Results 1 to 39 of 39
  1. #1
    Damon Thomas's Avatar
    Damon Thomas Guest

    Question Repair Estimates

    Guys and Gals,
    I am looking for some advice here. What are your thoughts on including repair estimates in your reports? Any and all comments are welcome.

    Thank you!

    Damon Thomas
    Thomas Home Inspection - Home

    Similar Threads:
    Inspection Referral

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Memphis TN.
    Posts
    4,311

    Default Re: Repair Estimates

    Quote Originally Posted by Damon Thomas View Post
    .
    Guys and Gals,
    I am looking for some advice here. What are your thoughts on including repair estimates in your reports? Any and all comments are welcome.

    Thank you!

    Damon Thomas
    Thomas Home Inspection - Home
    .
    Not unless You want to pay the difference of ( after they open up the work area ) on what your Estimate was and the Final Cost.
    .

    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images
    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: Repair Estimates

    First thought..... you'd be crazy

    IMO the only way you could do it would be to make the cost ranges so wide that they are really of no use. I've seen them in reports or on websites and that's always the case.

    Roof - 5-15K
    Siding Replacement - 10-20K
    Furnace 3-7K

    etc, etc.

    Things change so fast depending on material cost (fuel cost, lumber cost) and labor cost (Arizona deporting all the illegals, etc. ) that I just couldn't imagine taking the time to keep up on all of it to bid specific repairs that you come up with.

    I just don't see enough of an upside to justify doing it.... your mileage may vary.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: Repair Estimates

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    .
    Not unless You want to pay the difference of ( after they open up the work area ) on what your Estimate was and the Final Cost.
    .
    I almost touched on this but the longer I do this the more of an urban legend I think this is. I've never heard of it actually happening. Does anyone have some experience in getting a call after quoting a general cost with someone actually expecting some money?

    Personally, I'll talk about things in vauge terms (usually going high) and have never had a problem.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,519

    Default Re: Repair Estimates

    Quote Originally Posted by Damon Thomas View Post
    Guys and Gals,
    I am looking for some advice here. What are your thoughts on including repair estimates in your reports? Any and all comments are welcome.

    Thank you!

    Damon Thomas
    Thomas Home Inspection - Home
    How can you determine a reasonable cost estimate for a repair unless your actually in that field to know those costs.

    Making some SWAG (Some wild ass guess) is not helping the client determine actual cost, repair or replacement.

    Want to upset someone, start doing cost analysis with their money.

    JMHO

    rick


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Memphis TN.
    Posts
    4,311

    Default Re: Repair Estimates

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    I almost touched on this but the longer I do this the more of an urban legend I think this is. I've never heard of it actually happening. Does anyone have some experience in getting a call after quoting a general cost with someone actually expecting some money?

    Personally, I'll talk about things in vauge terms (usually going high) and have never had a problem.
    .
    .
    Johnny Cochran Opened a Law Office Here Before He Died.
    * probably cost more to Defend The Litigation than the Cost Estimate Overrun.
    .

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: Repair Estimates

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    .
    .
    Johnny Cochran Opened a Law Office Here Before He Died.
    * probably cost more to Defend The Litigation than the Cost Estimate Overrun.
    .
    Maybe true..... but doesn't answer the question

    Anyone?


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Posts
    2,480

    Default Re: Repair Estimates

    I had my furnace system replaced a couple of years ago. I figured it would be about $11-12K to remove the two old furnaces and replace them with a high efficiency unit equipped with 3 zones, new ducting, etc. I ended up with bids that ranged from just under $8K to $20K.

    This is the example that I give when people ask if I give estimates. Like Matt already said, a range that large is useless.

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  9. #9
    Dave Wheeler's Avatar
    Dave Wheeler Guest

    Default Re: Repair Estimates

    I tell my clients that because of the market change that they should call contractors for estimates. I put nothing in writing. I heard that the rap artist 50 cent hired a home inspector when he bought his home in Connecticut and the inspector gave him a rough estimate on home repairs.
    50 cent sued the inspector because the repairs cost went to 1 million dollars. It cost the inspector a lot of money to represent himself and finally settled. There are certain items like a upgraded electrical panel,hot water heater, boiler which doesn't change to much in price but for home repairs I recommend getting estimates from contractors.


