Lots of more really good points here.
To explain why we have to pay for an estimate is that it is a fema flood map requirement for a detailed estimate to ensure that you are not going over 1/2 the cost of the house or then you have to raise the house and do mitigation yadda yadda. It has nothing to do with insurance etc but a requirement for the county.
I would never expect to not have to pay for one of these for the level of detail that the government requires. Time is money and my time is not free and neither should yours be, especially for this type of estimate. We are talking a whole house rebuild here. If it were for a replacing a light fixture then I might balk. I just can't keep paying for them.
As for the materials, I know that people don't like like homeowner to provide them and and I understand why, I've heard and read the horror stories. When it comes to fixures and plumbing etc I am more than happy to go the allowance route or use their suppliers and not box stores. What I am absolutely NOT going to do is pay 22 dollars for a 4x12 board of everyday sheetrock that I can get from the same supplier that they use, for 9.50
There can never be a justification for that kind of markup on this type of material. I used the sheetrock as an example. The markup on the insulation is even worse, same supplier same delivery fees (free).
I understand that there is a markup, you have to order it, or hold it in inventory etc, or, in some cases go get it, but it should be reasonable.
If you have to drive to Canada to get something then - yup I would understand that kind of mark up just for the pita factor (and yes I would expect to pay for your time and gas etc) but not on items that are available to be delivered next day from the same place you get them, that are general everyday construction items.
Let me propose this, If you had to get a base model car delivered would you pay someone double what the car costs from the chevy dealer? I think you would not, for me it is similar. If I am totally missing something here then please educate me (but use small words lol)
With respects to proffit, I would never want a breakdown between labour or profit, I'm not going to tell you how much I make a year why should you tell me? I understand that quality costs money and have no issue paying for it.
In getting the estimates that we had to that included materials allowed me to see some of this stuff. And I really wanted to understand this.
As for the no shows, suddenly I have contractors coming out of the woodwork so some forward movement there.
Again thanks for all your responses and thanks for keeping it civil.