Often we are asked this question in the very early stages of a conversation about a project. This tells us is the client believes that all shade solutions are the same and therefore the cheapest rate is going to deliver the best deal.
The key here is the nature of the product – it is custom or bespoke by definition and therefore the probability of 2 companies offering EXACTLY the same solution to a design problem is effectively zero. The only way this can occur is for the specification to be spelled out in fine detail and to have multiple suppliers tender against this strict specification. Even under these circumstances there will inevitably be many items not specified and variations can and will occur – even down to the number of stitches used per inch.
This is not unlike building a custom home. The normal practice is to determine which builder you want to work with to design and build your home. Your choice is based on examples of the their work accounting for reputation, quality and style, and the budget range you have available to work with. Once you have chosen a builder you then work with them to design your custom home (or fabric structure) within the limits of your budget.
While it is easy to shop around for a cheap price, deciding to purchase any custom architectural structure based on price alone is effectively saying you are unconcerned about:
- How it looks
- How well it is put together
- The quality of the materials used
- How long it will last
- What it will cost to maintain
We recommend that you visit structures designed and built by your prospective builder – not just show rooms and photo galleries. The true test of quality is the client that is still happy after several years with the product. This tells you the product has been well designed, engineered and fabricated from quality materials. A short visit to some of our other articles will show you what happens to poorly designed and/or fabricated structures after a short period of time. This leads o the real question about price – “what is the total cost of ownership of this structure” and will the supplier be around to provide support.