The blog “Kathy’s remodeling blog” has a very informative article titled “Why competitive bidding doesn’t work”. If you are not sure of this, ask yourself if you would like to fly in a plane knowing the airline manufacturer who built it was the lowest bidder.
As Kathy’s blog explains, the contractors bidding will not have complete plans and so will not have complete information to bid on. An honest contractor will include everything he expects to encounter on the job, such as moldings, light sockets and etc. A shady contractor will not include them, and will have a low bid.
During construction these things will have to be added, and the costs will go up. So, what should you do to avoid this? Kathy’s blog suggests:
“So, what to do? I suggest you find an excellent contractor (whom you judge by face-to-face meetings, talking to staff, talking to references, visiting prior jobs, searching the Internet, considering awards and professional certifications), and an excellent architect or designer (judged by the same criteria), and put these two stellar individuals together to design your remodel. Find the great people first, then move forward as a team.”
Kathy’s blog lists additional resources and information on how to hire the best contractor for your job.
There is a humorous (and true) story highlighting why you should thoroughly check out the general contractor before hiring. (At Rose Construction, Inc. we work with the same subcontractors year after year, and know them well.)
From the Deseret News in Salt Lake City:
“Handyman steals pills, jewelry, then passes out in clients bedroom.” This fellow was hired to do some work on a woman’s house. When she arrived home at 7:30 pm, she found his truck still in her driveway. She called the police after finding things disturbed in the house. The police arrived to find the man passed out in her bedroom with some of her prescription medication scattered around him. They found some of her jewelry in his pockets.
I suspect the Darwin principle got this guy out of the business, but he might move somewhere else and inflict himself on another unsuspecting client. Don’t rely on the lowest bid to get a good contractor – do your homework and verify they are honest, reliable and have a good reputation in the area.