Competitve Bids in Remodeling

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All our lives we’ve been told that you need to get at least 3 bids…or more in some cases!  But not all bids are created equal and not all jobs can be compared apples to apples!  Let me give you an example…

Recently I decided to find out how much it would be to get some elective “work” done…I sought out a doctor that had been recommended to me.  I met with him, listened to how he would perform my work and got his bid, proposal or whatever you’d like to call it.  I had no basis for how much my work would cost, but I knew that it was a lot of money!  However, more importantly, I didn’t feel comfortable with this doctor.  So…I went in search of another doctor.  I found one.  Went on my appointment.  His staff was more friendly from the first contact, however, when I met this doctor, the way he was going to do my work was completely different from the first doctor.  I felt better about this doctor, but still, something didn’t set right.  As I got in my car, I looked at his proposal for my work and wow!  I knew that this doctor would not be doing my work…he was even more money than the first doctor and this amount made me very uncomfortable.

I then went to the internet, which I hadn’t done before.  I researched my work.  Enough to know a little about what I wanted done, but not enough that I was suddenly thinking I was the expert.

I then researched doctors and started calling offices.  I found another doctor I was interested in meeting with…and from the first call I knew I had found the doctor I wanted to do my work.  When I met him I wasn’t disappointed.  Everything felt right.  He answered all my questions, my concerns from all the differences in ways that had been proposed to do the work to what I had read on the internet…everything.  Now…his proposal was in line with the first doctor, but I still couldn’t compare apples to apples.  Let me say that if everything hadn’t gone so well with this doctor, his staff and how “I felt”…I would have kept on looking…until everything came together for me…and yes folks, that means price at times too…if I really liked that second doctor, I would have paid his price, but remember, something didn’t set right.

When you are remodeling your home, it is similar to having “work” done!  Each medical doctor or home remodeler is going to look at your project differently.  Each one is going to have a different way of doing the “work”.  Each one is going to use different materials.  Each one has different staff that has different levels of experience.  When it comes down to it, do you feel comfortable with the first person you met with?  Do you like the proposal they gave you?  Do you like how they’ve explained what they’re going to do?  Are they pulling all the appropriate permits?  Are they using licensed people to do the work?  Do they have the appropriate license and insurance?  If you’re shaking your head NO or hesitating…then you need to find another person to look at doing your “work”…you haven’t found the right person.   If you’re really happy with that first person…then why are you looking?  Just because your mother, brother, father, lawyer, everyone SAYS you need to get 2, 3, 4 or however many bids?  No.  And believe me…it’s tiresome.  It’s a waste of time…unless you just really enjoy having strangers to your home trying to sell you all the time!

Do some homework up front.  When you call a company and they tell you that they want to talk to you about your project, talk to them…this way you can see how their customer service is on the phone, up front.  You can interview them as well…hopefully find out if they are a good fit for you as well and this way save your time and theirs.  Let’s face it…there really is no such thing as a free estimate, bid, or proposal…when we buy, we’re paying for all the FREE ones that they’ve done before we bought.

So the next time you think about getting more than one bid…realize that most of the time you’re comparing apples to oranges…

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Always check if you need permits and if they are properly licensed. There are so many heartbreaking stories about bad work done by the wrong people. It’s your property, give it the respect of hiring the most qualified people to work on it.

    1. curb01 says:

      Brian, great comment thank you. Many try to cut corners this way. In addition to licensing (appropriate for your state), ask for insurance as well. General liability and builders risk are must have’s here in Texas.

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