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Posted by Mike & Carolyn in Smithville, MO on 8/22/2008 1:13:16 PM

At least I'm having fun with it. I need to get the doors and trim on site so I called around for pricing from several of the local companies.  Again, several companies never called back, something that used to surprise me but I've learned is a norm. And and much as they complain about how slow it is, how much everything cost these day etc, etc, one would think they would not want to pass up any business.

After talking with several to get a feel for prices on doors I went with McCray who offered the lowest prices. Plus they include delivery and will do your take offs for you. But DO NOT rely on their figures, they are the ones selling you the stuff and of coarse they will round up.... way up!

So, I meet the salesman one site, kids in tow. It's fun to meet with them when the kids are there. I think it gives them more of the idea that I shouldn't be taken seriously or that I'm really not paying attention. Both of which are not he case. We met, talk about what I want. I decide on the bigger casing for the doors and windows and the larger base. Smaller base will be used in the kids play area. I would have loved to use the wood doors but at $300+ per door I had to opt for the hollow core painted doors in the Cheyenne style. Said to the salesman before I left "Make the quantities tight, I don't want you to have to do a pickup. And the door to the furnace room should be a flat faced door on the cheaper end".  The salesman said he'd have a trim carpenter he knew give me a call for a quote for installation. His friend called later that day. Said "they talked about what I needed and he could do it for .95 cents a square foot". Good God! He must do really good work! The highest I'd be quoted be for him was .75 cents a foot and the best is .60 cents.

The next day the McCray door/trim quote arrives. A quick scan down the list and I had to laugh. $22 for adhesive...why?  5 rosettes for the railing to the basement at $7.50 each. There's  $37 I can use some place else. 280 feet of base trim... in an 850 square foot space.  What does he think I'm doing with this stuff?  And the door to the furnace room...listed in the same decorative style at the same cost as the other doors...$88 does not equal "cheaper end" to me.

I call him to confirm that I got the fax and played the ‘stupid’ card just for fun.
”Could you walk me through this list so I understand each line item before we order?”  I thanked him and said I’d review it in more detail before ordering. About 30 minutes later I called back to revised the numbers for the trim quantities; I think he picked up that I was paying attention when the order went down by $400 (that’s 20% my ‘small’ order.) I reduced the tall base from 280LF to 175LF, actually increased the small base, letting him know the increase is to cover the closets, panty and laundry closet. (There is no need to put the taller decorative base in those rooms; it's more than twice the price!)  Decreased the number of door shims (we only have 8 doors), increasing the amount of base shoe by 3 times. We have all hardwood floors, a point I guess he missed. Decreased by 1/2 the quality of window trim and casing and knocked off the 'junk' we didn't need. Don’t rely on the fact that ‘they will take it back’ as an excuse to be lazy. Why order it if it’s not needed and risk it disappearing, getting broken or walked on…then they ‘can’t take it back’.

Point is...it's your money and when acting as your own general it's YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to make the orders right.

Oh, and that door that I wanted to be on the cheaper end. The last quote sent went from $88 to $219. I did change it to require a threshold but it's now quoted as a steel door, not what I asked for or need. I'm getting another quote from a different company today and am confident that it will be lower. I’ll give the first guy the opportunity to beat it.


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