It's so competitive out there. I am a Long Island contractor and I be realized lately that clients give you an impression when you give them there costs that you are doing something wrong. I've been in this Busines about 20 years and that avg cost is right there. Also homeowners should also realize if us contractors are using subs for our plumbing and electrical our costs are hire than the guy doing all the work himself. I only used licensed contractors for all my remodeling work.
If someone was to come at us with their own additional contract, we would probably decide that we had given them enough of our time and move on. As Nick mentions below, the contractors reputation is the one on the line. They have every reason to do right by you. The crooks of the world generally don't have a reputation to stand on, and as a customer it is your job to research who you are hiring. If you can't find anything about them, they probably aren't who you want to be dealing with. If they ask for money upfront, they probably aren't running a stable outfit. We never take a penny upfront. We collect when the job is fully complete even when we are working on weeks long projects.
The remodel is needed due to water leakage from the tub surround into the wall cavity. I recommended she get an estimate of extra costs that cannot be foreseen until demolition occurs but would be entailed if the contractor has to do any structural work like putting in new studs and or has to install new insulation. I urged her to get at least an upper ceiling estimate before work begins lest the contractor make her an offer she can't refuse once the room is gutted. I urged her to be flexible on any adjustment to the estimate that can be made only after demolition begins. But I told her to insist that the rest of the estimate be binding. No surprises.
I have a new home plastic/fiberglass shower stall with a glass door and side panel. Two side are the plastic and it is probably 8' tall. I do not want to enlarge it at all. I want to just replace. It is like an inset that was there when we built the house. Not fancy. It is a white/cream color and I would just like something nicer to replace it. Anyone intrested in the Spring, Texas area.