You can always find someone to do the work cheaper!
by Mike Waller
Does this sound familiar? A contractor's bid seems too high. So you get another couple quotes,
and one is nearly half the first contractor's price. You can't believe the difference so you immediately
give the lowest priced contractor the work without doing any homework on this contractor's quality,
work ethic, integrity, etc.
He doesn't worry about a contract because "his word is his bond." He cashes your deposit check
and vanishes for a week to go on vacation. He's broke when he comes back and asks for more
money to start your project. Naturally, you're pretty upset, and you demand that he start your job.
He manages to scrape together enough money to start, but after the first week, he vanishes again,
never to return. (This really happened to my aunt and uncle in Michigan)
Following are several scenarios that happen time and time again (I hear a version of one of these at
least once a week) to customers who award the job based on price alone. I've actually had customers
tell me stories that involve each of these...
|The contractor does such lousy work that you are forced to fire him midway through the job.|
| The contractor leaves the job site a mess. It's not only an eyesore but it's unsafe and unhealthy. |
|The contractor does half the job and disappears. Repeatedly calling him does no good.|
|The contractor never even shows up to do the work.|
|The contractor's low-ball estimate did not include everything necessary to complete the work in |
|a quality manner.|
|The contractor's low-ball price costs more money in the end than a high-quality contractor |
|because he missed portion of the work during his initial bid and adds several "change orders." |
A quality contractor knows what he's doing and how to bid a job. Sure things will come up that
a contractor could not see or possibly know about until he got started, but your contract should
always include a contingency for just such an issue.
|The contractor takes your deposit check, cashes it, and you never see or hear from him again.|
|The contractor can price his work low because he doesn't have to worry about the added cost |
|of carrying necessary insurance. Should something happen while he's on your property, you |
just may be liable. Talk about big bucks!
Beware of taking a bid based soley on price. In the construction business you get what you pay
for, and low-ball pricing usually brings low-quality workmanship. You can always find a cheaper
price, but it's not worth it in the end.
|All photos/text copyright Mike Waller, WHI,LLC 2008-2015. All rights reserved.
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