TAMPA - Whether you are starting a home improvement project with your kitchen, bathroom or your roof, it is important to be thoroughly educated before making your hiring decision. Angie Hicks, founder of Angie’s List , advises getting three solid bids for your project. “For the last 17 years I’ve talked a ton to consumers about the importance about getting three estimates when thinking about a remodel job," she said. "I think the one thing that consumers often overlook is the fact that (the contractor) is going to have this team of people in your house for an extended period of time. They’re going to be there in the morning when you are having breakfast and they also might be there in the evening when you are having dinner. So you want to be sure you are comfortable with the crew. It’s another reason why getting three estimates is good, so you get a chance to talk and compare what it’s going to be like to work with each team.”
Angie’s List offers these tips on why you should get three or more bids:
Get as much detail in writing as you can. "Things like how payment is going to be handled, how long the job is going to take, what’s going to happen if there are delays on the project," Hicks said. "And you want to be sure that it lists out actual items that are going to be used in the project so you can get a real good apples-to-apples comparison. What make and model and brand of refrigerator is going to be used in your kitchen remodel, for example.”
Many homeowners admit their search for a contractor ends if they think the bid is too high. But a recent Angie’s List poll showed that more than 80 percent of contractors are willing to negotiate with homeowners to get jobs. So don’t let sticker shock keep you from making a good hire. If you have three bids to compare, you have leverage to potentially talk down that high bidder. There might be a good reason the bid is higher than you expected but you’ll never know if you don’t have a side-by-side comparison.
What should be in a bid?
Remember, the bidding process is essentially you conducting an interview with the contractor. That contractor will be the one responsible for how your project turns out. If you see red flags from the beginning, end the relationship then. Trust your instincts.
5 Questions to ask while deciding:
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