Monday, July 17, 2006

"Aww... What's in the box???"

So, kudos to Brad Pitt for pushing "Green" design and construction of homes for New Orleans. He says in this clip that he's invested $100,000 "so far" in a design competition for an apartment building, and that's great.

It's easy to say green this, green that, but when you're building for people, it is SO hard to get them to invest their own money in the better (and almost always more expensive) materials/fixtures. I run up against it every day:


Me: "Do you want better insulation, more efficient heaters/coolers, resource-conserving flooring, low-VOC paint, Low-E windows and water-conserving plumbing fixtures?"

Them: "Yes, of course I want all that."

"OK, that will add 67 thousand dollars to your home, compared to earlier quotes based on standard materials."

"I will never speak to you again."


"OK, I included all the ecologically responsible upgrades we spoke about earlier. Here's the quote."

"This is much higher than other builders' quotes."

"I included everything we spoke about. Did the other builders?"

"I don't know, but they gave me a number that is smaller than yours."

"They probably didn't include those things we talked about. In fact, since you hadn't heard about those responsible items before we talked, I really doubt they did include them."

"They have a smaller number. I will never speak to you again."

But then they do call, a few months later, and they want to get going at the base-level price, but include all the upgrades-- nevermind that concrete, steel, and lumber have gone up in the meantime.

It happens a lot.

I wish I had Brad Pitt's phone number to give to my clients. Maybe he can give them some money for the costly but efficient packages. I would love to build more energy- and resource-efficient homes. I'm tired of losing jobs because I quote honestly. Brad Pitt can fix it all! Brad, I know you read my blog. Give me a call, buddy! Let's hook some people up!
Maybe we should move our business to New Orleans. Laissez les bon temps rouler!

1 comment:

Adam said...

Yeah, I get that too sometimes.

"What?! Stuff costs money?! You're crazy!"