From Quote to Contract: What is Speed River Contracting's Process
The Speed River Contracting quoting process is split into 4 stages:
Whether it is by phone, email or in person, this is when we first make contact with our clients. We respond to any first contact within 1-2 business days to schedule a site visit.
The information we typically request consists of the client’s name and contact info, what the project is (bathroom, kitchen, addition, etc.), where the project is located and when the client is hoping to get the project started or completed.
Once we have that information, we schedule a site visit with one of our project managers by sending the client a calendar invite for the client to accept. The calendar invite will include the date, time and location of the quote appointment and any details we may have about the project.
At our site visit we will review the project with the client, noting the scope of work and any specifications the client provides. We will measure for materials, make a floorplan and take pictures of the existing space for quoting purposes.
Once we have visited the site we will begin compiling costs for materials, labour and subcontractor work. Expect the process to take 5-10 business days before you receive pricing.
In that period we will follow up with any questions we have or clarifications we will need in order to provide you the most accurate pricing possible.
For smaller projects, such as bathrooms, basements and other jobs of similar scope, we can provide firm pricing within the prescribed time frame.
For larger projects, like main floor renovations, kitchen renovations, additions, etc, we would provide some general pricing at this stage and continue to work on collecting information based on feedback from the client.
In many cases, larger projects require more consulting from designers, engineers or architects which extends the quoting period.
However, if all of this has been done beforehand by the client, it cuts down on the time required to provide a firm quote.
We use a software called Knowify to produce our quotes. It allows us to provide detailed quotes that itemize each individual subtask (Framing, demolition, electrical, etc), include a description of the scope of work, and assign a cost.
For example, with a bathroom renovation quote you would see something that looks like this:
Framing - $1.00
Description: Frame new shower enclosure. Back frame for shower niche and grab bar backing.
Electrical - $1.00
Description: Run plugs and receptacles to code. Supply and install 8 LED potlights on 1 dimmer switch. Supply and install bathroom fan on timer switch.
The Knowify software also allows us to integrate our contracts into the quote as well as change orders for work that is added or deleted before or during construction.
The client receives the contract and the quote simultaneously.
The contract outlines the responsibilities of the contractor and the client throughout the duration of the project. It itemizes what subtasks are and are not included in the scope of work of the project and lists all the subcontractors who will be working on the project (i.e. electrical contractor, plumbing contractor, mechanical contractor, etc.)
The reason we itemize all the contractors involved in the project is to establish who is part of our team and emphasize our long standing relationships with our partners.We use fixed cost contracts for the vast majority of our residential projects.
This means that the price quoted at the beginning of the project for the work to be done will be the price invoiced for at the end of the project with 2 exceptions:
1. There are changes made to add or delete work before or during. In this instance, we produce a change order that is part of the original contract. It’s important to note the adding or deleting work will affect your projects cost and timeline.
2. A site condition is found that was not quoted for or could not be anticipated and needs to be addressed to proceed with the project.
The contract will also itemize the payment structure for the project. Typical payment structure is as follows:
Deposit at signature of contract: This is typically 10% - 20% of the project depending on the scope of work. It is more a sign that we are committed to your project and the client is committed to hiring us for their project.
We only book a start date for the project into our calendar once a contract is signed AND deposit is conferred. All deposits are refundable.
Milestone payments: All other invoices are schedule based on task completion. This means, we only invoice for work that is completed. A typical project will include multiple invoices as progress allows. No progress means no payments. Therefore, delays have a detrimental effect to both the client and the contractor.
For payment method we accept cheque but we mainly use the Plooto payment service . It is an online, bank to bank service that replaces cheques with bank transfers. We do accept e-mail money transfers but only for invoices smaller than $3,000.
The email with the quote and the contract will include a link to view the document. There will be 3 buttons at the bottom of the contract as a call to action for the client:
Ask for revisions
Should a client request revisions, we can easily update the quote using the Knowify software and resend the updated quote and contract for approval.
Once a contract is accepted, we will send an invoice for the deposit amount and provide a tentative start date for the project. After deposit is received, we provide a firm start date that is inputted into the contract.
Prior to construction starting there are always details to be finalized leading up to the project getting underway.
Depending on the project, permit drawings and a building permit may have to be done. Time to have drawings done will vary depending on the project. Turnaround time for a building permit will depend on your municipality (City of Guelph is 10 business days for residential projects).
We will also use the time before the project to finalize any design choices like flooring, tiles, paint colours etc. Materials like windows and kitchen cabinets require more comprehensive measures and longer lead time for production so we use the time between the contract signing and construction start date to get this done.
At this time we supply the client a work schedule for the project and update the client on the schedule throughout the project as we work towards the finish line.
The week before construction begins, we will reach out the client to confirm the exact day we will be starting. Should we be delayed from another project it is rarely more than a week from the agreed upon start date, however, we do keep the client informed and try to anticipate our start dates further in advance when possible.
Should there be additions in work before or during the project they will only be executed upon acceptance of the changes in work and the cost. No one wants to pay for something they didn’t ask for and using written change orders and acceptance avoids any confusion on work that needed to be done.
To reiterate, adding or deleting work will impact a project’s cost and timeline.The only thing left once all of this is complete is to get started on the project and keep working until it’s done.
We hope this helps you understand more about our process at Speed River Contracting. If you want to learn more about us you can browse our blog topics, watch our YouTube channel or check out the SRC Toolbox Podcast on Apple Podcast or Google Podcast.
Or, you can reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org