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How to Get Great Value From Contractors

As a hard working professional who has taken care to develop your skill and knowledge over the years, when a potential client says to you, ”I need some “undefined” work completed by tomorrow, to the absolute highest standards, by the way, I want it for REALLY cheap.............We think to ourselves, though we are all too polite to say it, ”Pack Sand”.

Contractors aren’t too different. If you want great value from a contractor DO NOT call them up and say, “I need a bunch of work completed tomorrow and I don’t want to pay very much”. You probably won’t get a call back.

The clever way to get contractors to give you their best price is to remove every possible uncertainty, promise (and follow up with) with quick payment, and make it very easy for them to understand the scope of work and how to get you a proposal.

Use the verbiage outlined below when requesting proposals for construction services. In this case, I used painting. I use a word document and email it to contractors after having a brief conversation to make sure they are interested.

March 3, 2015


Location: 3XXX Portage Bay Place E

Seattle, WA 98102

Property Description. The property is on Portage Bay in Seattle, Washington. Located on the property is a house on land, and docks with a houseboat. A sewer main also runs through the property.

The following scope of work should be in included:

1) Paint entire main floor, including walls, ceilings, standing and running trim and doors and windows.

2) Doors, Windows and trim will be a different color than the walls.

3) Ceilings will all be one color.

4) Up to three colors will be used on the walls.

5) Protect floors and other surfaces not to be painted.

6) Remove and legally dispose of all materials used during the work.

Payment Terms: 20% Down/Balance on completion.

Please respond with:

1) Price

2) Date work can start

3) Date work can be completed

Look forward to hearing back.

Best Regards,

Toby Lumpkin


If you are looking to buy a home, sell a home or know someone who is and want to work with an extremely knowledgeable and dedicated Realtor, call me. 206.786.2035. I’m nearly always friendly……

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