In this day of instant gratification, the construction estimating process may seem to be lagging behind. Since we do this every day, we thought we’d take a minute to explain the behind-the-scenes work that goes into every proposal we put together.
First, we don’t price our work by the square foot. Pricing that way assumes that every tile project is virtually the same; and they’re NOT. There is more time and labor involved with certain tiles, particular setting materials (for different kinds and sizes of tile), and specific features like accents, niches, benches, patterns, and shower floors. What we do is a craft, a skill, and often an art so pricing it like a cookie-cutter commodity wouldn’t make sense.
Second, we want to provide an accurate quote. We’re not tiling ‘ballparks’, and you can’t budget based on numbers thrown into the wind. So, we ask a lot of questions, get photos and measurements, often meet on site, and spend substantial time gathering information about your project.
We want to fully understand your design intent, so we have calculated the right quantities of each material, have discussed potential ‘gotcha’ areas, and know that your selections will work together to provide the finished installation you’re seeking. When there’s a design professional or contractor involved, we sometimes have to wait on them to get back to us with answers to clarification questions. And, if it’s a project that involves architectural drawings and specifications, then we often need to get answers through Requests for Information which we send to the contractor who, in turn, sends to the Architect or Designer. Just gathering all the information we need can take time.
We also want to provide the tile and labor for you so that we can warranty both and relieve you of the handling responsibilities. That means we’ll pursue good pricing on the product you’ve chosen, and sometimes we have to do some research to get that.
Third, we want to do your installation with the right method so it will be both long-lasting and beautiful. In order to determine the techniques, setting materials, and tools, we need specifics on the material to be installed (glass, porcelain, stone, mesh-mounted, paper-faced, large-format, etc.). We also need to know about the structure where the tile will be installed (concrete, wood, wet area, substrate, structural support, etc.) so that any needed preparatory work can be included. Tile doesn’t flex or bend, so we need to be sure that what we’re adhering to is appropriate to handle our materials.
Fourth, we’re blessed to be pretty busy. That means our repeat contractors are sending us a steady stream of projects to discuss and price; other people may also have called before you did. We want every one of our customers to get the attention they deserve, so we need to work our process thoroughly and steadily while being sensitive to contractor deadlines and ever-changing schedules.
There are certainly improvements we can make to our systems, software, and processes, and we are working diligently to provide the best information and service to all our customers. Doing so means we don’t provide cookie-cutter, ballpark, or instantaneous estimates. We do provide thorough, accurate, and honest pricing for our customers so that we’ll continue to be here for the long-haul. We appreciate you and hope that you contacted us because you wanted a quality tile installation! As we work together to get accurate details on the front-end, we are better able to ensure a complete and satisfactory experience for everyone involved.
Thanks so much for your patience and for choosing Neuse Tile Service for all these years!