Awhile back I received a call from a gentleman who
thought his quote by a contractor for a large Ipe deck
was too high. He had already run his deck specifications
through my online Porch
Deck Sunroom Price Worksheet and was so surprised
at the differences, that he asked me to verify what
he was getting from my spreadsheet. We worked the Excel
Price Worksheet together to discover that his total
materials should cost approximately $18,740.
His contractor is planning on charging him $90,000.
See anything wrong with this picture? He did.
This could be an extreme case, but this kind of over
charging goes on every day in the deck and porch business.
Why? Not to sound smart, but they do it simply because
they can. There is no one to catch them... no
policing agency of the government to stop them... no
laws that I know of that prevent price gouging. It is
part of the free market system that folks can ask whatever
they want to ask. It is up to the buyer to educate
and protect themselves.
How can you know if you are being over charged? One
good way is to get competitive quotes... most authorities
recommend a minimum of three (3). If one comes in greatly
higher than the others than you can assume that it is
priced too high (everything else being equal). Incidentally,
I always am suspicious of quotes that are very low also.
Unless the builder has found some really solid, innovative
ways to reduce his overhead (as
we have), a very low price is usually a flag that
he doesn't know what he is doing (inexperienced at pricing).
Or he is desperate for some reason and will not earn
enough money to stay in business for long (he'll soon
"fly the coup", perhaps in the middle of your
job). In any event, an unusually low price is a red
flag that something is wrong. "Let the buyer
Frankly, another good way to determine if you are being
over charged is to run the area and other specifications
through my online Deck,
Porch and Sunroom Price Worksheet. We publish our
prices online for the world to see for many reasons...
one being so that you know we treat everyone the same.
We won't bump the price up because I find out you are
a doctor or your house photo makes me think you are
rich (or I see an expensive car in your driveway) and
therefore can afford to pay more. Nope. We give you
a level playing field and give everyone the same opportunities
to save money.