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Another Case of Price Gouging
(Buyer Beware)



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 beware."

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.




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Virginia Decking & Remodeling LLC
P.O. Box 41157
Fredericksburg, VA 22404

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