Too many homeowners believe they need three bids for their project. They consider it due diligence. They’ve been told to get three bids by their architect, their banker, or their Facebook friends. The intent, of course, is to compare proposals so they can make the best decision. They don’t realize that the only thing they can compare is price. That’s a lousy way to make a major decision affecting their most valuable investment, and it’s also a waste of the contractor’s time.
Comparing three bids assumes they’re capable of reviewing multiple quotes for their job and picking the one that is the best deal. Does this work? No. Owners lack the knowledge to do a realistic comparison of one contractor’s proposal to the next.
All contractors are not the same, and no two contractors will build the same job. Some could cut corners and use wrong or cheap materials to save money. That means they’ll submit different proposals for the job all based on their perception of how the job will go together. It’s a waste of everyone’s time just to see three different figures that won’t even be comparable.
Those who choose their contractor based on the results of their three bids will be asking for a low quality job, whether they know it or not.
There’s also the contractor who plays the low bid game by deliberately underbidding the job so they can make it up with change orders later. “Oh, you want a better in (fill the blanc)_____________ that wall? That will be extra. The owner won’t see it coming, but they’ll pay a much higher price by the end of the job.
It makes sense for any owner to continue meeting with contractors until they find one they are comfortable with. It doesn’t make sense to ask every contractor to produce a firm, fixed price estimate for free. When owners understand what’s important when it comes to selecting a contractor, they’ll understand why.