Beware the Lowest Bidder: 5 Questions to Ask

Low Bidder

Is the lowest bid the best bid?

When gathering bids for work around your home, whether it be construction or mold mitigation, it may be tempting to jump at the cheapest price provided. Homeowners be aware, all bids may not be created equal. If you have received several bids and one stands out as substantially lower than other bids, this could be an early warning sign of trouble down the road. Here are five tips to consider when deciding which proposal is best for your project.

1. How Low is the Lowest?: If you have more than one bid and there is a big difference in price proposal, that could be an early warning sign of potential problems or disputes down the road. Sometimes low bidders have made errors in their bidding or be using a “low ball” bid just to get their foot in the door (with expensive add-ons coming your way after you award the contract).

If you have two bids that are very different, it’s worth the effort to get a third bid to see which bidder might be the outlier.

2. Does Each Bid Cover the Same Amount of Work?: At first glance, a low bid may seem like a money saver, but be careful that you are comparing apples to apples. Check the scope of work outlined on each bid and make sure they match your expectations and the requirements of your project. Clauses in construction contracts that state the bid can be changed due to unforeseen circumstances could add up to surprise bills down the road.

3. Are Your Bidding Contractors Insured and Licensed?: Sometimes bids can be lower from companies that cut corners on industry requirements (such as liability and workers compensation insurance or license and certification requirements) unbeknownst to the homeowner. Make sure you vet your contractors before you hire them with reference checks or prior work review. Easy acceptance of a low bid without due diligence could lead to costly redo’s or shoddy workmanship.

4. Are Your Contractors Equally Qualified and Experienced?: Many contractors can claim to offer different services, however, they may not all be cut from the same cloth. Check into the special training or experience they might have related to your project. In the mitigation industry some companies follow higher quality standards based upon state certifications for example. This could mean the difference between a thorough job done properly versus an incomplete job.

5. Is the Bid too Good to be True?: If it seems like it, it probably is. There are countless stories about homeowner’s paying to re-repair poor workmanship that caused more trouble down the road. Don’t pay twice to get your project done correctly. Be willing to take the more realistic bid to make sure your work is done properly and that you get full value for your money. Trust your instincts. ‪#‎helpers‬ ‪#‎lowestbidder‬ ‪#‎rightthefirsttime‬