A Tale of Three Estimates:
Yesterday I had the privilege of meeting Lori from Escalon, California. She called me on Saturday and asked if I would give her an estimate over the phone to clean and seal her travertine floor. I told her that I was more comfortable providing an in home estimate, free of charge, and I explained to her that I always like to INSPECT, TEST, & MEASURE a floor before providing any kind of estimate. I wanted to make sure that I could meet or exceed her level of expectations and we both agreed this was the best course of action. She explained to me over the phone that her once beautiful travertine floor looked dull and lifeless, the grout lines were impacted with black yuck, and the floor had numerous stains and holes that needed to be repaired. She has (4) boys, (1) husband, and (2) very large dogs. I did not meet the husband or the boys but the dogs were BIG! This much family can have a major impact on the floor over time.
While talking to her over the phone she explained to me that she had been given a quote of $300.00 (three hundred dollars) by the local Stanley Steamer Company. I explained to her that the quote seemed to be very low for the amount of square feet she was estimating and if she was still interested in them she should ask them "What are they going to leave out for that price."
On Tuesday I met Lori at her home with her two very large dogs. After testing, measuring, and inspecting the floor with her I came up with an estimate of approximately $1,200.00 (this is a large floor with numerous issues). I also explained to her that it was a (2) day job for me to complete (Stanley Steamer was going to have it done in a few hours). At this point she let me know that Coit had given her an estimate of $2,800.00 (two thousand - eight hundred dollars), and they would do it all in one day. She went on to state that Coit said they would NOT clean the edges or corners of the floor nor would they be liable for the damage to her baseboards. I explained to her that we always tape off the baseboards with 2" painter's tape and we clean the edges and corners by hand to avoid water damage to the baseboards. I also explained to her that our policy is to replace any baseboards that we might ruin while cleaning. Does it happen - yes. Does it happen often - NO, but on rare occasions it does happen.
I can't explain to you why the three estimates are so different other than to tell you that this is common place and happens frequently. As a business owner I know that I can provide my clients why Price, Service, & Quality, but I can not provide my clients with ALL three. I have made the decision to provide my clients with Service & Quality.
Who do you think got the job?