Everyone wants to save money, but when you start by questioning material costs or markups it can indicate that you may be under budgeting for the project, or will question every choice the contractor makes in the hopes of saving $100. Time is money and when you have a customer who may cause interruptions because they want to buy something themselves to avoid "markup" it can cause major delays. Many times a customer ends up getting the wrong material anyway. This again slows down a contractor that may already be too busy.
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.
And then the apples to bananas procedure of reviewing non-like proposals is just as frustrating. Some bring everything. From the paint to the tile to the fixtures and cabinetry. Others point you in you’re own direction for each of these and expect you to know what questions to ask when buying never-before, behind the scenes purchases that are required for a bathroom remodel. And you’re expected to review the costs a la carte vs as a package and come to a whole conclusion as soon as possible ‘cause if you want the remodel done in 5 months, we have to start in 3 and we’re booked for the next 6...wait, what??!?!?