The other day someone asked us, “Are you guys cheap or expensive?”
That’s a loaded question for sure, but it deserves an honest answer, so we told him the truth: Our prices are realistic, not expensive.
In order to explain what that means, we have to draw some distinctions between our approach to business and the methods used by other contractors in and around the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.
First, we want to be really clear here. This article is not about slamming our competition, or implying that only NMC Exteriors & Remodeling will do a good job for you. Making that claim would insult your intelligence and damage our credibility – two things we have zero interest in. We know the longstanding contractors in Minneapolis-St. Paul and have nothing but respect for the work they do. Many of them are even friends of ours. Friendly competition is good and it’s alive and well here in Minnesota.
But construction is like any other industry – you’ll find the good and the bad and everything in between. For every contractor that does quality work for reasonable prices there are several others that give homeowners unrealistic expectations. These contractors may be skilled at construction, but terrible at managing their business, and the decisions they make can hurt themselves as well as their customers.
We’ve been in business for nearly 20 years and have learned a few things in that time. So we thought we’d share a few principles that influence our pricing.
To be successful, a contractor needs financial stability. One of the biggest reasons contractors go out of business is because they underbid projects. Like all industries, construction has an ebb and flow that requires planning and experience. You need to know how long a project will take and how many resources you need to do the job right. Some contractors underbid on projects and discover, much too late, that they underestimated the time and material needed to complete the project. They ultimately pay a high price for their mistake, and in turn, they ask their customer to share the burden.
We’ve seen this happen many times. Talented and hardworking contractors start up a business and then fail to achieve financial stability. If even one project goes way over budget, it’s hard for them to recover. Most of these companies go out of business within two or three years, which leads to our next point. If a contractor goes out of business, they can’t back up their work. We hear the same stories from homeowners all the time: They hired a contractor to do a job cheap, often paying them in advance, and got left with a half-finished job.
Remember, you should never pay in advance after you’ve put down a deposit. It’s customary for a contractor to require a deposit to put you on their calendar. After that, you should only pay for completed work.
What’s worse is that these contractors often sell the homeowner on 10-20 year warranty. And guess what happens when a problem pops up a couple years down the road? The contractor is nowhere to be found, most likely because they are out of business. It’s a cliché, but it’s true – you get what you pay for. If a contractor does not charge a fair rate for their work and the company goes belly up, their guarantees will mean nothing when you need them again.
Sadly, the construction business has its fair share of unqualified contractors. Starting a construction business is not like opening a restaurant, where the overhead requires a significant investment of time and money. In our industry someone can lease a truck, sign some paperwork, slap a sign on the truck door and presto! With less than $1,000 down, he or she is now a contractor.
These people often have minimal skills, no business plan, and little sense of responsibility to the customers. They work on the cheap though, and if you get one that knows what they are doing, count your lucky stars. Construction is filled with unqualified contractors who devalue the work and follow through with shoddy craftsmanship. Homeowners get burned as a result, making it that much harder for a respectable company to come in and fix the problem for a fair price.
In our business, integrity and credibility matter more than anything. Nothing is more important. We earn trust from our customers by always communicating with them and staying consistent with every quote and every project we do. Some contractors will find ways to beef up their estimates when they sense the customer has deep pockets. Not us. Material and labor costs are the same for every project – no matter if it’s a mansion on the lake or a little house on the prairie. We don’t shoot from the hip when it comes to prices. Every quote is extensively reviewed for accuracy, making sure the proposed price will get the job done right.
At NMC Exteriors & Remodeling, we believe that in order to be the best, we need to hire the best. We invest a great deal in our workers and we are constantly looking for more good people. We have skilled young guys in their 20’s working alongside middle-aged workers who know the work inside and out. When you hire us to do a job, you are hiring some of the best construction talent in Minnesota.
Here’s the bottom line: When we say our prices are realistic, we mean that. Honestly, it’s the most accurate answer we can give. We are not expensive, but we’re not cheap either. If you asked, we could name 10 contractors who charge less than we do and 10 contractors who charge more. When you get a quote from NMC Exteriors & Remodeling, it’s an assessment based on years of hard work and experience with projects similar to yours. You will get a price from a company that’s built its name on trust and credibility for nearly two decades.
And if you hire us, you are supporting a local business that takes care of itself as well as its customers and the communities it serves. We intend to be around for a long time, so we’ll be here when you need us.
Curious about the cost of your project? Call NMC Exteriors & Remodeling at 763-260-8537 today and schedule a free, no-obligation inspection and consultation or email our Office Manager at [email protected]
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