    Dave


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
    Posts
    3,473

    Default Re: Repair Estimates

    I give them with my reports. It's the norm around here.


  11. #11
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Repair Estimates

    I had a client the other day continually press me for costs of repairs including "how much to replace the carpet...........

    The carpet alone could range in thousands of dollars in difference.

    The Main panel

    The water heater

    The leak in the pool lines

    The downward slope in the left front of the slab

    The man just kept getting more and more upset. I guess cause he had not handed me the check yet that he could hold out as long as it took.

    To replace an architectural grade shingle roof could range thousands from one contractor to the next.

    Don't give estimates on anything at all. That is not why you are there. You are there to find the concerns and it is their job to follow up on those concerns, not yours.


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
    Posts
    3,473

    Default Re: Repair Estimates

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Don't give estimates on anything at all. That is not why you are there. You are there to find the concerns and it is their job to follow up on those concerns, not yours.
    It's up to each of us to run our businesses as we see fit. If you don't want to provide cost ranges estimates, then don't. I do know for a fact that if I didn't provide cost ranges for repairs, I would lose business. I prefer to work. And providing them is no big deal to me. It adds maybe 5 minutes tops to my report time and helps earn me referral business.


  13. #13
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: Repair Estimates

    I give verbal "ballpark" estimates verbally during the inspection. ($400/sq shingles, 4-6K for a gas pack/no new ductwork,etc) After every figure I give I say "My estimate does not mean squat because I am not doing the work. You need to get firm quotes before closing." I do not put them in the report.


  14. #14
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Repair Estimates

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    I give verbal "ballpark" estimates verbally during the inspection. ($400/sq shingles, 4-6K for a gas pack/no new ductwork,etc) After every figure I give I say "My estimate does not mean squat because I am not doing the work. You need to get firm quotes before closing." I do not put them in the report.
    That is pretty much what most of us do. Ranges would be the norm and I only do it verbaly. To right a fixed on paper estimate and then have it thousands more because they pick the most expensive contractor and materials can an I have seen it get folks in trouble.

    I did not to make it sound like I was telling anyone. I speak of myself as that third party as in "Don't give estimates on anything at all" is a reminder to me and if anyone else wishes to follow it.

    As in your estimate that was verbal....4 to 6,000 dollars. That will give them an idea but still could be way off. I work in 8 to nine counties and sometimes on occasion more. The prices not just in labor but materials as well can range vastly.

    Do as one wishes and feels best for them. To me, putting a price on paper never happens. There is one in several hundred that wants to play ''Ah ha, I will get you"


  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,446

    Default Re: Repair Estimates

    Last December I met a roofer and asked to get a quote. I expected a quote in the $6000 range. When I got the quote of $10,000 I almost fell out of my chair.
    My neighbor had a roof put on last summer, so I asked him about how much he spent. he said his was in the $12K - 14K range.

    This shows just how out of touch I was with roofing costs. Thats' also one of the reasons I don't give any kind of cost estimates, unless I just had something done and have a pretty good idea of the cost.


  16. #16
    David Bell's Avatar
    David Bell Guest

    Default Re: Repair Estimates

    If you don't have an electrical license you shouldn't give electrical estimates, and so on. You have no right estimating jobs you can't do. And if you choose to estimate , be prepared to do it for that price, or pay the difference.


  17. #17
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: Repair Estimates

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wheeler View Post
    I tell my clients that because of the market change that they should call contractors for estimates. I put nothing in writing. I heard that the rap artist 50 cent hired a home inspector when he bought his home in Connecticut and the inspector gave him a rough estimate on home repairs.
    50 cent sued the inspector because the repairs cost went to 1 million dollars. It cost the inspector a lot of money to represent himself and finally settled. There are certain items like a upgraded electrical panel,hot water heater, boiler which doesn't change to much in price but for home repairs I recommend getting estimates from contractors.


