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You Know You Got Screwed, Right?

Ok, I said it, You Got Screwed, but you actually did! I’m going to let you in on a little industry dirt here: many restoration contractors overcharge. I’m so amazed when I hear about or see invoices from competing restoration contractors. What surprises me even more is how many savvy and seasoned organizations still pay these outrageous prices and get mad after they pay the bills.  

Just yesterday a potential (and likely new) client shared with us a competitor’s invoice for a restoration project. The damage was nothing unusual, no problematic conditions and the contractor should have been in and out in three days.

Even if there were a few hot spots needing attention around the facility, the client should never have been charged eleven days of equipment rental. I’m not even going to get into the unnecessary labor and other charges on the invoice.

Typically, PBI bills for drying equipment no more than “3 DAYS”. If there is a situation where the building material is very dense or difficult to dry, power problems, voluminous spaces, etc, it may take longer. But that’s not the norm for the majority of our projects and after “3 DAYS”, we don’t charge additional fees for typical drying equipment.

Drying equipment rental charges can really add up on a project even if it is only for “3 Days”. Billing for double or more than triple that amount is flat-out screwing someone. Even if an insurance policy is covering the loss, there are deductibles involved and loss ratios that impact insurance premiums. Not to mention, it’s just wrong.

If you have a need for restoration services on a regular basis, plan ahead and shop before the need arises. Putting a proposal out to the market for bid is not that difficult, and PBI can even assist in that process.

I’m not referring to getting bids at 2:00 AM on a Saturday when five floors of a facility is crumbling around you. That’s not planning ahead. Screening for the best organizations with fair pricing and high quality of work takes a little effort. That effort will pay off when you do need to make that call at 2:00 AM, however.

If you do get stung on an inflated invoice, at least call your contractor and demand they justify the bill. There are situations where it just takes longer to mitigate, but ask for an explanation and details. You know the saying, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me”. 

Mike Popowski is President of PBI Restorations.  Reach him at