The Lowest Bid Always Looks Good, But Here’s What You Should Know
When it comes to a remodeling project – contractors often bid low to lock in the job. Once contracted, firms find additional costs, finish and fixture allowances, and other changes that ultimately result in the overall project costing the same or more than the original competitors.
Although low home remodeling bids are tempting, stay away! The lowest bid does not mean it is the highest quality bid. Ultimately, putting your remodeling project and wallet at risk for additional change orders and unforeseen costs. As you begin your search for the correct contractor, we offer a few suggestions to help you understand the problems behind low bids:
What Hides Behind that Low Bid?
When attracting customers with extremely low bids, there is something the contractors are hoping the client will overlook. This can include the absence of licenses – which can put your remodel at risk. Make sure you research the contracting firm or ask the independent contractor to show proof of licensing. A low bid can also suggest that the contractor is taking multiple jobs with low bids leaving little time for each project and ultimately, taking a longer period of time for completion.
This is a Business to Make Money
Experienced and professional remodeling contractors will be knowledgeable to the bidding and price ranges of their competitors. Meaning, if a contractor offers a bid that is 15% lower than the other contractors, they either do not fully understand the extent of your remodel or they are purposefully low balling the bid as a strategy to lock in the job and will later tack on additional costs. If one bid varies dramatically, they may chose to cut corners or neglect important areas of the remodel or construction.
When You Know It’s Too Good to Be True
If the bid seems too good to be true – it probably is. Look into the contractor or contracting firms previous clients and ask for references. Ask about their experiences with the contractor, how the overall project went, and if it was done in a timely matter. Experienced contractors will include all details of materials and work needed to provide you with the most accurate cost of your home remodeling project. If you are given a home remodeling bid without a consultation or walk-through, you should consider other contractors.
At the end of the day, do your research when choosing a home remodeling contractor. Many of us have heard the horror stories of fake contractors who operate without a license, take the deposit and leave, or spend an exasperating amount time to finish a project. Research the history and reviews of each contracting firm you are considering. Have the right questions prepared to ensure that you will be receiving a quality remodel in the time frame and price range you have in mind. Additionally, have all agreed upon terms written down in a contract to protect yourself from any issues that may arise in the future.