By: Doug Traver, MCR, CKBR – Traver Construction, Inc.
Conventional wisdom recommends that homeowners who are planning a remodeling project collect three or more bids. However, rather than collecting bids we strongly urge that you seek the best-qualified remodeling professional just like you do when selecting other professionals.
For many qualified contractors getting bids suggests that the homeowner is shopping only by price. That the homeowner is looking for the lowest cost rather than seeking out a relationship with a professional that is going to treat them with care, and respect that many consider to be one of their most valuable assets – their home. In many situations, collecting bids does not result in a clear picture and sometimes causes confusion.
Here is a great example: one contractor received a call from a prospective customer requesting a bid. After some general discussion about the work, the homeowner shared that he already had three bids – one for $100,000, one for $60,000 and one for $8,000. With such a vast difference in bids he was confused (his words) and thought that obtaining another bid would clear up the confusion. At that point, the contractor explained to the homeowner that each of the previous contractors was bidding on an idea rather than on a defined scope of work.
What if that homeowner picked the $60,000 contractor? Could the project be started immediately? Probably not, because the contractor and his new client still have to define the actual scope of work including everything that needs changed in the home and how the customer wants the completed project to improve the home and meet family needs. The real project cost will likely be different from the original bid. Therefore getting multiple bids did not answer any questions for the homeowner.
Developing a thorough, comprehensive and therefore qualified proposal takes time and knowledge. To identify the real cost of any remodeling project, the contractor needs to collect all necessary information. Included would be specifics of the desired project outcome, budget discussions and information for the customer’s home. Input from competent contractors, architects, designers, engineers, trades, suppliers and other services may also need to be included. This information is not only important to the contractor, but is necessary in order to get the proposal right for each customer.
Our goal as professional remodeling contractors, like other professionals you choose, is to provide you with a comprehensive and skilled service. Getting multiple bids for undefined remodeling projects does not achieve this goal. We highly recommend that homeowner thoroughly research any number of professional contractors, pick one that has earned their trust, and then work with them through the necessary processes to achieve a successful remodeling project that enhances their home and their day-to-day living!
You can visit Traver Construction’s website at http://www.traverconstruction.com/