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The Price is Right? (Contractor Negotiating)
Old 09-29-2017, 01:09 AM   #1
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The Price is Right? (Contractor Negotiating)

So I’m having our very typical 18x42 driveway asphalt replaced. Over the phone they give me an estimate of $2700, I say yes understanding they want to see the job for a final quote. However, there is nothing unusual about the job (size, slope, conditions, etc.) so I expect the estimate to be very close - right or wrong.

Another guy from the same company shows up last Sat unannounced, measures and tells me $3800 I tell him that’s much higher than I expected. He says he doesn’t know what I was quoted, so I say I wrote it down but don’t remember off hand. He says he can do it for $3500.

I talk with the first person again, and they agree to $3000. All the same old removal, compacted gravel and new asphalt same finished thickness.

It pays to negotiate, but it shouldn’t be that all over the map for a driveway IMO...
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Old 09-29-2017, 02:36 AM   #2
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We try to get 3 bids minimum, and never agree to the first two prices until we have all three bids. (Currently, I only have one bid on new gutters after contacting 4 places, but I will keep trying). We don't rely on a phone price-I ask them to look at the job first, unless it is only a couple of hundred dollars (gutter cleaning, etc).

You might try telling them that since their price changed so radically, you will now have to re-bid it with 2 more contractors.

We have rehabbed about 10 personal homes and a dozen+ 'flipped"/rental homes. This process seems to work for us.
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Old 09-29-2017, 02:38 AM   #3
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By the way, don't relax with the $3,000 bid until you have a signed contract....they could try more funny business!

Good luck!
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Old 09-29-2017, 04:39 AM   #4
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Watch the thickness of the asphalt as they are laying it down. My contractor quoted the job with 4" thickness. What I saw was less than 3" and I had to jump on them.
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Old 09-29-2017, 06:39 PM   #5
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How long do asphalt driveways last and what causes them to need replacement? We've re coated ours about 4 times in 18 yrs and it seems to be holding up well. One neighbor has never recoated and it shows signs of wear but looks like it could be refurbished without full replacement.
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Old 09-29-2017, 11:09 PM   #6
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Funny how contractors change the price.

I had a company tell me $32 to mow once per week, starting August. I agreed and they mowed all August.
They sent the bill $35 per week.
I phoned and told them I'm canceling (really it was because of the drought and DW telling me they don't need to mow).
I sent them the check with photocopy of the bill and did NOT mention the price difference.
They sent me another bill (same dates and invoice #) at $30 per week
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Old 09-30-2017, 04:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazz4cash View Post
How long do asphalt driveways last and what causes them to need replacement? We've re coated ours about 4 times in 18 yrs and it seems to be holding up well. One neighbor has never recoated and it shows signs of wear but looks like it could be refurbished without full replacement.
Our asphalt is 30 years old, we’ve had it sealcoated every two years. Though we don’t have to replace it, we’re having the concrete curb modified and the driveway is pretty worn.
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Old 09-30-2017, 04:54 AM   #8
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I have always found contractor selection to be an unpleasant chore. Compared to buying an item, it is so hard to be confident that you are getting a good product for a good price.
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Old 09-30-2017, 05:10 AM   #9
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"I have always found contractor selection to be an unpleasant chore. Compared to buying an item, it is so hard to be confident that you are getting a good product for a good price."

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