Fuel and Service Recovery Fee for In-Person Estimates

Dawn SmithNews & Updates

Free online vs In person Estimate

We sincerely regret this change in our company policy; however, as of May 2022, all in-person estimates will require a fuel and service recovery fee. Below, we hope our customers understand the policy change.

Company Policy Explanation

“Annual inflation rate in the US likely accelerated to 3.3% in July 2023 from 3% in June, marking a halt in the 12 consecutive months of declines, due to base effects. A year earlier, inflation had started to decelerate from its peak of 9.1% in June 2022, which was the highest in over 40 years.” Quoted on 8/10/2023 under News Stream titled US Inflation Rate Rising in July Sited on 8/28/2023 from Trading Economics United States Inflation Rate

When gas prices were lower ($2-$3/g), it was an affordable company expense to schedule free in-person estimates within a 2-hour radius. The ROI/estimates for realtors and customers were averaged out at 1 out of 10. Then, the cost was minimal when compared to the reward. Many companies in the service industry charge a minimum service fee for inspecting a furnace (or appliance, or plumbing, or etc.) before fixing the item. Even with the wear and tear on the company vehicles, Log Masters Restorations absorbed this as the cost of doing business.  

U.S.A. Inflation at Record High

However, since spring 2022, prices have increased significantly in all sectors of life. With the rising inflation affecting the cost of doing business on all products (mainly gas and wages), we have had to reevaluate that practice. The decision was made to charge a fuel and service recovery fee as good business for several reasons:

  • The government is putting more pressure on companies to rise to the occasion regarding their policies and expectations of business owners as employers.
  • We have always been an environmentally friendly company; fewer in-person estimates mean less overall company emissions/footprint on the environment. 
  • Safety of customers and employees.
  • Reduce in-person contact during these rising health concerns, minimizing the need for contact tracing for new deadly viruses/illnesses.
  • Benefits for our customers would reduce overhead costs so we could pass on the savings to clients who contract our services. 
  • Service inspections are typically at the cost of the homeowner for most service companies. 
  • We continue to offer free online estimates. 
  • Fuel and service recovery fee is applied to the down payment of the overall restoration upon acceptance of the agreed contract. It is contingent on the contract being paid in full on completion.
  • Consumers will understand this practice under the current economic climate and social awareness. 

To get your free online estimate, read “Checklist for Free Online Estimate“.

Lowering Gas Prices

Although the gas prices are somewhat lower than the $5+/gallon we were paying at the beginning of summer, we will continue to charge a fuel and service recovery fee for in-person estimates. We know it is inconvenient. However, it has become a new practice for many other professionals in our industry. Some won’t even take a client outside of an hour’s drive. This is to give the employees a better work and home life. It also reduces the company’s and customer’s restoration costs. If you are interested in the prices of restorations, read our article “What We Consider in a Log Home Restoration Estimate!

Free online vs In person Estimate

An Hour Away

We continue to take clients outside of an hour from our business locations. The cost is the fee.  Nevertheless, we knew this would be a “turn-off” for potential clients. Unfortunately, it was a necessary decision for the business’s continued success. 


There are a lot of cabins and a lot of good cabin restoration companies to choose from. Most, like us, are a year or more out for schedules. So don’t be too shocked if they tell you it’s a two-year wait. Several factors contribute to this higher demand in our industry. More than you want to hear after reading all this. Those who own a small business that relies on employees know the struggle. To understand, learn more…

Who Should Pay for the Estimate?

We try to be fair, even if this does not feel fair. Fuel prices and house requirements (size and accessibility) are a few things that dictate the price for an estimate. To learn more about these factors, click here. Due to these factors vary by customer, costs are figured on a case-by-case basis. However, if we have anyone in your area doing a restoration, we could complete the estimate at no additional cost to you. Unfortunately, if we don’t, the price for the assessment in person will be at the customer’s expense.

Please accept our apologies for not meeting your expectations if this offended you.

Checklist for Free Online Estimate

Log Home Look to Fit Your Budget

Our Franchise Dream!!!