    Dave
    Just goessss to showwwws ya if your clients name is someting like 50cent you need to move on...


    Best

    Ron


  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,250

    Default Re: Repair Estimates

    Quote Originally Posted by Damon Thomas View Post
    Guys and Gals,
    I am looking for some advice here. What are your thoughts on including repair estimates in your reports?

    All depends on where you are at.

    If you were in South Florida (Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Palm Beach, etc.) if you did not provide guesstimated repair costs you would not last more than a month or so.

    Even several seasoned and veteran inspectors who tried to buck that common report inclusion quickly began losing their referral base from agents when they tried to stop including guesstimates.

    What it comes down to is how you manage your client's expectations.

    I, along with all other HIs in South Florida, gave guesstimates for over 17 years and not once had a lawsuit of any kind, much less about the guesstimates.

    It seems that so many HIs are afraid to provide that service to their clients. Is that because the HIs do not know how to manage their client's expectations?

    There is absolutely NOTHING WRONG with providing guesstimates, in fact it helps the process along and the negotiation is not about "repairs" but about repair "costs" and how much the seller is going to give to the buyer.

    And that ALL COMES DOWN TO MANAGING your client's EXPECTATIONS.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    579

    Smile Re: Repair Estimates

    I commonly get asked for estimates on cost of repairs. I have experience in remodeling and construction and have a pretty good knowledge of cost of certain materials and labor. However as others have mentioned costs will vary greatly from one contractor to the next. I typically will give them a range like $1000 on the low side and $3000 on the high. I will only give verbal estimates.

    Some items such as a new service panel I can give a pretty close estimate because I know local electrical contractors and know what they typically charge. However I won't give estimates for items that are complex repairs or will involve removing materials to determine conditions or extent of damage. It's a good idea to know what common repairs cost such as: Water heater, simple furnace/AC replacement, general roofing repairs, etc.

    I personally would never include estimates in my report. If you don't have the experience or knowledge of what repairs will cost don't just give your client some wild ass guess to make it look like you know what your talking about.


  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: Repair Estimates

    Keeping in mind a lot of contractors won't even give a firm number on a lot of things (rot repair in a bathroom, etc.). There's usually a range depending on how much damage is uncovered. Basically, clients shouldn't expect an exact number anyway.


  21. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
    Posts
    3,473

    Default Re: Repair Estimates

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    All depends on where you are at.

    If you were in South Florida (Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Palm Beach, etc.) if you did not provide guesstimated repair costs you would not last more than a month or so.

    Even several seasoned and veteran inspectors who tried to buck that common report inclusion quickly began losing their referral base from agents when they tried to stop including guesstimates.

    What it comes down to is how you manage your client's expectations.

    I, along with all other HIs in South Florida, gave guesstimates for over 17 years and not once had a lawsuit of any kind, much less about the guesstimates.

    It seems that so many HIs are afraid to provide that service to their clients. Is that because the HIs do not know how to manage their client's expectations?

    There is absolutely NOTHING WRONG with providing guesstimates, in fact it helps the process along and the negotiation is not about "repairs" but about repair "costs" and how much the seller is going to give to the buyer.

    And that ALL COMES DOWN TO MANAGING your client's EXPECTATIONS.
    What Jerry said. And managing expectations is all about communication, both verbally and in writing. I have a disclaimer in my agreement about low or high variances of any cost ranges I include in the report. While explaining to the client how to read and understand the report at the end of the inspection, I let them know there may be some estimates I am not able to put an end range on because some defects likely have more to them what we can see. I also tell them that estimates they receive from professionals for any work will vary widely. Explain it properly and clients will get it.

    Managing/setting expectations through proper communication is what it comes down to.


