We give our best prices and don't play games. We are consumers of services the same as you and know the importance of being treated fairly. The price we develop is meant to be competitive. If we are your first consultation, it is important that you compare us properly with the competition in order to be assured that your quotes are really for equivalent work. Not all faux finishing is the same. Do not believe that it is.
However, any businessperson that refuses to negotiate is either foolish or does not need to be working. We are open to and may even offer creative pricing or payment terms based on your needs. For example, if you require multiple projects or have multiple spaces you need addressed, discounts are available as they can provide economies of scale. After all, we are already on your premises and can do away with much of the overhead involved in coming back at a later date to begin anew.
Once final prices are agreed to, such quotes are firm and we adhere to them. There will be no surprises, no hidden extras and no "nickel and diming" you. If we make a mistake when calculating an estimate and the result is in your favor, so be it. We believe that it is not only unethical to change a price once quoted, but bad business to do so.
We collect the sales tax because we are required to. In days past, this kind of work was exempt, but no longer. Painting, whether it be regular contract wall and ceiling paint, or decorative finishes, stencils, etc., is considered a taxable service. The only time that it is not subject to tax is when it is a true capital improvement, the definition of which has to do with new construction and first time surface coverage.
Technically, you – the client – are responsible for providing us with a filled-out and signed Certificate of Home Improvement, however we will assist you with this and prepare it awaiting your signature only if the project qualifies for such tax treatment.
There is a decorative finish for every budget. Simply because you are not interested in spending more does not mean that the service you receive will be any less than others get. What is variable though is the complexity and the associate time and effort associated with a finish and what can be done comfortably within your spending range.
Without knowing your budget, we cannot know what the limits are. However, if you so advise us in general terms, we will be sensitive to your situation and present to you only that which we believe you will seriously consider. It makes no sense to waste your time by entertaining finishes that fall outside your limits.
However, if your budget falls below the amount for which we can perform the work, we will be honest and disclose that in order for you to consider other options. We do not want you to feel that you must compromise your personal finances. We will suggest alternatives if possible. Clearly, the earlier in the process we both are aware of such limitations, the better chance we both will have to keep from expending excess energy.
As a rule, a project's price is relative to a combination of:
Sample productionCalculations using standard pricing methods - such as time/material and per square foot rates - can be used (if done properly), but are misleading, confusing and usually inaccurate. Our aim is to price a project fairly, such that the client receives maximum economic benefit and that we are adequately compensated.
We prefer not to price based on time and materials, as we feel that it is unethical. The client does not want the contractor to have the opportunity to make more money by working slowly or longer than expected/planned. The contractor does not want to be watched by the client and timed or criticized for the speed at which they work or the length of breaks they may take. In addition, marked-up contractor-provided material is not to the client's advantage and leaves the contractor open to clients wanting to supply material in order to cut cost. While the contractor should have little say about this other than specifying brand, quality and quantity, errors made in providing proper amounts on a timely basis pose the risk of project delays, miscommunication and ill will.
Square foot pricing is seldom used in residential project proposals, but rather reserved for commercial project quotations or representations to designers for purely comparison purposes. Used as an estimator, square foot pricing is helpful only in indicating relative cost from one finish type to another. Getting an exact count of subject surface area can be difficult and the accuracy of the resulting quote suspicious. Furthermore, think of how wrong giving a per-square-foot price would be for a very small project. It is probably not worth the contractor's time to perform the project on that basis if the subject area is small.
When we calculate and present a price, it is carefully developed and thought through in order to be fair, appropriate and competitive. Sometimes we are able to prepare an immediate quotation during our initial consultation. Other times it is in both ours and the client's best interest for us to follow up the meeting with a properly prepared proposal that we have taken extra time and effort to be accurate and do proper diligence in accounting for all cost elements. Hastily prepared quotes can be rife with errors, omissions or math errors (to one party's benefit) that result in lost business, under/over charging and embarrassment. When preparing and presenting a proposal, several things are at stake:
If the client feels that the contractor's price is incorrect or unjust, the client should be up front about communicating their disagreement and indicate precisely what it is that they are calling into question instead of outrightly rejecting the bid and calling an end to the proposal process. It is entirely possible that the contractor may have made incorrect assumptions or otherwise improperly prepared the bid. Likewise, the client may not sufficiently understand that what they have requested a price for involves more work, complexity or effort for than what they originally thought. If it is a matter of competitive bidding, and the contractor's price is considerably different than the competition's (over or under), it should be clearly understood by all what the differences may be accountable to.
