Hiring a General Contractor – Comparing Quotes


One of the most important things you can do when hiring a general contractor is to gather several quotes from the competition. You wouldn’t buy a car from the first lot you looked at, so why do the equivalent when paying for services in your home? What you’ll soon find is that the price for these services can differ dramatically. A number of things can affect the price of a job. Experience, the size of the company, and the materials being used will all play a role in determining what a company decides to charge you for the job. You’ll need information from several sources if you want to make a good decision.Get At Least ThreeWhile you can certainly get as many quotes as you want, the general rule of thumb is to get no less than three. This is the standard figure when it comes to hiring a general contractor and it serves several purposes. The obvious purpose is to put companies in direct competition with one another. And yes, they should know that you are seeking quotes from other companies. This forces them to essentially bid on the project, meaning they will try to give you the lowest price they are willing to provide. Another purpose is to give yourself an idea of what your budget will look like. It’s a good idea to have this hammered down before you break ground.Lowest Doesn’t Mean BestA lot of homeowners make this mistake. They start comparing quotes and then they hire the general contractor who offers the lowest bid. Not only does a low price not take any other factors into consideration, it can actually be a warning sign. If your lowest bid is only a bit less than the average, then you don’t have a problem. If it is substantially lower, however, you have to ask yourself why. If all the other companies say they can do the job for $1,000, why does this one company think they can do it for $500? What corners are they cutting to come up with that price?Get SpecificGetting multiple quotes won’t help you if the companies aren’t giving you a specific estimate. That means you need to carefully provide each bidder with the exact same information. If one general contractor thinks you want a remodeled kitchen with new lights, appliances, and flooring, and another one thinks you just want a new coat of paint and cabinet fixtures, the quotes aren’t going to tell you what you need to know. Be specific and make sure you get some prices that mean something.

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General Contractor, Comparing Quotes



When hiring a general contractor for a home improvement project, take your time to review the skill set you’ll require and the price you’re willing to pay. You can learn this information about local companies at www.angieslist.com.