Construction Contractor Bids

How to Get Accurate Construction Contractor Bids

By Mark J. Donovan

Getting accurate construction contractor bids is never an easy process. Construction contractors typically like to do their own thing and provide as little information as possible on a job quote. Do not accept verbal construction contractor bids or construction bids that look like they were generated on a napkin.

One way to help obtain accurate construction contractor bids is to provide each bidding construction contractor with a complete set of drawings of your home addition or new home construction project.
With a complete set of drawings there is no excuse not to receive a fully fleshed out contractor bid. If the construction bid comes back as a one page bid, move on to other construction contractor proposals.

Another key item to avoid when getting construction contractor bids is contractor allowances. A contractor allowance is a sum of money that is reserved for a particular portion of the home construction project. For example, a common contractor allowance is for kitchen cabinets.

Other types of contractor allowances include lighting, plumbing fixtures, flooring, appliances and landscaping. The use of contractor allowances frequently winds up short changing the homeowner with low quality products, as the reserved money is never enough for the project. You can avoid receiving contractor allowances from contractor bids by making sure you specify every key finished feature in, and around the home.

When tackling a large home addition or new home construction project, make sure the general contractor itemizes each phase of the project in the construction contractor bid. This way you can compare costs easier for each phase of the project and make sure nothing has been left out.

Home Addition Bid Sheets

Make sure the construction contractor bid also includes a copy of the contractor’s workman’s compensation papers and liability insurance policy. If these items are lacking in the contractor bid, move on to another general contractor, or subcontractors.

Finally, make sure the construction contractor bid includes a complete and thorough build schedule, with expected start and stop dates for each phase of the project.

To help in obtaining accurate and consistent home construction contractor bids, see my Home Addition Bid Sheets. Each bid sheet includes a separate request for quote section that you can provide to prospective home building contractors. They also include a comprehensive cost breakdown table, in Microsoft Excel format, that allows the home construction contractor to include his projected home construction costs for every phase of the project. With these simple tips, you should be able to obtain accurate construction contractor bids.

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