at Southgate Steeplejacks are often asked if we charge for
estimates. In general, We do not
give estimates, because quick estimates often lead to a situation
in which unforeseen problems lead to unforeseen extra costs.
Estimating low and then planning to make money on the discovered
conditions once under way is a time honored technique that
we refer to as change order artistry. Since steeples
have no interior walls one can inspect them thoroughly enough
that there is no need for surprises. Therefore, we prefer to
do complete inspections accompanied by detailed proposals.
When first contacted by a church, we ask
that they fill out the questionnaire and
send us a picture of the steeple. It is
important for us to have a sense
of a congregations philosophy about their steeple before our initial visit.
When we visit the church, we do a visual examination from the ground, and a thorough
interior examination that includes hunting for rot with a small drill, and we
take numerous photographs and notes.
Then at the office, we write a detailed report describing the Existing Conditions.
This report contains concise, data rich text devoid of fluff, along with photographs
that illustrate the text. Every aspect of the steeple is covered. Then, we write
a list of recommendations that will rectify any problems identified. For all
this, we charge at the rate of $100 per hour. This report becomes the property
of the church, and may be used as a basis for the solicitation of bids if desired.
We then give the church my exact costs for performing the work described. These
numbers are confidential, and we ask that no church divulge them to any potential
competitor, any architect, or anyone else outside the church.
The cost of these Inspection/Reports
varies according to the scope of a
They might cost as little as $500, or as much as $2500. In general, they run
about $1200.Our policy is that if a church decides to hire us to perform the
work described, the cost of the Report comes off the top.