Dealing With Large Differences In Construction Estimates

By Greg Vanden Berge

If you're a building contractor, subcontractor or any contractor in the construction business, this is one of our biggest problems.

How do you deal with large differences in construction estimates, especially if you're the homeowner or the one who is requiring the services that need to be made?As contractors, we have very little control over the final decision made by the homeowner.

But if you're contract, shows as much detail about the project as possible, you could find yourself in an advantageous position over the other contractors, who don't provide as much detail.

I'd like to give homeowners and contractors a little bit of advice here. Let's say that you got three bids and your first bid was for $10,000, your second bid was for $13,000 and your third bid was for $14,000. The $10,000 bid looks good, but there's a 40% difference, between the lowest bid and the highest bid. This creates a big problem for the homeowner or client that is requesting the services.

Whenever you run into a situation like this, I would recommend that you get another bid. The $13,000 bid and the $14,000 bid are close and I would imagine the next bid that you get on the project will be closer to these amounts.

Now let's say that the fourth bid comes in at $13,200. Now we're getting somewhere. You've got three bids that are competitive in pricing and you can choose from these three contractors and get rid of the $10,000 bid.

If you were to receive the fourth bid and it was closer to the $10,000 bid, for example let's say that the bid was at $11,000, you might want to get if you more bids and start spending some time examining the estimates, a little bit closer. If you're not comfortable, or you're not sure about the bids that you're receiving, you can always get additional bids, but never hire a contractor, that you're not entirely comfortable with.

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