In JLC's sister publication, Remodeling, replacement-industry guru, Jim Cory, describes how sales savvy remodelers are using Remodeling’s Cost vs. Value Report to avert the sticker shock that can sometimes hit homeowners who are unfamiliar with renovation costs.

Most clients want you to give them a ballpark price, and you have good reasons not to do that: Every job is a custom job because every building has its own unique set of conditions and (on kitchens/baths/additions) a universe of products to choose from. Ballpark numbers are generally to be avoided (except, perhaps for some standard installations, if you approach it rationally; see "Accurate Ballpark Budgeting," Apr/15).

The Cost vs. Value report provides clients with what they crave, but presents it in terms of value. Cost makes little or no sense until prospects understand the value that’s going to be delivered. In cases where multiple contractors are bidding on the same job, for instance, a company might low-ball the price by failing to include key costs. The Cost vs. Value price, prefaced by a scope of work that includes contractor overhead and profit, allows customers to begin getting used to a realistic price with all the necessary mark-ups.   Read more.