How to get the right Bid from a General Contractor

After narrowing down your list of contractors, you’ll need to gather some estimates for the project, but keep in mind that you should only choose a select few. It can be costly for a general contractor to prepare a well thought-out bid. He has to take time from current projects or work extra hours putting together a quote. By keeping the bidding process to just a select few, the general contractor knows he at least has a good chance of winning your contract. Too much competition and the best contractors may simply walk away because they have better things to do than spend time on a job they have a slim chance of getting.

Before a general contractor can bid on your project, they’ll need some information to work with, such as the size and scope of the entire project and an estimated time for completion. You should also provide each general contractor with an itemized list of what you want included in each bid. You don’t want just a total figure. You want to see a breakdown of what each component of the project will cost such as plumbing, installation, electrical, wiring, and wall finishing. You also want a schedule of dates that will bring the entire project in under your planned date for completion. If possible, you might want to ask about the subcontractors that will be working on your project.

Once you have your bids in hand you can begin making comparisons. When deciding on a general contractor you’ll not only have to determine which bid is to your advantage financially but also which one is the best suited for your particular project. You could opt to go with the general contractor that has the most experience and years in business or you might find it’s better to choose the newer contractor, looking to build a good reputation and gain clients who might later be a good reference for potential clients. A newer general contractor may be more conscientious and work harder because he wants to establish his reputation and develop a good client base. Just make sure he has enough previous experience to handle the job.

What it all comes down to is not only finding the general contractor that will give you the most value for your money but also one that is the most suited for your particular project and one that you feel confident working with. You don’t need to work with the first general contract you meet or go with the lowest quote. While cost is probably the biggest factor to consider, you also need to keep in mind that an general contractor is someone you’ll be working closely with and you’ll need to develop a good relationship. Remember that the general contractor you choose holds the future of your home in his hands.