When it comes to your commercial or residential remodeling project, it can be tempting to go with the lowest bidder. It is especially tempting if their price is the only one within your original budget, but one thing you must remember is that just because it is the lowest cost, it does not mean it is the best value.
As you begin your search for a commercial or residential contractor, keep the following points in mind:
Some contractors will simply throw out a low bid as a negotiating strategy.
Contractors with integrity give you a thoroughly thought out estimate the first time and include specific details of all materials and work needed. If you are issued a bid without an explanation or on-site consultation, you should not only question it, but the skill and professionalism of your contractor as well.
Every contractor is in business to make money.
If you receive a contractor bid that is 15% or more below another bid – it simply isn’t the same job. Experienced contractors will, for the most part, agree on the best way to complete a job. If their prediction varies greatly, they may be cutting corners or neglecting important facts.
If a bid seems to be good to be true, it is.
It is easy to be fooled by the low quote and a “nice person”, but this isn’t usually the case. Call at least 10 references and ask about the end of the job cost versus the proposal.
Many contractors hide behind low prices.
Oftentimes, a low-bidder isn’t licensed and they are hoping if they offer a low price, you will overlook other shortcomings. An unlicensed contractor cheats the government and if they do that they will just as likely cheat you. Avoiding them is a smart move. Unfortunately for homeowners, if you hire someone who is not licensed, they have no recourse through state boards.
There have been countless local and national news stories about unscrupulous contractors disappearing with homeowner deposits, operating without a license, or never completing their work and in most situations the victims were blinded by a low bid.
If you are seriously considering hiring any contractor with a very attractive bid to complete your commercial or residential remodeling project, make sure to do your research beforehand. Ask questions and get all the answers in writing. A little legwork before you sign the contract could save you a great deal of time and effort down the line.