Choosing the Right General Contractor, Part 2: The Bidding Process

Bidding Process.pdf-page-001

(To see part 1 of this series, click here.)

Now that you’ve found 3-5 contractors that you think could be good, call them and set up an appointment for them to come bid your project. Before they come, it’s important to know exactly what you want to have done. Each contractor will interpret your project differently and will send you all kinds of different prices unless you are very clear with you want to have done. This way, when you receive bids back, they will be comparable and you will be able to determine which contractor will give you the best value.

When putting your project together, gather drawings, sketches, and pictures of what you want to have done. Take a few minutes to do a rough sketch of how you want things to turn out. Drive around looking at different houses and taking pictures of the features you like. And make sure you do lots of research online, on sites like Pinterest or Houzz. You might try looking at our Pinterest Page too, which is overflowing with flooring, lighting, painting, and other home ideas. You can always ask the contractors for their professional opinion on your project, but it’s always best to have established a firm idea of what you want beforehand.

As you meet with each contractor, explain thoroughly what you want to have done. Be very clear about your expectations and vision for your project. As we mentioned before, the clearer you are with them, the more comparable your bids will be. During the bid appointment, you’ll also want to be sure to ask them:

  1. What kind of projects are you best at?
  2. What areas of construction do you have the most experience in?
  3. Can you give me references of previous clients to call?
  4. Can you show me your website and pictures of your previous projects?
  5. What is the best way to contact you if I have questions?

As you meet with the contractor, try to get a feel for how it would be working with them on your project. It’s important to have a good relationship with your contractor so that you can be sure your project will turn out exactly as you want it to. Depending on the size and price of your project, it will probably take about 1-2 weeks for contractors to put together your bid.

And that’s all for this week! Next Wednesday, we will talk more about how to select a contractor from the bids you’ve received and begin your construction project.

What do you think? Give us feedback on our post.