Expediting the estimating process
How to save money, and get what you want quickly by planning ahead
This "computer age" that we live in is capable of transferring amazing amounts of information to us at nearly the speed of light. (even a dial-up 56K modem is faster than the drive to the library). Average humans, even heavily caffeinated carpenters, still read this information at roughly the speed of sound if we are fairly bright. Do you know how long it takes the average human being to comprehend the information they read? We all absorb information and gain knowledge at different rates, but trust me...it's never as quickly as we desire.
Most of us
laugh at a joke 3 times;
once when we hear it,
again when we tell it,
... and then a few days later when we get it!
Understanding the estimating process:
Estimates are a free
service and usually take just under 1 hour to complete.
With a completed design, estimates are a simple matter of entering data of inventory items into a spreadsheet that is keyed to a labor calculation that is based on the actual inventory to install. Add to that the miscellaneous expenses specific to a particular job and voilą... you have an estimate. Add tax and any personal expenses associated with the project and you know your budget. That's the easy part.
The design, and the exact
material list needed to estimate your project are another story.
Limited preliminary drafting is always needed for clear communication and is included within an estimate to all customers. Determining the design can be the most time consuming part of project initiation. Having a clear vision of your completed project, including material and finish choices prior to our first meeting will reduce and possibly eliminate my design time, saving you money.
I'm full of great suggestions for what I believe will blend well and be cost-effective, while keeping with the overall design theme of your home. My design services are available if desired when needed beyond our initial consultation. My learning what you desire from your staircase aesthetics and performance is crucial to successful design.
Your involvement in this process can reduce the time to design your staircase to a minimum.
When you contact me and schedule our on-site meeting, the following information will be needed from you to generate an accurate estimate quickly:
Have a clear vision
about what you would really like to see as a finished product in your home.
I'm happy to help bring your dream into focus. Have an idea of your
desired project start date. We can fine tune the schedule when we both
know more, we just need a clear goal for the "What and When" to aim for.
Don't be afraid to dream
big and vividly. Eventually together we
will narrow your concepts to an exact material list. I'll keep working
with you until the stair design of your dreams meets the budget that fits.
I am the master of
"wine taste on a beer budget". Focus on what you really
want to see, not a pre-conceived idea of possible cost
Be specific. The more
can be about the actual components you like, the faster I can get to the
drafting and estimating. The
will teach you
effective ways of determining the pertinent information, and then
communicating that to me via photos, sketches , part numbers, ...etc. and
will assist in expediting the process.
Be organized. Compile
the information however you know best. The more efficiently you
convey your design concepts to me, the more you will save time for both of us
mutual learning curve. Start a file folder (digital or physical) and
fill it with ideas, an article from a magazine, printed or copied
photos of stairs
a material list, my business card
...anything that helps you keep track of
Learn. Be a smart buyer. If you know some of the terminology and material choices, and which of the 3 basic railing styles you would like to see in your home we will be off and running in no time at all. Knowing your choices for species of wood, and how everything is finished (paint and/or stain) is half of the challenge. Anything you learn will help. With a computer and an Internet connection the world is at your finger tips.