Why is your estimate so much higher than someone else’s?
Part of doing your due diligence when choosing a contractor is comparing cost estimates. If you’re comparing two or more contractor’s estimates and one is far lower, the temptation is to choose that one simply to save money. But will you save money in the long run?
When it comes to estimates, “The devil is in the details.” It’s worth comparing closely the itemized breakdown of costs in each estimate. If one list is significantly shorter than the other, it’s likely that this is the biggest source of the price discrepancy. Be wary of contractors who are eager to seal a deal with a low estimate. There’s a chance that they may be leaving things out of the estimate only to tack those costs on in the middle or at the end of your project, ultimately increasing the amount you owe them via change orders. An initially very low bid could wind up being as high (or higher) than the “expensive” contractor you decided against!
An honest contractor that values transparency wants to give you the clearest picture of where all your money is going to go for a given project. A detailed breakdown of projected costs is a sign that you are working with a contractor that will do everything they can to avoid hitting you with unanticipated charges. Construction can be a very large expense, don’t underestimate the value of working with a contractor being upfront about pricing, it ensures that you’re able to properly budget for the project and not over-extend your resources.
Most of all, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Any contractor you’re considering working with should be able to give you clear answers, especially when it comes to providing a cost range for your project.