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> No developer of any worth will give you turn-key offer for a non-trivial project.

Yes, I'm actually saying exactly that in:

> [a good contractor will] not give you answers right away, especially deadline and price. I can take several (sometimes billable) hours up to several days with a customer to understand the project and assess this.

How do you persuade a good contractor to take the several days to assess the project if you seem like you want to avoid paying an hourly or daily rate?

I usually spend an hour or two for free with the client, unless I feel they are not serious about it. If I assess studing the project will take more time, I give them a flat rate for it. It's my job to assess how long it will take, then use my daily rate to give the total.

I always include an escape clause in the contract in case they forgot to mention something very important that change drastically the price.

I also never quote the entire project, only the first deliverables. Then roll incrementally from that.

Most contractors around me are well paid, it's not a big deal to not be accurate at the begining. We adjust on the way.

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