Thursday, May 20, 2010

Hypothetically Speaking...

All other things being equal, do you hire

(a) the guy with a mid-range bid, who offered to beat your lowest estimate?


(b) the guy who came up with the lowest estimate in the first place?


Wil said...

Neither. The contractor who has the least number of complaints with the Better Business Bureau. The one the Code Enforcement Officer says has had no citations for serious code violations. The one who provides you her insurance information right on the bid. The contractor whose bid allows for a reasonable profit, thus assuring s/he will be in business for the next job and the one after that, too. Not the one wearing a diamond pinky ring nor the one with the capped teeth and heavy cologne.

Rough hands and a can-do attitude, a "look you in the eyes when answering your questions" kinda builder is who you need. You are an attorney. If your builder is the kind they warned you about in the late-night BS sessions, run away. Quickest way to failure is trying to get a deal or bargain. In the building game, as well as all other contractual agreements, there is this old adage: "Sure, you can have your job done fast, right and cheap. Pick two."

I'd go with the honest business with the proven track record, if it was me.

nzforme said...

Seriously, Wil, I said, "all other things being equal." The job is small; I am certain both guys can do it; both have the same excellent BBB rating; both have numerous satisfied customers. The only difference is the discussion I had with them on price. One had the middle bid (of the 3 I got), and said he'd beat anything lower, while the lower guy started out lower.
So I wonder - is the one who said he'd beat anything lower trying to get more money from me by not starting with his best legitimate price? Is the lowest bid going extra low to get the job?

Wil said...

Most likely, mid-level is hungry for work; low bid was low-balling and had a few corners to cut. All depends on the amount of work available. I'd hire the guy you think you want to do your next, bigger project. Sorry to mistake your figure of speech for a real statement. Things never are equal, you know?