GC TRIP CHARGES?

14 Replies

Do the majority of GC's charge you for doing a job analysis on your property? Like a trip charge etc? I have met with a GC that I like and has done good work through references and so on, but charges to do a walk through and trip charge. Is this normal?

Thanks
Newb

as being a contractor myself I never charge. What's really wrong is if the contractor has done work for you in the past he/she should feel comfortable you would most likely hire them. I have gone to some bogus estimates buts that my job as a contractor to sell myself and my company. There are a few big box store contractor who charge for an estimate but most do not. 

If there is a chance I will be awarded a project, I do not charge for my estimates. There are times when I act as an estimator and charge for my time- but that is discussed up front. I would have a conversation with the GC before I go forward

i would never pay for them to come do an estimate 
i am a licensed contractor,we never charge for an estimate ever
the box stores in my area charge for them and then give it back if you buy the project

We charge if the investor does not yet own the property, and refund the charge if they end up hiring us to work on that property.

Prior to this policy we were running literally 100+ bids per year on properties that the investor never even closed on. This translated into a LOT of lost time, gas, and opportunity costs. It just wasn't sustainable.

Originally posted by @Stephen Lofthus :

Do the majority of GC's charge you for doing a job analysis on your property? Like a trip charge etc? I have met with a GC that I like and has done good work through references and so on, but charges to do a walk through and trip charge. Is this normal?

Thanks
Newb

 The majority of contractors don't charge. The ones who do are usually well worth it, they are professionals and have figured out thier time is limited and valuable. The 80 /20 rule never fails. People who are at the top of their game can do things that the rest can't like --charge a fee.  In 30 years of experience I can count on one hand the number of times a homeowner who picked the highest bidder made a mistake in doing so, the amount of people who took the lowest bidder and ended up with problems is infinite. The best get paid what they are worth and they have practices that the rest find eye brow raising. You said yourself this person checks out.

Have you tried negotiating it out or as a credit if you award him the job? While I hate negotiations I am finding that everything is negotiable! 

As a contractor I have never Trip Charge, but he might be really busy.

@Mike F.  his firm is actually new, however he's been a GC for 30 years.

@Mark Brogan  How often do you work with new investors though? I can understand a little bit more just because he doesn't know me from Adam. I'll start with asking him to refund if purchased and I use him, then as the relationship progresses I will ask him to drop it.

@Stephen Lofthus  I would charge the client for me to bid on a repair, I would not on a major rehab. I would issue a refund if given an award though for sure, perhaps surprise the client with another trip charge refund or two at the end of the project.

@Stephen Lofthus  i get calls often wanting to know if we do free estimates,if it is in a good area i will do it for free,if not i will usually give the estimate to another contractor

I distinguish between an "estimate" and a "consultation". I don't charge for the former; I do for the latter. 

I define "estimate" as examining a project for the purpose of submitting a proposal for a clearly defined scope of work. 

A "consultation" is examining a project for the purpose of providing a professional opinion as to the feasibility of possible work or general costs. 

As a contractor for the past 26 years I have never charged (until recently) any fees for project quotes. I was getting pretty tiered of writing proposals for tire kicker investors or any RE purchaser for that matter. If a property requires 25K worth of repairs or renovations, it's pretty common for me to spend 4 hours or more meeting with and estimating the project. All for free.

My phone used to ring off the hook with agents looking for free estimates. Our company policy now is to only supply free estimates to the current property owner. If you do not own the property there will be charges applied that will be credited back if we end up with the contract.

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