Friday, January 12, 2007

Deck Apples

What are Deck Apples?

How many times have we gone out to do an estimate and we have to bring up the phrase to our customers about comparing apples for apples? It seems like a common sense question, but a lot of people simply don't get what the phrase means?

A deck is a deck right? When you are giving it 1/3 extra foundation—it still looks like a deck, it’s just a deck that you could park your car on if you had to.

If you pre-dry and finish every single part in that deck and seal 6 sides… it still looks much like any other deck, it’s just much more expensive because it takes much longer to build.

If the deck is designed to suit the clientele and their needs and contains inspired details that have taken decades to develop it is my opinion that it is worth nearly double what a normal deck would be worth. It will age more gracefully, it will last longer and it will garner more praise from family and friends. It also takes much longer to install.

I would think more people would do more home work on their part before calling for a “Free Deck Estimate”, but it just isn’t so. It just seems like such a waste of time for a reputable fence and deck contractor to come out to give valuable expertise and time just for the chance to maybe get the job.

When “Joe Shmoe Custom Decks Contractor”, sells you a deck with no profit in the job he very likely won’t be in business a year from now to back any warranty. I guess that deck warranty really isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.

There are many reasons for the cheapest price to send up all kinds of red flags. If the contractor doesn’t know how to price a job-how can you be sure he knows how to build it? As a project manager I always threw out the low bid.

Just think about it this way would you rather pay 10.00 dollars for bushel of nice firm apples all the way through or take your chances on the 8.00 a bushel where the top is firm and the other two thirds are either punchy or half rotten? When it comes to clients I want to be able to provide good service—and that costs time, which I need to be paid for. For this reason I am rarely the low bid.

Salesmanship is about offering a service of value to the right people and helping them understand why our decks are a better value. A good deck salesman will teach the client how to identify quality construction and what exactly makes a deck great.

Mak ...

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