Tip: Getting lowest cost estimate for home remodeling project

When getting house remodeling cost estimates, try to schedule the contractors to come to the jobsite around the same time so that they will see each other. Nothing lowers your estimates like some competition! I have had Contractors say to me on the spot, "I will beat the lowest price that you get from any of those other Contractors."
John Churchill Builder and Instructor at Emory University Author of www.renovation101.com
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remember check references the lowest price is often not the best deal:(
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That's ridiculous. You may end up getting the lowest price, but because you can't spend enough time with each individual contractor, you have no idea what kind of work the low bidder does, so you will probably end up with poor workmanship. In addition, most advice on hiring someone says not to hire the lowest bidder, but to hire someone in the middle. In 20 years, 2 people have done that to me. In neither case did I bother to bid the job. That's just a stupid idea.

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Churchill wrote:

Ha ha ha ha ha! Good one!
Oh, wait...you're serious?
If someone is naive enough to take the guy that guarantees to beat the lowest price, they'll get what they deserve.
Ever consider that someone could just tell the contractors that they were getting other bids?
What you suggest is rude. It lacks common courtesy and suggests you personally lack class. There's no reason to make anyone uncomfortable while getting bids...unless you're just a schmuck and enjoy that sort of thing.
R
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Your comments were better than mine. I'm sure that anyone who takes his advice will end up with a poor or unfinished job.

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Bob wrote:

His tag line is...interesting. He's a continuing education instructor who has one of those three evenings on Tuesday deals. That's not exactly what most people would mean when they say they're an instructor with a particular university. Most people would say that they teach Adult Ed so there's be no confusion...unless you didn't mind the confusion. He goes under a different name when he's teaching than what's on his site and tag line. Don't know what's up with that, but it sure is odd. There are other things that don't add up, but, whatever - I'm not Netcop dJour.
The guy started renovating five years ago - obviously he's a pro. I mean, c'mon, FIVE years. How tough could this stuff be?
If you bothered to check out his site, you'd find lot of equally "brilliant" tips. Save your time. He's not a dumb guy, just has some learning to do. Little things like learning that people are people and it doesn't pay to be rude to them with no reason. I think it might take a little while for the lawyer training to fade.
R
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wrote:

A salesman. With a big toothy smile, all the right clothes, large ego, good speil, business sense & just, enough common sense to rely on the sub's he'll hire to make himself look good.
Not the kind of guy I'd ever want to work for. OR do work for me.
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wrote:

Nicely put, Rico. Actually had that happen to me a couple of years ago, looking at a basement development. Doorbell rang, and standing there was a second contractor, come to look at it.
I looked at him, he looked at me ... and we both started to laugh.
I said, " You want to work for people like these ?"
He said, "I don't think so."
I said, "Me neither."
We both walked.
Did a job across the street a year later ... the insensitive homeowner was still looking for someone.
Ken
.
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You, and the contractor you end up with, will deserve each other. Happy fighting!
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We call it "bid shopping". When I find out about it. I am repulsed and remove my company from the bidding. I deal from a quality and satisfaction stand point. Bottom dollar is just that.
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"Churchill" wrote

You probably are a 100% correct. When I worked for a design/build firm, I heard stories from our estimators.
Seems, some potential clients thought this was a good theory. Our estimators told of how the street would be lined with Sanford & Son pickup trucks, and a few Pinto's with ladders strapped on the roof. Basically, it was all the low life fly-by-nights waiting in the wings to rip off some poor soul that thought they knew something about contracting.
Respectable, reputable firms don't have time or need to be wasting on people like this.
Undoubtedly, the customer probably ended up chosing to have the lowest of the con's working in their home, and around their family.
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WOW WE JUST BOUGHT ANOTHER HOME AND PLAN ON REMODELING IN 2 MONTHS. WE ARE LOOKING FOR ESTIMATES NOW. WHAT A GREAT IDEA TO HAVE THEM ALL COME AT THE SAME TIME. ANYONE THAT WANTS TO LEAVE AREN'T WORTH MY HARD EARNED MONEY.. AND YOU DON'T HAVE TO MAKE 5-10 DIFFERENT APPOINTMENTS TO BE HOME! THANK YOU
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Anyone dumb enough to leave his Caps Lock key on is probably dumb enough to insist on the cheapest contractor.

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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

First of all, you dno't have to shout. If they are all present at the same time, one possibility is they will gang up on you. Ususally I get 3 to 4 estimates presenting detailed job description including material specs. I never take lowest or highest bid. They can cut corners two ways, in workmanship &/or material. Just like everything else, if you go too cheap, you'll get cheap result. Fortunately I had a guy whom I could deal with shake of our hands. He knows what I expect, I know his ability. Too bad, we are both retired. Tony
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Moiss Nacio wrote:

You know, when you put it like that, I don't mind it so much. I wouldn't even have to get out of the vehicle - I'd just keep driving. Sure would help in weeding out the bid shoppers. If the owner is talking to Fred and Lamont, they don't need to be talking to me! ;)
R
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Moiss Nacio wrote:

You know, when you put it like that, I don't mind it so much. I wouldn't even have to get out of the vehicle - I'd just keep driving. Sure would help in weeding out the bid shoppers. If the owner is talking to Fred and Lamont, they don't need to be talking to me! ;)
R
After reading his bio, its no wonder he tauts "Bid Peddling".
He's a LAWYER.
Nuf said.
CK
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"Casino Knight" wrote

Hopefully he knows more about law, than the building industry.
I was browsing his window link. He states "Here are the decisions you will need to make before you order your windows:" And goes on to list "-Double-hung (two sashes)?"
Now, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but two sashes doesn't mean double hung. You can have single hung windows, which also have two sashes, though the top sash isn't operational. These are most commonly installed on the first floor in new construction, for those that want the low bidder approach, for which he knows about.
Apparently he doesn't know about roof jacks used in conjunction with boards. His link says " ? On steep roofs, roofing contractors will nail boards onto the shingles to give themselves some traction. This is normal, but be sure that the roofing contractors repairs the nail holes when he is finished repairing or replacing your roof." I've never seen or heard of anyone nailing boards onto the shingles, let alone be normal.
I think when I need some more amusement, I will visit his site once again. Maybe he even has some pictures of Sanford & Son.
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On 25 Jan 2006 14:08:00 -0800, "Churchill"

Here's a random sample of the useful insights on Mr. Churchill's web site:

He also claims to be a Harvard-trained lawyer, who inherited a bunch of apartment buildings from his daddy.
Caveat emptor.
Ken

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