Contractor Bids Driving You Crazy?

By: Allison Millar, Contributing Writer
In: Necessary home improvements
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“Get three estimates.” That’s a common mantra in the home improvement world. Problem is, nobody ever tells you what to do once you’ve gotten them. (Don’t say: Pick the lowest bid…wrong answer)

You’re supposed to get those estimates and then compare them, but what if you don’t know a thing about bathroom remodeling? Do you need to pay Contractor A for ripping out the old tub and buying a new one? Or, should you go with Contractor B who wants to keep your old tub? Do you want to keep your old tub?

Contractors and Estimates

The whole contractor bidding process can be tricky, but it’s important to figure it out so you can find the right contractor for you. Selecting the wrong contractor can lead to wasting those valuable remodeling dollars and eating away at your housing investment.

One big mistake people make is hiring the low bidder. Maybe Contractor A hasn’t included his fees for hauling away debris or painting the bathroom when he’s finished. Or, he is hiring unskilled workers. This is where the whole “apples to apples” thing comes in.

How Much Remodeling Cash?

There are sites you can go to for general remodeling cost estimates. Start there and get a ballpark idea. Then spend time with the contractors discussing what you want. When you get their bids, they should reflect your specific wants (new bathtub!) and needs (more storage space!). The goal is to get the most out of your remodeling investment.

Some contractors won’t talk money until they have spent time really discussing the project. This approach has some merit, because it helps create realistic expectations. Some contractors just toss out a number to get your business and then give you the “well…it doesn’t include” talk.

One important part of any bid is the cost breakdown. You should get details on where all your hard earned remodeling dollars are going. If the contractor won’t provide that, toss out that bid and move on to the next one.

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  1. One Response to “Contractor Bids Driving You Crazy?”

  2. Nov 3, 2009

    Your right. I’m a contractor myself and one thing that I hear a lot about is that a lot of contractors don’t like to give a cost breakdown of the job. It is very important to have a cost breakdown

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