Getting Several Estimates
"Getting Several Estimates is always a good idea"
I don't know who originally said; "getting several estimates is always a good idea", but they are wrong.
If you need an electrician, a plumber, or an HVAC technician, you definately want to get several estimates.
These tradesmen will be working on and / or installing the exact same devices. These people have job performance rules and standards they are required to follow.
Other than having a business license, each one of these is properly trained in their field of work and carries certification that they are authorized to do their job, "proof" that they are experts and fully capable of working their trade.
Each electrical contractor, each plumbing contractor, and each heating / air-conditioning contractor has their own price, so it makes sense to get several estimates, because one of them has a better price than the other - even though they all are offering the same service.
...but what about a painter or drywall / painting contractor?
What about someone who cleans and seals fences and decks?
There is no certification. Anyone can start up a painting business or deck cleaning staining company, or go into the field of fixing drywall, or power washing houses - and they don't need anything other than registering their company name with the state.
This means that when you are getting several estimates to have your deck sealed, or your house painted, not only will the pricing be different, but now you need to figure out which ones are real, and which ones are just businesses out to make money.
Once upon a time, people didn't have to lock their doors.
Once upon a time, there were real painters and real painting contractors who advertised legitimate professional painting services and delivered professional results, either with their own experienced crew they trained and employed as staff, or they did it themselves.
There once were qualified craftsmen competing for painting projects, and it made sense when people who needed a painter (or deck sealing expert, or drywall master) to get three estimates - because people were comparing prices with three QUALIFIED professionals.
In today's world we lock our doors.
In today's world the REAL painting professionals are a dying breed because they are being under bid by the scammers who are just out to make a buck.
How can anyone compare the cost of the "real thing" with the cost of an imitation of the real thing, regardless if the price is higher, lower, or even the same?
In today's world; if you want a low price, it's out there, it's easy to find, and you WILL find it - and you can even find someone to beat your lowest price.
...but if you want a real professional, you need to shop for a real professional.
...and they are not easy to find.