  22. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    WESTMINSTER CO
    Posts
    1,090

    Default Re: Repair Estimates

    HEY ALL

    try giving this but say this is only a guesstament.
    i give my clients this--they go away happen and can plan there next move

    cvf

    Attached Files Attached Files

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    WESTMINSTER CO
    Posts
    1,090

    Default Re: Repair Estimates

    whoops heres page two to that
    long day on the golf course

    cvf

    Attached Files Attached Files

  24. #24
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Repair Estimates

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    What Jerry said. And managing expectations is all about communication, both verbally and in writing. I have a disclaimer in my agreement about low or high variances of any cost ranges I include in the report. While explaining to the client how to read and understand the report at the end of the inspection, I let them know there may be some estimates I am not able to put an end range on because some defects likely have more to them what we can see. I also tell them that estimates they receive from professionals for any work will vary widely. Explain it properly and clients will get it.

    Managing/setting expectations through proper communication is what it comes down to.

    Nope...won't do it....I never manage my clients expectation verbally or written I think we all do that. If not we would not still be around. Nothing profound there

    Like I said everyone has their way of doing things that work for them. Also it is a bit territorial as well. In this area people do not expect to get that with the exception of very few but in the same breath I am sure many of us will say something wild and crazy from time to time like "that there roof replacement will run you anywhere from 5,000 to 8,000 dollars" Thats a big help. That just tells them they need to go get a price. I handle my clients expectations by telling them that I work all over North Central Texas which is as big as some states. That is a lot of area to cover with vast ranges in labor and materials. You need to get a real estimate folks if you want real prices and not some vast ball park.


  25. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
    Posts
    3,473

    Default Re: Repair Estimates

    Ted, I think you should offer discounts and estimates.

    Look, a smiley face .


  26. #26
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Memphis TN.
    Posts
    4,311

    Default Re: Repair Estimates

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    .
    Ted, I think you should offer discounts and estimates.

    Look, a smiley face .
    .
    And Coupons !
    * don't forget The Coupons.
    ** Look No Smiley Face.
    .

    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images
    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Memphis TN.
    Posts
    4,311

    Default Re: Repair Estimates

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    .
    And Coupons !
    * don't forget The Coupons.
    ** Look No Smiley Face.
    .
    .
    .
    ...........
    .
    .

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    3,177

    Default Re: Repair Estimates

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    ...I am sure many of us will say something wild and crazy from time to time like "that there roof replacement will run you anywhere from 5,000 to 8,000 dollars" Thats a big help...
    Actually it is a big help for some folks. I've told clients that a new roof would likely be something like $5000 to $8000, and they say Whew! I thought you were going to say $40,000! They just have no idea. You are giving them an idea.

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Charlotte NC
    Posts
    2,303

    Default Re: Repair Estimates

    Quote Originally Posted by CHARLIE VAN FLEET View Post
    whoops heres page two to that
    long day on the golf course

    cvf
    Glad to hear you have your knee back.


  30. #30
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    WESTMINSTER CO
    Posts
    1,090

    Default Re: Repair Estimates

    THANKS VERN

    found out if you slow your swing down and instead of hitting a 6 iron hard. hit a five iron easy. wow where has my brain been for 62 years.

    good lesson in life--go easy and it will work out

    cvf


  31. #31
    cliff kornegay's Avatar
    cliff kornegay Guest

    Wink Re: Repair Estimates - 1st time post

    First post - take it easy...

    I am coming across this issue more often during inspections. People want to know before making the largest financial decision in their life, what's the cost to bring it up to current industry standards?

    I have two thoughts about this:
    1. use someone else's information like the craftsman construction estimator, make it known that's where the information is from, and include a liability waiver for estimates.
    2. This is a lot of extra work beyond the SOPs out there. You should charge for estimating services, which may causes people not to ask for them.


  32. #32
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    261

    Default Re: Repair Estimates

    I provide estimates. Sometimes in the report, mostly verbally. A lawyer wrote this for me which I include in my agreement. Anyone who wishes to use this may.

    Any estimates provided for repairs are based on a limited visual inspection. The actual costs to correct problems may be more or less depending upon a more detailed professional analysis.


