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Cheapest Isn’t Always Best: Why You Shouldn’t Necessarily Choose the Lowest Bid

By Nava Brahe

The other day we talked about how choosing the right elements for a kitchen remodel doesn’t always mean choosing the most expensive items. The main goal is to choose the quality items that will work best for you – but not necessarily those with all the bells and whistles.

The same goes for choosing a contractor and other professionals that will help bring your remodeling project to life. While obtaining one or more bids for each part of the job is standard, you shouldn’t always assume that the lowest bidder is the best choice.

Here are some tips that will help you choose the right professionals for your job:

Check for High Standards

When interviewing a contractor or other remodeling professional, pay attention to how they communicate. Look for someone who has experience in your community and has a reputation for being skilled and knowledgeable. Make sure you’re both on the same page in terms of what your expectations are in both the design and financial portions of the job. Any misunderstandings or miscommunications might result in a less than positive outcome and could increase costs if there are mistakes that need to be fixed. Sometimes, accepting the lowest bid gets you more than you bargained for.

Do Not Accept Cost/Corner Cutting

A professional who continually looks for ways to scrimp on materials or workmanship is not someone you want to do business with. Make sure the people you hire are clear about the components you want to use, and the installation techniques that will ensure no surprises during or after the job is completed. No homeowner appreciates surprises that could have been avoided weeks or months removed from a major renovation.

Do Your Homework

Every reputable contractor and remodeling professional will be appropriately licensed, bonded and insured. That information should appear on things like business cards, estimates, and other paperwork that will change hands during a project. If you remain skeptical of a less expensive bid for an element of your project, research the company or person by checking online reviews, and with appropriate state agencies to ensure legitimacy.

Inquire About Subcontractors

As we all know, the demand for home renovations has been off the charts for the past year-and-a-half. To keep up with demand, many contractors partner with subcontractors to help get these jobs done on time and within budget. Make sure you pay attention to who is doing the work, and whether those subcontractors are being treated appropriately by the contractor overseeing the job. The same standards apply to subcontractors as those that apply to contractors.

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