As a project manager contractor pricing is always a concern. I look for products, services and contractors that offer good value.
I am a believer in the adage “you get what you pay for,” but to assume a high price yields the best is not always true.
There’s some contractor pricing based simply on current rates (usually those on the higher end). A contractor will reason “Well hell, Acme Landscape is getting $28/sf, I’ll charge the same”.
There’s also pricing based on “what the market will bear,” which is tied to supply and demand.
When the economy is good demand is usually high. Unfortunately, this market supports mediocre work at high prices.
You really need to examine what you’re getting for your dollar and, in fact, if the price is justified.
We hear the phrase “compare apples to apples” all the time. I use it a lot because part of my responsibility is helping clients through contractor pricing and the budgeting process.
Fairness is the end goal. The homeowner should get what they pay for, and the contractor should make a reasonable profit.
These pictures of stone veneer being installed on a cabana building illustrate the workmanship and level of detail that justify this stone mason’s pricing.
Every stone on the building has been “hand tooled,” which gives a consistent look throughout.
Even the grain of the stone is considered in terms of how each is set. Also, notice the uniformity of the joints.
So what constitutes higher pricing?
I think we’d all agree we don’t mind spending the money as long as we’re getting good value.
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Landscapes are complex, and shortcomings anywhere in the process can affect the project… and your peace of mind.
My approach is process-oriented. I break things down from planning to implementation — and make sure everyone is kept informed.
My goal is to alleviate concerns such as design decisions, costs, workmanship and material quality. I want folks to stress less and actually enjoy the process.
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