IS LOWEST PRICE BEST VALUE?
Every industry has its sale points and reasons, whether it’s overstocked inventory on hand, a commitment to take on more inventory above existing levels, last year’s models or style close-outs, to fill empty seats during historically slow periods, or to just generate cash flow during slow periods- “to make payroll or keep the lights on.”
The construction and automobile industries share some serious similarities: Neither gets to post “all sales final.” Neither gets to sell a new product without some reasonably expected and deserving warranty. However, the automobile industry warranty and call backs are covered by the manufacturer. In construction, while there may be some manufacturer warranty assistance, call-backs normally fall on the contractor- starting from the top (“the guy YOU paid”) flowing downward to the subcontractor or contractor doing the work. Clearly, there are circumstances and situations to which the above is only partially correct.
But, the point is this: if the cost of bricks and sticks and labor is the same, or very closely the same, to all contractors, then the balance of the cost of a job to the consumer is comprised of the contractors’ overhead and profit. So the questions remain:
- If the contractor works for just cash flow, and makes little or no money on the job, what is the likelihood of them rushing back to correct a deficiency?
- If the contractor uses labor that is extremely less expensive, are they trained and supervised to complete the job to professional standards? And, will that contractor or sub-contractor remain in business and will they be responsible and responsive to your call back?
- If everyone along the line is encouraged to drastically reduce their prices to “get the job” will they line up to rush back to your job after making less money than normal, to make even less as there is absolutely a cost involved to them to do so?
Not every low price is a bad choice, and there are many contractors who will deliver quality workmanship and quality service. Utilizing a contractor you may know or may have a relationship with, may be of help. But, as always, make sure any proposals you receive are for the exact same scope of work, product, and quality level. And, know what’s not included.