Improving Contractor Bidding
After facilitating dozens of competitive bids last year, I thought I’d unpack a few lessons I learned and share with you. Whether you are responsible for large scale renovations or small property repairs, you’ll probably need to acquire a few quotes from your cadre of contractors. If you’d like that process to continue to run smoothly, here are a few things to consider.
Try to Be A little More Specific
We realize that not every project will have engineered drawings and high level details, particularly smaller valued jobs. However, I’d suggest to put together a working scope in writing that you can share with the bidders. You may have noticed how wildly different some bids can be, particularly with pricing. Often, the disparity is due to a project interpretation issue among contractors, usually related to undefined project requirements. A nicely, thought-out scope will solve this.
Keeping Pricing Confidential
Though this is not a typical practice, we have seen this happen from time to time. One may be only looking for the contractors to sharpen their pencils, or to validate their current preferred contractor’s pricing. However, from a bidders’ perspective, it could be construed as an attempt to whittle down what they believe is already a fair price. This may lead the contractor to consider this method a time-consuming hassle and may shy away from any future bidding.
Review Bids With Contractors
A final suggestion we have is to allow the contractors to review their bids with you. It does not take much time and can benefit both parties. A quick story, we were working on a large dry-wall bid for an apartment complex, where one of our contractor’s price was 25% higher than the other proposals. After reviewing the bid with the stakeholders, it was discovered there was a mistake within the scope. My contractor was right in this case. Disaster avoided!