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Rules to Better Contractors - 2 Rules

  1. Do you confirm a quote includes what you have actually asked for?

    Too often a quote is requested via an email with the requirements specified. E.g. “Please price painting all the columns in the garage white” or “Install a new media office with bi-fold doors” and then contractor or tradesman, sends a quote, and then it is eagerly approved because the price looks good.

    The contractor then does the work, but then the person realizes they didn’t paint all the columns in the carpark white, or didn’t install bi-fold doors on the media office, or whatever was specified in that email.

    So, you call up the tradesman and say: “You need to come back and paint the 3 columns in the rear corner of the car park” or “You need to change the doors as you installed regular doors in the media office when I specified bi-fold doors”.

    They say: “Check the quote. We only priced 12 columns, not 15” or “Nice try! We didn’t price bi-fold doors.”

    And so, when you check the quote you learn the contractor completely ignored your detailed email request, quoted something different and then it was approved.

    The best way to fix this problem is to request the contractor to give a confirmation that “The quote includes everything in {{ EMAIL SUBJECT }} from {{ DATE }}”.

  2. Do you put a cap on the maximum spend for contractors paid by the hour?

    Sometimes a business will need to hire a contractor to do repairs or maintenance work on site. These contractors often get paid by the hour. Hourly work can creep up to a large unexpected bill!

    To avoid this pain, if you don't have an official quote because they don't know how much work is required, you should make it clear in writing that you have a cap on the maximum you would like to spent without an additional approval for more work.

    By agreeing on this maximum spend, you can avoid a surprise bill that hurts the bank.

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