Now that you have all your estimates in hand, and can do a comparison, look to see if the scope of work matches.
Is there a CCB# on the quote? You should automatically rule out anyone who is not licensed, bonded, and insured.
DO YOUR HOMEWORK ON THIS. It’s more important than you may realize, and for your own protection.
- Were they listening to you? Did they take good notes?
- Do the quotes represent the true scope of your project?
- Are the quotes detailed with line items or sections with a breakdown of the different elements of your project? Is it clear what’s included, or NOT included?
- Does is look like some thought went into it, or did they just throw out a number so they can move on to the next one?
- Do the quotes include allowances for yet to be determined items such as plumbing and electrical? If you don’t see allowances, you may get surprises later after you’ve started the project with that contractor and suddenly the lower bid is not so low any more.
- Do they include permits, inspections, processes for lead paint and asbestos when and where necessary according Oregon Law?
- Did they all use the same approach, materials, install and application methods? If not, what is different and why?
- If you have questions, are they easy to reach? Can you get them on the phone or get quick email responses?
- Are they capable of doing your project in a timely manner?
- Will they keep your space functional while remodeling since you are ARE still living there, and keep the daily disruptions to a minimum?
It may seem like a lot of effort and work to go through all these questions, but it can make a world of difference in HOW your project unfolds and what your end result is.
Ask for references and check how other people’s experiences were with the contractor you are considering. It’s important that you FEEL good about your choice. If it’s a lengthy project, you’ll be spending a lot time around them. They will be around you and your family daily until the project is complete.
BE AFRAID of the low bid!!! At bare minimum, question it!
We’ll talk more about PRICE in future posts.