Why Our Minimum Charges are Fair

Every now and then a customer calls in and says ‘I have a quick job for you if you need a stocking-filler’. They may be a regular or a new client. However, from experience they are inevitably looking for a bargain.

Electricians and plumbers overcharge in the public’s mind which is generally unfair. That’s because the customer only sees what they do on site. They don’t allow for the initial visit to quote, calculate materials, create / email an estimate, and pick up material on the way to the job.


Customers Seldom Allow for the Cost of the Unexpected


Any siding or roofing repair job can strike snags after we start. The work might turn out to be more extensive, because a previous contractor botched the job. Furthermore, the root cause may require more than just siding or roofing material.

Small jobs can grow into larger ones  this way, and this can put us out of pocket. And potentially out of business if this continues. Therefore, we apply a minimum charge, because we are not a handyman service.

Moreover – and this really is the hub of the matter – it’s impractical to pack everything we might possibly need into the van. We can reschedule tasks on larger jobs where we find ourselves short of something, and bring it with us the next morning.

However, if this happens to us on a ‘quick job’ we may have to drop everything while we lay our hands on whatever is missing. This throws our time estimates into the wind. We risk losing money on a job after we quoted too low to be nice to the customer.


Therefore, We Have Implemented a Minimum Charge


There’s always a risk premium on smaller jobs. We have a low margin for error, and therefore less leeway for recovering from the unexpected. Moreover, sourcing materials can take 10% of the time on a large job. However, in the case of small ‘quick job’ this can become our most expensive input.

No service company can survive for long when they overcharge. It’s our policy to add a modest margin to a detailed bill of labour and materials, and then adjust upwards to our minimum rate if necesssary. Therefore, any service requiring the use of our gutter machine – or anything longer than an 8′ stepladder – is usually $250+GST.

We don’t believe in cutting corners at Valiant Exteriors. We believe in being honest and true in everything we do. As Benjamin Franklin once said “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”.

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