Too many people, the bidding process is daunting, and usually people go about it all wrong. People have read to get 3 bids and choose the middle one. Sometimes that works, but most of the time it does not. The biggest challenge is that the three contractors are not necessarily bidding the same product, the same installation type, or even the same materials. Generally, people do not take the time required to do the homework on either the product’s, or the contractors bidding on the job. Understandably, people are busy with their everyday lives, and do not have the time today to go through that process. Many times, homeowners just compare the numbers, without really understanding the depth of the project.
I remember a time quoting on a roofing project. The property owner had 3 bids, one for wood shake, one for composition roofing, and one for lightweight tile. They liked the lowest cost one, the composition roofing. I asked if I could put on my consultation hat on and take off my sales hat and I helped them review the bids. Once I showed them that they were comparing apples to oranges to bananas, it was an eye opener. I explained that we should determine first, do they want an orange and apple or a banana? Once we solved that and they understood the differences, now they were in a better position to get quotes on ONE of the products.
But we had to take it a step further and understand the various types of contractors; the single guy in the truck (Chuck in the truck we call ‘em in the industry), the medium size company, or the big box or huge companies. Each one has their advantages…the important part is to understand the benefits of one over the other.
The biggest complaint with contractors, is a misunderstanding of the scope of the job, or miscommunication until it is too late.