A division of SEA Construction, Inc.

"Need a Siding Estimate ...just give me a ballpark!"

Posted by Petalyn Swartalbert

Jun 21, 2012


The problem with ball-park projections

We get this a lot for both exterior siding and remodeling projects. What folks are really asking is, "How can I figure out what I need to spend without disclosing my budget?" It's an I don't want to show you mine till you show me yours hide-and-seek situation.

Here's the brain-twister about ballpark estimates: What sustaining information does one gain from a ballpark estimate when an estimate, like an actual ballpark, is 360˚ and bursting with variables?

Using the ballpark metaphor, it's a given that you need to know your talent, your resources and your goal. You've got to have a strategy and a realistic assessment of what you're up against in terms of the ballpark, environment, the challenges/obstacles, and ultimately your long view -confidence in your decision.

Unless you're OK gambling with your money or the final outcome, then the 5 answers you need to drill for are: Define your ballpark:

1. What critical need (or burning desire) will my completed project satisfy? Give your project a personalvalue. How will it improve your practical and or emotional -life day to day, short term, long term? Amortize that over the number of years you plan to remain in your home.

2. On a scale from 1-10, how critical/urgent is the need; how burning is the desire? (1= not important at all. 10 = your therapist will have more free time and less money to spend on frappuccino’s).

What are you up against -environment:

3. Will my budget cover it? Do I actually know what it costs for builders and installers to do business in my area or am I working from values my parents used or that are still in effect in another part of the country or State? What is a realistic cost to value for my project? What are the constants, where can I claim some wiggle room? Who really knows that information, who is unbiased either way? How will I know when not to insult an honest contractor and when to tell another to go fly a kite?

What are your challenges/obstacles:

4. What will it take to do it? (how much practical knowledge, money, and time in personal management, coordination, qualifying the talent, checking insurance and liability, corrections, communication, delays, permits etc. etc. etc.)

5. If my budget just wont cover what I want to do but my need is 7.5 - 10 then is there another high-quality approach to satisfying the critical reason for undertaking the project in the first place? (See #1.)

Confidence over fear!

We understand this isn't rocket science, but it is a more informative approach, and will actually land you where you need to be in that wide open playing field. Spend some time getting really clear about the answers to these5 questions and you will have a solid assessment of your actual situation, your need and the a very realistic grasp of what it will take to get it done. Legitimate professionals recognize and respect this immediately, which tends to win big extra efforts and service in helping you to meet your goals. 

Besides, throughout a deliberate process of mining for your own answers, is a right of passage out of the amature's fear of disclosing budgets and knowing who to trust in your residential area.

No more cloak and dagger strategies that raise your suspicions about everything, not to mention your heart rate. You've got real information and common sense on your side and from there, you WILL spot the best talent for your winning team.

Happy first day of Summer. Stay cool!



We really do love hearing from you. Leave us a comment at the bottom of this post. We'll be so thrilled that we'll even answer. 

Steven and Petalyn Albert

S.E.A. & Peninsula Siding

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