6 Reasons Why Getting an Insulation Estimate Over the Phone is NOT a Good Idea
Wednesday, November 1st, 2017 by Joy Padgett
We live in a world where instant gratification is key, shopping online is the way to go and where doing business over the phone rather than in person seems to be gaining popularity. However, there are some things that just cannot be handled in such ways.
We get a lot of calls from people wanting us to give them an estimate for insulation over the phone. Why, ladies, that’s like asking a seamstress to make you a dress without giving her a pattern, a size, a fabric choice or any measurements! Imagine what you might get! You need a dress for a wedding, but get something more suited for a funeral. You’re a size 8 and the dress is a size 2. You wanted taffeta and you got burlap. It would leave you pulling your hair out! Oh the horror!!
Well, asking us for an estimate for insulation without giving us the opportunity to look at your job is likely to result in the same thing…disaster! Why? Isn’t knowing the square footage of my attic enough? Well, is knowing that I want a dress enough information for you to give me what I want? Nope!
Here are 6 reasons why we don’t like to give estimates over the phone.
1. Square footage estimates are usually wrong.
Face it, you probably don’t really know the square footage of your attic. You’re going off of a floor-plan or worse, the PVA (Property Valuation Administrator)….they really just guess at the square footage….I’m sure you knew that. If you have a multi-level attic, the square footage can be dramatically different from the footprint of your house. If you do know the square footage of your attic, keep reading.
2. Giving an estimate without looking at the job is malpractice.
If we give estimates over the phone, no matter how much we stress that it is a rough estimate, customers want to hold us to that number even after we have looked at the job and discovered any number of peculiarities. In an attempt to combat that, we try to think worst case scenario…which usually results in customers who nearly faint at the number we just threw out there. Listen, we don’t want to lose any job, but we also don’t want to be so disrespectful to our customers to assume we can give a solid estimate over the phone without so much as setting foot in your attic. Not to mention that fact that we want to make changes in your home that will make you more comfortable….which may mean insulation isn’t enough.
3. Customers don’t usually know how much insulation they need.
There’s more to installing insulation than you might think. What r-value are you wanting to achieve? How much insulation is already in your attic? In what condition is your current insulation? Has it been compromised? Is there any mold present in the attic or on the existing insulation? Have you had any critters or insect in your attic that have caused damage to your existing insulation? Did you know that, if you are experiencing certain issues, that insulation alone won’t fix them? Most of the people we have spoken to on the phone cannot answer all of these questions. But, the answers to all of these questions has a huge impact on what needs to be done.
4. Attic components can greatly affect pricing.
Insulation cannot simply be blown-in over old insulation in certain circumstances. For example, the presence of can lights (recessed lights) can mean that insulation cannot be blown into certain areas. Floored attics may require either a different method of installing the insulation or pulling up the flooring. Attics with chimneys running through them and/or with gas furnaces located in them can also require some special handling to keep homeowners safe. The ease of accessing all areas of your attic has to be taken into consideration when giving an estimate. Houses with roof trusses can make installation much more difficult as installers will have to squeeze through and climb over a virtual maze of 2 x 4’s and such. Multi-level attics add to the square footage and may require a second type of insulation be installed.
5. The insulation that would be best for the job might not be the one the customer asks for.
Right now, spray foam insulation is the hot ticket, but it isn’t the best for every job. It’s not the cure-all for your insulation issues. As a matter of fact, it could actually put you and your family in danger in certain circumstances. While we like to make money, and so do our employees, we don’t want to put you or your family in harm’s way. That’s not how we do business. We can determine what insulation is best for you if we actually come out and look at your project and speak with you. We find that many of our callers don’t realize there are multiple types of insulation products available in the first place. They definitely don’t know which one would be best in their own unique situation.
6. Giving an estimate without knowing the issues you may be experiencing in your home will cause your goals to remain unachieved.
Every caller we have spoken to is calling us because of something they are experiencing in their home. It could be rooms that are too hot in the summer. It could be floors that are too cold in the winter. It could be an awful draft they feel all the time. It could be temperature differences from one room to the next. It could be high utility bills. If we aren’t aware of the issues you’re having, and we simply give you an estimate over the phone for insulation, we probably aren’t going to actually fix your problem when we come out to install the insulation. We don’t want you calling us back after we have done what you asked only to tell us your house is still uncomfortable!
So you see, asking for an estimate over the phone is NOT a good idea at all. Neither is it a good idea for us to give you an estimate over the phone. We want to help make your home more comfortable for you. And, since we don’t charge for coming out to look at your project, you’ve got nothing to lose!