Why we charge, When we charge, and What you can expect.
One of the most common questions we hear on the phone is, "You don'tt do free
estimates?, but the job is only a small repair!"
In some cases that is absolutely right. Estimates vary greatly and there is a big difference between an insurance estimate for moisture related damage and an all out renovation. However, there are many factors that more often than not get overlooked if the company doesn't take the time to conduct a proper estimate because after all he/she is doing it for free.
Lets face it, the time it takes to drive to your home from our shop in Virginia Beach, VA and the time it takes to drive back might add up to an additional 30 minutes or more (and don’t forget about fuel and wear & tear on the vehicle). Then, to work up an estimate for you, we have to come back to the office and figure out the prices for materials and labor that will go into your project. This may take another 30 minutes or more. Once the numbers are crunched, the estimate is either printed (cost of paper & ink) and mailed (envelope and stamp) or emailed. If it is a more complex estimate that requires a design or project management, another 24 hours could go into that and much more ink and paper to print out project documents. After an estimate and/or design is completed we schedule a second meeting to come back and explain what we have come up with.
In a nut shell, we only charge $50 standard fee for all non-maintenance estimates. When an estimate is free: We will provide you with an estimate for free if we are hired to do the work. Cash or a check for $50 is due at the initial visit. The estimate fee will be deducted off of the final bill as a $50 credit. Estimates are good for 90 days only, however your $50 credit will always be available towards a job if you should decide to wait.
MAINTENANCE ESTIMATES ARE FREE. This means if you want us to tell you how much it will be to maintain your home or property we will give you a quote rate for free. This is because this kind of estimate is a general estimate; we charge hourly for that service.
Existing Customers: We never charge existing customers for estimates.
Why is charging for estimates good for you? Charging allows us to be more attentive to our customers needs and allows us extra time to examine and explain any problems or concerns as well as express any creative design ideas. We love to get a feel for the style of the homeowner and what their expectations are. It also allows us to take fewer appointments in a day. This benefit is passed on to you by having a smiling, professional at your door instead of a road raged, rushed, overworked technician. You can expect our technicians to be professional, trustworthy and honest and at all times. Should you get anything less, please call the office and ask to speak to Rob Santana.
Other Companies: There are other EIFS / Stucco companies that perform free estimates. These companies are often running around giving a ton of estimates. They spend a lot of time working up jobs they will never do-and since they know this-they do not put their best efforts towards details and realistic prices. When you call us my company we know you are serious about your project and we know you want nothing but the best.
I have heard many customers in the 20+ years I've been in business complain that a company did not show up or showed up hours late. That is probably because a paying customer called and wanted the same time slot and so they followed the money. Do you blame them? Here at Modern Wall Systems , if you are paying for that appointment slot, that is the same as a reservation and we will show up within the time frame specified. (there are certain circumstances which the technician can be late, but we will do our best to let the customer know as soon as possible.)
Another problem that customers have when dealing with companies with free estimates, is qualifications, many of these companies do not have certified or experienced technicians or references, so even though they have a free estimate, they suddenly find they don't trust it.
Curious Customers: For customers who are just curious what a service would cost and are at the beginning of their research process, you are more than welcome to call our office; we may be able to get you a loose cost estimate on a job you are planning, depending on if know specifics of what you want. You are also welcome to fax over another companies estimate and we could write up the estimate with our prices-we’ll do our best to beat it! (please keep in mind that A: We do not always guarantee the lowest price, just the best job. And B: We will not accept any job that we have not personally seen, this is just a service for the curious shopper).
Bottom Line: Time is money. Make sure you are compensated for yours.