Why are remodel project bids so different?

remodel bid price differencesSo, you are planning your next remodel project for your Indianapolis area home. You have done your homework on possible contractors and obtained a few bids. Each remodel contractor has bid on the same basic project. But, one bid is significantly higher in price than the other. Why?

As a veteran Indianapolis remodel contractor, this is a question we receive quite regularly.  We recognize it is human nature to gravitate to the lower price. Some clients will immediately withdraw the higher bidder from consideration, while others will provide us an opportunity to explain.

When given the chance, we are typically able to provide a satisfactory answer the the question.  Usually, the explanation starts by comparing apples to apples and not apples to oranges. But besides differences in specifications, the biggest difference is in the structure of the business.

A remodel firm that has been in business for a long time has done so for many reasons.  They are known for excellent work, have long-time employees and most importantly, they know how to price projects appropriately.  The cost of your remodel project not only involves labor and materials, but also includes overhead and, if the contractor has done their job well…..profit! Yes, it is a business. The businesses who have lasted, especially through the economy of the past few years, are still around for a reason.

In comparison, a one-man-show, or a weekend carpenter does not have comparable overhead. Insurance costs are also much lower for one than a company with multiple employees. By the way, all the contractors you are talking to have verified insurance right? Not to mention, overhead of office expenses. Most reputable, long-lasting contractors have actual offices. Most, if not all one-man-show remodelers work out of their homes or their trucks.

The point is when it comes to investing a large amount of money in your next project, the extra cost involved in hiring a credible contractor is justified.  These firms have office phone numbers that get answered, they have a business address with a physical location, and they have appropriate insurance to protect you as well as them.  Another important point to note is IF something goes wrong, if issues crop up over time, is your contractor going to be around to fix it? Will they accept responsibility for defects in product or labor? And, if so, will they have the funds necessary to make the situation right?

I am reminded by a quote by John Ruskin:

“It is unwise to pay too much, but it is unwise to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money; that is all. When you pay too little you sometimes lose everything.”

Need help in choosing your next contractor? Check out our guide, “Seven Questions to Ask When Choosing a Remodeler in the Indianapolis Area.”


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