Competing Contractor Bids -- Bad Idea? - Posted by Ron (MD)

Posted by WayneMD on December 14, 2000 at 07:49:50:

Let me know too (fat chance)! I’m in the Annapolis area and though I try to get workers, I usually end up doing nearly everything myself. Let me know if you two ever want to get together over a cup of coffee. I’ll buy.


Competing Contractor Bids – Bad Idea? - Posted by Ron (MD)

Posted by Ron (MD) on December 12, 2000 at 19:42:51:

I do one or two rehabs per month and have two contractors who do most of my jobs. Instead of having them prepare competing bids, I decide who is in line or better suited for a particular job, then I tell him “if you give me a good price, you get the job”. They both consistently come in at or below my own estimate for the job.

Recently, I had a job that either of them could have done and both were available. I told them that “this time, I’m getting two bids for the job and the lower bid gets it”. Well, one of them came in with a typical bid, but the other dragged his feet until I just gave the job to the first guy. (The foot dragger was, in fact, the better of the two.)

So here’s my dilemma. I’ve been happy with the work and prices from both (without doing competing bids). They are both real good about sucking up minor extras without hitting me with add-on charges. On the one hand, I feel like the status quo is a very good working relationship with each of them. On the other, I know conventional wisdom is to always get competing bids, even in situations like mine.

Am I the only one who doesn’t get competing bids and feels they may jeopardize good contractor relationships? I think there is a value to a contractor when he knows if he gives me a fair price, he’ll get the job. They don’t nickel/dime me, and I don’t squeeze them for their last dollar for a contract.

Any thoughts?


Ron Guy

Re: Competing Contractor Bids – Bad Idea? - Posted by Kate (VA)

Posted by Kate (VA) on December 13, 2000 at 08:22:54:


I was curious what part of MD are you from? Do you know if either of your contractors do work in No. VA? With the exception of my electrician, I haven’t found any contractors that I’m very happy with in my area.


Re: Competing Contractor Bids – Bad Idea? - Posted by JPiper

Posted by JPiper on December 12, 2000 at 19:53:36:

If it’s not broke don’t fix it. I think it’s important to build good relationships with the contractors…and it sounds like you’ve done that. Don’t worry about conventional wisdom…as long as you know what a fair price is…and I think you do.

I think competing bids would be more important when you don’t know the contractors or you don’t know what things should cost. However, as you know, what you gain in a somewhat lower bid, you can easily lose when those extras start cropping up.


Re: Competing Contractor Bids – Bad Idea? - Posted by Ron (MD)

Posted by Ron (MD) on December 14, 2000 at 19:24:37:


You’re right – good contractors are very hard to find. That’s why investors (including me) will usually not share them with other investors. When I find a good one, the last thing I want is for him to busy working on a job for you when I need him.

Specialists (e.g., roofers, HVAC, carpet, etc.) are a different story because they don’t get tied up for a month on a single job. I do share them.

Ron Guy