Saturday, June 04, 2005

Why do Soundproofing Contractors charge a consultation fee

I get this question from time to time, why do your soundproofing contractors charge a consultation fee and regular contrators don't? It's a valid question. Keep in mind that soundproofing and acoustical contractors are a very rare breed, there are generally 1 per every 4 to 5 Million people in most given areas. This fact in itself makes their time extremely valuable.
It's funny that nobody complains when a acoustical consultant charges anywhere from $1500 to $3000 for an acoustical consultation, and once they have assessed your situation and are able to give you a very detailed report as to what the problem is. The customer is generally inclined to ask, well what can I do to fix it? This is the point at which your $1500 to $3000 consultation ends. For the most part the majority of acoustical consulatants don't know where to begin when it comes to soundproofing a high end condo or townhome. So, what did you get for your $1500 to $3000? You got a detailed report telling you basically what you already knew. This is not always the case, but 9 out of 10 times it is.
On the other hand if a soundproofing contractor is forced to leave a job in progress to come over to you and give you an assessment of you problem, he will in essence be walking away from a $250 to $300 per hour paying job. If soundproofing contractors were a dime a dozen, then of course they would give free consultations, but they are not.
I am often amazed that people have no problem shelling out fees in the thousands for an acoustical consultant, yet they balk at paying $150 to $300 for someone specially trained to deal with your situation, and will actually get his hands dirty fixing the problem. The funny thing is most soundproofing contractors will rebate the consultation fee back to you if they get the job, so what are you out? Try to get a rebate from an acoustical consultant! Careful, you may lose an arm.
Here's my point, if you are serious about fixing a soundproofing problem then you should have no problem paying a consultation fee from a specialist in that field. Now if your acoustical consultant can glue that detailed report to your ceiling and stop the footfall noise from the neighbor above, then by all means shell out the $1500 to $3000 for his services.
The bottomline is simply this, a college education does not solve soundproofing issues, if it did, we would all be standing in the unemployment line. That's my perspective, what's yours?

Dr.Bob,
Technical director
Soundproofing America, Inc.
e-mail: dr.bob@soundproofingamerica.com
Call Toll free (877) 530-0139

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