project and buy an extra $4500 in material from that new place on the project before?
The point to all this is to demonstrate how two variables on each line of a quote can impact the bottom line. If you’re simply making decisions based on bottom line pricing, by project or by package, you’re making a huge mistake and costing yourself money. Either you end up leaving real dollars out of your budgets and going over to finish the project or giving extra money to the lumberyard to hang onto until they issue you a credit on returns, like what the government does with payroll taxes!
Your best practice is to conduct the take off yourself or hire an independent third part (for around $100) to perform the takeoff, giving you an honest assessment of the materials you need and the ability to remove the variability of quantity discrepancies from your estimates. At that point you will be able to quickly choose between Quotes A, B, and C; save yourself time and money and put more profit on your bottom line.
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