We use an estimating software program to price most of our jobs. The prices in the software are determined by a third party company that surveys fair market prices of labor and material in each metropolitan are of the country. If you collect multiple estimates we will most likely be in the middle range. We try to price jobs just high enough to make the customer happy. Some contractors will price a job low to win business. Often times, in a scramble to salvage a profit, they will use inferior materials and/or incompetent, lower skilled/paid workers. In contrast, we use only warrantied materials and skilled workers. In addition, we are fully insured for your protection.
I like to have a brief conversation on the phone to get an idea of the project and make an appointment to come walk the job with the customer. We then discuss the scope of work and the time expectations. For smaller jobs, I will often give a price on the spot. However, for larger projects I prefer to go back to the office to write a detailed estimate while reviewing photos I've taken. I would then email the estimate to the customer or preferably make a return visit to go over the estimate to make sure nothing was missed. This also give the customer an opportunity to add items to the job which they forgot to mention previously.
I have on the job training in roofing beginning with one of the largest storm restoration companies in the country, $80 million in sales per year. Subsequently, I was trained in writing complete house fire and flood restoration estimates with Paul Davis Restoration. Paul Davis restoration is the second or third largest fire and flood restoration franchise in the world with over 1000 locations in the USA and Canada. Also, I have a B.A. from Indiana University, was once a custom home builder, REALTOR and held a Texas Insurance adjusters licence.