One of our bigger project through this winter was remodeling the Dickinson County Library’s Circulation Desk. This was a project that we had won via the bidding process. Where multiple parties compete for a specific job. Usually the bidding process comes into play for large jobs.
Basically, the potential client asks several companies for bids, sometimes by taking out an ad in the newspaper, to find out who can get them the best work at the best price. The client generally has a plan drawn up by an architect so the companies are all looking at the same plan. The construction companies then call around to their suppliers and subcontractors for the prices at which they can work, itemize everything, and lay it all out for the client. The client (in this case the board for the Dickinson County Library) decides which bid they’re going with and contacts the contractor to begin.
Normally, the price determines the contractor the client chooses. Most people want the job done for the smallest amount possible. Sometimes this works out while other times it ends with unhappy clients. I’m assuming you’ve heard the saying “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is…” Same is the case in construction. The smallest price tag doesn’t always mean you’re getting the most of your money. Often times the low bid, especially if it comes in well under the others, may be using second rate products, they may be missing items, or worse cutting corners with your project.
DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH AND CHECK THE NUMBERS ON THE BIDS YOU GET. If one company says they can do electrical for $5,000 while the other can do it at $15,000 this should raise a red flag. Check the bid. Does that price include labor and materials? Is this the price to repair or to replace? Make sure you’re comparing apples to apples rather than to oranges.
Make sure that whichever company you go with they’ll be able to get you exactly what you’re looking for at a price you’re comfortable with.
Have you ever been involved in the bidding process? What was the outcome? Anything you would have done differently? Any advice for our readers?