  33. #33
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    1,984

    Default Re: Repair Estimates

    Used to put repair estimates in report, don't anymore. Too many issues with people making dumb comments and assumptions. I'll give clients verbal numbers no problem.
    Since clients are generally not in the business, they tend to not understand how much changing one or two factors (that they think are minor) can change the price of a given repair.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  34. #34
    Keith Whitlow's Avatar
    Keith Whitlow Guest

    Smile Re: Repair Estimates

    Gidday Guys,
    Keith Whitlow here all the way from New Zealand.
    I run an exterior repair company (38 staff) here specialising in analysing and repairing exterior leaks or faults, picked up by us or we're referred by House Inspectors here, for people who want quotes or estimates.

    Here's where it can be a very good thing for you guys: These HI's recommend us, so the client gets a free detailed quote; we refer to the HI's report and their findings.The HI is seen as more helpful already. If we get the job, and we often do, the HI is involved and is paid by the owner to oversee the works and gets paid for another report after, usually to help market the place. Annnnddd....if its quite a big job and some are, we'll send the HI a bit of love in return in the shape of "pictures of dead presidents". Everyone's happy!

    We've developed a number of systems and products over the past 12 yeras to deal with all sorts of exterior faults. I'm thinking, when Im next in your great country,(Kiwi's still like Americans!... ) to have a chat with some of you guys to see what buisness there may be there.

    Cheers

    Keith

    Email: info@plastertech.co.nz


  35. #35
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Memphis TN.
    Posts
    4,311

    Default Re: Repair Estimates

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Whitlow View Post

    ...if its quite a big job and some are, we'll send the HI a bit of love in return in the shape of "pictures of dead presidents". Everyone's happy!

    Cheers

    Keith

    Email: info@plastertech.co.nz
    .
    Welcome Keith,

    Thanks for the Input.

    In the States We don't ( could be interrupted as a conflict of interest ) follow this practice.
    .

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  36. #36
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: Repair Estimates

    Clients want to know how much they may have to spend on repairs and as such are appreciative for approx. costs. Most do not have the time required to get several quotes as the inspection waiver must be signed post inspection or one or two days after the inspection. I have been providing approx. costs since 1991. I have a price list in my report for Roof, Exterior, Structure, et ceteras. The only feedback I rec'd were from clients who said that my price was pretty much spot on.

    I also have a disclaimer at the bottom of my cost sheet stating that pricing can vary by upto 300% due to economic factors, location, time of year, material choices...

    Just what are you providing your client for your fee? I see lots of inspectors disclaim pretty much anything, or pass the buck.

    Sure giving price ranges may not work for some or frighten others from doing so, but thats not the way I run my business, but then again I don't reside in United Sue States.


  37. #37
    Keith Whitlow's Avatar
    Keith Whitlow Guest

    Default Re: Repair Estimates

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    .
    Welcome Keith,

    Thanks for the Input.

    In the States We don't ( could be interrupted as a conflict of interest ) follow this practice.
    .

    Cheers Billy
    I appreciate that it could be seen that way, interpreted as a conflict of interest, but if you have it all spelt out clearly from the start, that this is a recommendation only,then the client is informed and from our experience they are very happy to have someone like a good HI oversee works. So long as you present that as an option , then there's nothing hidden and no unknown conflict.

    On some of our jobs, theres often an element of timber replacement due to rot, and to avoid conflict of interset ourselves, we recommend HI's to determine the extent of timber to be replaced. They usually charge the client around $3-4K ($US2-3K) for that, maybe 4 or 5 trips.

    KW


  38. #38
    George Edwards's Avatar
    George Edwards Guest

    Default Re: Repair Estimates

    Quote Originally Posted by Damon Thomas View Post
    Guys and Gals,
    I am looking for some advice here. What are your thoughts on including repair estimates in your reports? Any and all comments are welcome.

    Thank you!

    Damon Thomas
    Thomas Home Inspection - Home
    DON'T DO IT!


  39. #39
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oklahoma City
    Posts
    356

    Default Re: Repair Estimates

    I have done it over 3500 times now with no problems. It is the norm around here. If it is something that I don't have a clue about, that is just what I write. For instance if the AC is not getting a good temp split, I would write "Cannot estimate, expect $175 and up depending on what the problem is."

    If it weren't for lawyers, we would never need them.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •