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But I'd hate to call people out for estimates before we are really committed to having it done.
This is where your thinking is wrong. First the only way to get a real price is to talk to people that may actually do the work.

Second, the work that the contractor is doing today he likely had scheduled months ago. The job he's doing today is maybe for someone that first contacted him a year ago (or more).

This time of year when the phone rings I'm praying that they don't want it done until fall or later.

You can't start the planning processes to early and how can you plan anything without real numbers to work with?
 

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Super Moderator
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If you are that busy do you still not mind coming out to look at a job, taking measurements, crunching numbers and all that when the customer might not even want to have the work done at all? I am trying to spare the contractor that trouble.
Taking measurements and crunching numbers is just part of the job. What you're describing (replace a post and paint a porch) is pretty straight forward and shouldn't require to much time for someone that does this stuff every day to give you a number.

I appreciate the fact that you do not want to potentially waste someones time.

The internet is a great tool to get answers now but that's not the case all of the time and your situation is one of them.

You said you read the sticky, it's there for a reason and that is to help you get pointed in the right direction.

I'll back off now...good luck with your project.
 
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