As the saying goes, “If the price is too good to be true, it probably is”. Understand why one professional's price is lower. Are the proposal's details and particulars exactly the same as those higher?
As another saying goes, “You get what you pay for”. Higher priced work sometimes has a reason for being so. Emotionally and psychologically, some people tend to pay more for certain products or services because of perceived value. But not always. Certain contractors unethically price work according to what they believe a client's ability to pay is. Status Faux will never engage in such behavior. Carefully consider competitive prices and analyze their underlying content. Bids that we present that are higher than the competition's are most likely due to other's prices being low for reasons that we cannot control. We do not canvass the market and engage in undercutting nor are we interested in losing business by failing to compete. Buyer beware.
Your budget is your business and is private and personal. We do not ask about your budget as it is not our business and it would be unethical for us to price your work based on your budget. However, it is helpful for us to know your intended price range in order for us to 1) present options to you that will not exceed what you want to spend, and 2) offer alternatives if and when more expensive finishes catch your eye. There is a finish for every budget and we want to be sure to offer you that which is most cost-effective and right for your decorating needs. We treat every client the same, regardless of project size or complexity. We will never steer or direct you toward a finish that is not right for you and will be sure to let you know if your choices are optimal based on our understanding of your requirements. Our reputation has and continues to be established based on our impartiality to project size or type, and it is of utmost importance to us that your satisfaction be paramount and that you feel protected. After all, if your interests are not addressed and preserved and your experience is anything less than wonderful, we will not have lived up to our mission. In a service business there is nothing as valuable as a satisfied client.
Unless specifically indicated on the proposal, prices are complete, i.e. inclusive of everything, materials, labor, supplies, etc.
Do not be surprised, if when asked, we hesitate to give a sight-unseen estimate over the telephone. Over and above the reasons already given above, we want to avoid giving a false sense of cost that may be remembered and insisted upon as something we said and interpreted as promised. To avoid all indications of impropriety, only written estimates will be honored. Verbally communicated prices will always be backed up in writing.
However, in certain cases, we agree that giving you a sense of the scale of the cost is important in being able to qualify us to you as being within your budget, and you to us as serious inquirers to whom we will commit a significant amount of time in the sales and contract process. If asked for a “ballpark” estimate, if given we will provide a range of what you can expect without our having the benefit of seeing and knowing what we are addressing. Such an estimate will always be quoted as a range so that you can understand the effects that many factors can have. The range will denote what our experience shows, our perception of your requirements, and should generate considerable thought and questions by you.
A relatively tight and narrow range will indicate more limited options and state our acknowledgement of any constraints we have heard you indicate. Example: if asked for a ballpark estimate for textural finishes over existing raised panel kitchen cabinet doors, we know that only certain solutions may be applicable even before showing them to you.
A loose and broad range will indicate just the opposite – that we feel that too many questions are outstanding before we or you can feel comfortable in knowing how to address the project.
Our insistence on meeting with you should not be interpreted as a pushy sales tactic. As one might expect a plastic surgeon to insist on a face-to-face consultation, so do we, as the objective of your inquiry and our consultation process is to address your personal needs and those of a generic client.
This is a sticky question. While we would never limit your involvement, particularly if you are handy, talented, interested and have the time, the issue comes down to what role you can play that we can safely give up, and what repercussions to the project are possible.
We are all in favor of working with you to help achieve your goals. However the problem is what to do if we are dependent on you and the required work is either not completed as scheduled or not up to the prescribed quality that we need?
Assuming that the kinds of activities you would want to get involved with are those that require less experience and skill, we will be reliant on your results in order to guarantee ours. If your role would be to prep the surfaces, and we wind up having to redo some or all of the work you have completed if it does not satisfy our quality standards, it will not have made sense. If your role is to apply basecoat layers to certain surfaces and the amount of coverage or resultant brushstrokes are not even and smooth, and we have to repeat the process, again the exercise will have been futile.
Please understand that the quality of the finished product is extremely dependent on all steps leading up to it. We will not feel comfortable accepting prep work that we do not deem complete because we know that the end results will suffer. Even if you are ready and equipped to waive the requirements of minimally acceptable quality, our reputation is strongly staked to not only your satisfaction, but what others think of our work as well.
So, to close out a long-winded answer, “sharing” the work is not a recommended option. If you feel strongly about it however, please let us know so that we can discuss how best to accomplish what is needed.