Remodel & Renovate in 48224>Question Details

Michael Bobo, Other/Just Looking in Detroit, MI

is it better to have contractors bid on a project or go with a referal?

Asked by Michael Bobo, Detroit, MI Mon Dec 22, 2008

when fixing up a home is it better to have contractors bid on the project or would it be better to work with a contractor that has been refered to you

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I would agree that you should verify that the bids you receive are comparing "apples to apples" when comparing bids. In another profession, it was typical for contractors to "lowball" their bids and then make up the money on change orders. Sometimes the contract ended up costing more than twice the original bid price.

i'm not an expert, but I do suggest looking up any contractor on services like the BBB, Angies List, and the State of Michigan website. You might also want to verify they have valid insurance and bonding.…

Good Luck
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 22, 2008

I agree with Keith. It is best to prepare your own itemized list (before or after you talk to 1 contractor); then you can use the list in communicating with another contractor(s) to make sure you all are 'on the same page'.

Sometimes, it is very difficult to do if you are not experienced or don't really understand what is involved, since the contractors will give a different level of details on their proposal (and that could be a huge area for $ and expected quality difference). It helps when you are open about talking to other contractors and tell each that you expect another quote with a good breakdown labor and materials and that you will make your decision whom to chose after that. A good contractor does not mind a little competition, an honest contractor will respect your honesty and try to be as thorough in his estimates as he can, a bad contractor could disappear w/o giving you a quote.

If you trust the person who gave you a referral you should still do your own homework and check out 1 more. There is a good Russian saying "Trust, but verify". Good luck!
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 22, 2008
It would be best to get up to 3 contractors to bid exactly the same thing to help you understand the extent of project. One of the contractors should be the one refered to you. The issue is to make sure they are bidding the same thing with same type of materials! In project I have worked some contractors try to make their bids a little different which makes it difficult to compare bids. Have a check list outlining everything and hold to the list for each contactor and if you make changes go back to each contractor to ensure they are all the same. This is a big task, but will more than pay for it self in the end.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 22, 2008
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