That’s an easy question to answer. Yes. You do need multiple bids for a home improvement project. Making a decision based on one price point could end up costing you more money down the road.
Get three bids
When it comes to getting bids for home improvement projects, experts say you need three bids. That number should give you an appropriate range for what your project should cost.
However, there are caveats. If you’re doing a small, relatively project and the first two bids come in within a couple of hundred dollars of each other, you might not need a third. But if you’re undertaking a larger, more expensive project, it’s best to go with three bids.
Compare the bids
Look at the high, middle, and low bids. If you’re working with reputable builders, you should expect the estimates to be within the same ballpark, though there will be some variability.
Bids that come in 15 percent or more in either direction should be a red flag. If one is 15 percent lower than the other two, you may be sacrificing quality materials or warranty coverage. If it’s 15 percent higher, ask the contractor to explain what makes their bid so much higher.
If all the three bids are quite far apart in cost, get a fourth for comparison’s sake. But don’t get bogged down with so many bids that the process becomes cumbersome. That’s why three is the generally agreed-upon number to get.
Get competitive bids
Make sure you’re getting competitive bids. That means contractors are bidding on your project based on your exact plans and specifications. If they aren’t, you’ll be comparing apples and oranges.
For example, when getting estimates for a new deck’s construction, make sure the contractors’ bids are for the same materials. If one bid is for a deck made from standard lumber and another for a deck made from composite lumber, there will be a significant price difference.
Get to know the contractor
By getting bids, you have a chance to get to know contractors and assess their level of experience. You can ask questions about how they would approach your project and about their work style. Sometimes, this interaction is more important than the actual estimate. You may feel more comfortable with one builder’s approach over another, and that’s perfectly OK.
During your information gathering process, you should also find out if the contractor is:
- Licensed and insured
- Well regarded in your community
- Able to offer references
- Willing to show examples of their work
Get a complimentary quote
Diamond Hill Builders is the most well-respected home renovation contractor on the Seacoast. Whether you’re planning to add on to your house, renovate your kitchen, or just need some projects checked off your “honey-do” list, we’re happy to help. Contact us today for a complimentary quote and find out why we have so many satisfied customers.