The Many Risks You Face if You Hire the Low Bidder
Dedicated to Providing Peace of Mind on Every Project
Choosing the Lowest Bidder Looks Like a Smart, Money Saving Move…
But It Rarely Works Out
If someone bids 10% or more below another bid, here is one thing you can count on: they aren’t using the same installation methods or they aren’t using the same quality materials.
All home remodeling contractors are in business to make money and if you accept an unusually low bid, you will either end up with quality issues or paying more in the end than the original quote.
Either way you end up losing.
The information on this page is provided to help homeowners avoid hiring a contractor that will frustrate you with poor quality or leave you with a half-finished project.
Before You Sign Any Proposal, Consider These Points Carefully
It can be really tempting to hire the lowest bidder on a home remodeling project because the “savings” will look huge. It will be even harder if the lowest bidder is the only one that fits in your budget.
- There are some “nice folks” that give you a bid that “is really great”. If a bid seems a bit too good to be true, it probably is. To avoid getting fooled, ask for 10 references for similar projects and call each one. Be sure to ask each reference if the final price was the same as the proposal price. You can also learn more on our References page.
- Some contractors will give you a low bid to hook you. They fully expect to negotiate a higher price after you have told the other bidders that you made your choice. Ethical contractors will give you their best price first and they will clearly spell out all of the details on materials and installation methods.
- Big ticket items like kitchen cabinets have a wide range of price and quality lines to choose from. This makes it easy for the low bidder. They can offer a “private label” cabinet that looks good on the outside but is poorly constructed on the inside. This allows them to price the cabinets at a much higher price than they are worth and pocket the profits. Windows and HVAC are 2 other materials that have wide ranges of quality and price and it is easy to get fooled by the unscrupulous contractor.
Quality Issues that are Typical When You Hire the Lowest Bidder
Windows – Bargain windows (10 windows for $1,000.00 etc,) are no bargain. They will cost a lot more in energy in the long run than the up-front “savings”. Well-made windows are custom manufactured to fit each opening. This ensures the proper sealing of the opening. The bottom line is this – bargain windows will make your house cold in the winter and hot in the summer and will cost you far more in utility bills. This is one area every low bidder will use to take advantage of you.
We have several sources of quality windows at different price ranges. Our installer has over 20 years of experience measuring and installing windows for a tight fit. At one time, he owned and operated a window and door company in the DFW area.
Framing – Walls have to be plumb or they will cause endless problems with the drywall, moldings, casements and other trim work.
This will also cause the cabinets and trim work not to be flush with wall or ceiling. The gaps will be almost impossible to fill and it will just look awful.
Our primary framer has over 20 years of experience with additions and stand-alone buildings. He is conscientious and meticulous with every detail.
Sheetrock and Drywall – You’ve probably noticed these in other homes – nail pops, seams that show and uneven texture. These issues will begin to show up a couple of months after the job and after you have paid your final bill. Most of these are almost impossible to fix without starting over. Don’t allow your contractor to use sheetrock from China (they will try to do that to save money) because it can have some very serious health consequences (you can Google this too.)
We use quality sheetrock and technicians, not because they are the cheapest, but because they will give you the best results.
Paint – Painting is only as good as the prep work. If the surface prep work is not done properly, you will end up with uneven seams and lines from the rolling brush. If cheap paint is used, you have no wash-ability – paint comes off and you’re looking at drywall mud… trim work that is sloppy looks even worse when it is painted.
We have carefully screened our painters, assuring their attention to detail and quality of work. Texture is perfectly matched, even for a repair “patch”. All exterior jobs are examined for rotten wood which is replaced, rather than painted over…High-quality paint will look beautiful and last for years. The painters caulk all wood trim (base, crown, trim) for a straight line and meticulous result.
Cabinetry – There is a wide range of choices in cabinetry. You can spend $10,000 to $50,000 on cabinets for the same kitchen. Spending more isn’t always the answer but spending a lot less rarely provides cabinets that look good and will last. Drawers that come apart, loose hinges, shelves that warp, and poor finishes are just some of the issues with lower quality cabinets. Inexperienced remodelers don’t have the skills to get the measurements right and that can lead to significant modifications on site. It can even mean replacement cabinets need to be ordered and that can delay your project for many weeks.
We work with over 5 lines of furniture-finish cabinetry in many wood species and door styles and various price points within the lines. Our cabinet designer provides three-dimensional plans so you can see the results for your room.
Granite, Marble and Solid Surface – This can be a big investment and if it isn’t done right you will feel like you made a mistake. If the template isn’t prepared correctly, it simply won’t fit properly. It will have uneven seams, and if the sub decking shifts – the seams will get bigger and filling them in only makes it look worse.
We have worked with the same fabricators for years and the jobs go smoothly with beautiful results.
Plumbing – Cheap plumbing components, especially the ones behind the walls can begin to leak and cause long term damage to floors, walls and ceilings. Leaks can create mold issues and mold is very expensive to remediate and can lead to insurability issues.
As a designer, Kathi works directly with our clients, helping them choose quality plumbing at various price points to fit every budget.
Electrical – This is one place where you want to make sure you have a licensed and experienced electrician do the work. I am going to recommend that you do a YouTube search on “bad electrical jobs”. The videos you will find are unbelievable. This is an area where saving money can have disastrous consequences.
We only use licensed electricians.
HVAC – This is another area where the unsuspecting homeowner can be taken. It can appear to be cheaper up front but with the cost of energy heading ever higher it is much more expensive in the long run because the energy efficiency (SEER) rating will have a direct impact on your monthly utility bill. If your system is inadequate or unbalanced you will have an increase in utility costs. Uneven airflow distribution means the home won’t heat/cool well in all rooms.
This is another area that virtually every low bidder will use to take advantage of the unsuspecting homeowner.
Our HVAC contractor has been in business in DFW for over 25 years. They have an excellent reputation with trained licensed technicians and fair pricing.
If you are ready to tackle a remodeling project to update your kitchen, add on a master bedroom, transform your bathrooms or you simply want to improve the layout of your home, we can make your dream a reality.
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