Be Cautious Choosing the “Lowest Bidder”

Choose your contractor based on VALUE, not just price.

In the construction industry, it’s pretty common for homeowners to feel they should get three “bids” from their potential contractors and either choose the lowest bidder, or the one in the middle.

Here’s why you should be cautious when doing that.

COMPARING APPLES TO APPLES

Often, when homeowners are given proposals from different contractors, their eyes go straight to comparing the dollar signs. That’s understandable. If you’re not exposed to the construction industry every day, your curiosity is elevated in regards to how much your remodel or build is going to cost.

Proposals can vary greatly from builder to builder so it’s important that you read each one carefully and see which items are included and what exactly they are pricing. Ask questions as to the specific materials and finishes that will be used and if the price includes supplying both the labor and materials.

Material quality and selections can vary greatly so when you see estimates that are thousands of dollars off, look closer to ensure you’re comparing apples to apples.

Check out our other blog post to read about the SCOPE OF WORK and its importance.

DO YOUR DUE DILIGENCE

Although we have a design-build process where we don’t typically compete for projects solely on price, we do believe you should reach out to multiple contractors for your project. It’s important to find a builder that is a good fit for you because you will potentially be sharing your home with them for weeks, months, or even a year.

Being a fully licensed and insured contractor isn’t cheap. Make sure the ones working on your home have the right license required by the county or state and carry both General Liability insurance and Worker’s Compensation insurance.

Do your research, learn about their process and values, and see who will best suit your needs. Communication, trust, and professionalism are hard to put dollar signs to but weighing these characteristics will allow you to see the value in each proposal, and not just the final number.

QUALITY IS OFTEN PROPORTIONAL TO PRICE

More often than not, the price that a contractor charges is directly related to the quality and value they are able to deliver.

When a contractor competes to be the lowest price, they can sometimes be pressured to cut corners or sacrifice quality in order to still make money. This can lead to shoddy workmanship and minimal attention to detail. Hopefully, the consequences are only aesthetic and do not sacrifice structural integrity or increase safety concerns.

If you feel pressured to take the lowest bidder because you can’t afford the contractor you feel most comfortable with, consider doing the project at a later date, decreasing the scope of work involved, or doing the project in stages so you can reach your budget.

If you’re still reading this, you’re taking the right step toward being an educated consumer and will be able to get a better read on the contractors looking at your project so you can make the right choice the first time!

ABOUT THE SERIES

The TEKRA Homeowner education series consists of 1-3 minute videos, published on instagram, Facebook and Youtube aimed at simplifying the construction process so you can make more educated choices and feel more confident during your next project. A more in depth article of each topic can be found right here at tekrabuilders.com/blog.