When you decide to undertake a construction project, be it new construction or a remodel, one of the first steps you will need to do is to talk with contractors so you can get bids. Easy, right? All you need to do is call up some contractors and have them come meet with you... or is it really that simple?
In order to get quality bids, the first step you need to take is to make sure you're talking with contractors who are suited for your type of project. Make sure you do some homework before you pick up the phone. Does the contractor have experience with projects like yours? Do they have photographs of completed projects? References? If you don't reach out to the right group of contractors, you run the risk of someone saying they can do the job when he or she may very well be out of their range of expertise.
Okay, so you have your group of contractors... The next step is preparing how you will review the project with each contractor. In order to get "apples to apples" bids, you'll want to make sure you're presenting the project in the same way to each person. For example, it can be a good idea to have an outline of the key points: project type, timeline, budget, preference on styles and/or materials, etc. Now, of course, contractors may ask clarifying questions while you're reviewing the details, so be sure to take note of these items. It will be helpful to provide all of the contractors a document with this additional information so you can get the best bids possible.
After you've met with each contractor and answered their questions, be patient. It isn't likely you will get a bid within a day or two. Chances are it might take a bit longer as your contractors will need time to communicate with their subcontractors and suppliers, and possibly engineers or architects, depending on your project. But do ask each contractor when you can expect to receive their bid...and hold them to it. This is one of the first tests to see how well they communicate and maintain expectations. A failure here can be a red flag.
Once you have the bids from the different contractors, what's next? Now it's the fun part... You should review each bid side-by-side to see if the details match your project outline, if the contractors are on the same page with approach, time, materials, etc. Any bids that are totally off from the others should probably be set aside for further evaluation. Those that are similar should also be grouped together. This is an important step in the bid selection process.
While it could be tempting to sort bids by price, that's a dangerous road. The low bid may be missing something and the high bid may have too much overhead or padding. A good rule of thumb is to narrow your selections from the group of like bids and focusing on those who are in the middle of the road in terms of price. Invite each contractor back for a second interview to review their bid. This second meeting will help clarify any items in the bid and help you to solidify which contractor you have a good rapport with. From there, you should be able to make your final selection.
At Fort Rock Construction, we're very rarely the highest bid and we're not often the lowest bid. We provide complete and realistic bids that often fall right in the middle. We ask lots of questions so we take into consideration both your preferences as well as those items that perhaps you had not yet considered. We walk through our bid with you, answering every question you have along the way, and we explore options if what we present needs adjustment. Our number one goal is to make sure the work we do for you exceeds expectations and that you're completely satisfied. And, we hope through the bid process we can earn your trust.
If you have an upcoming project and you would like a complete A-Z realistic bid, we hope you will give us a call at 541-767-1611. We provide general contractor and home remodeling services throughout Eugene, Springfield and the Willamette Valley.
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