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Information and Education - Home Remodeling

CAUTION!... When You Go For The Low Bid.


"Construction firms often make unrealistically low bids to get jobs…but they can count on finding plenty of reasons later to jack the price up enough to allow for a profit. When the building is underway, it becomes prohibitively expensive to fire the contractor and start anew. The owner has become a hostage." (Wall Street Journal, 12/05/07)

6 Top Reasons - To Be Wary of the Low Bidder

We understand that there is a strong motivation to choose the low bid especially if it is within your budget and everyone else is above your budget. Unfortunately, it rarely works out. Before you sign any proposal consider the following:

  1. Wary of the Low BidThere have been countless news stories by leading national and local news magazines about unscrupulous contractors that disappear with homeowner deposits, operate without a license or never complete the work. Texas does not require a license for a General Contractor. However, some areas of specialty do require a license; electricians and plumbers, for example.
  2. Some contractors will simply throw out a low bid as a negotiating strategy. Contractors with integrity give their best price the first time and include specific details of all materials to be used in the proposed project. Check those line items.
  3. Every contractor is in business to make money. If you receive a bid that is 15% or more below another bid – it simply isn't the same job. It can't be because there isn't that much profit margin in a project. The contractor either isn't using the same materials or will cut corners on installation in order to make a profit. There are many places to cut corners of which the unsuspecting homeowner/client is unaware.
  4. It is easy to be fooled by the low quote and a "nice person". If a bid seems to be too good to be true, it is. Call references and ask about the total job cost at completion versus the proposal pricing.
  5. Many times, the low bidder isn't certified to perform the work proposed. An uncertified contractor either does not have the experience or competency to become NARI certified or has cut a corner to save money by avoiding the cost associated with being certified, bonded and insured.
  6. Unfortunately for homeowners, if they hire someone who is not insured and certified, they have no recourse through the NARI complaint process other than to attempt a costly lawsuit.

If you are seriously considering hiring any contractor with a very low bid please ask yourself, "Is it worth saving "x" amount of dollars versus the amount you could be out, if the job goes awry?" After all, you do get what you pay for. You will be surprised how many clients' projects we fix or finish due to low bid contractors not providing the quality service that Eco Construction Group provides on EVERY job.

Specific Examples of What Can Go Wrong with Low Bid Contractors

Tile Work – leaking, wicking in showers causes drywall problems, mold, grout cracks, and much worse. If they don't use good quality material you will have cracks and possible leaks. All of these are extremely expensive to repair "after the fact."

Cabinets – Cabinets of poor quality will fall apart, hinges come loose, tracks fall off, and drawers may fall apart. Improper ordering can cause huge install delays which will add several weeks to the project. If not properly configured they may not fit the space well or provide the functionality desired.

Wary of the Low BidGranite –slabs that are not level which are installed can lead to broken slabs, bad seams that when filled look unsightly…a big investment that looks mediocre. Too many seams on a job that only calls for one or two. This is seen all too often and passed along as necessary by many sub-par granite installers.

Framing – walls that aren't plumb create problems with drywall and finish work, cabinets, trim work that won't be flush with wall or ceiling. You will have gaps that are difficult to fill in and look unsightly.

Drywall – seams show, uneven sanding – doesn't show up until later and then it's too late… using inferior sheetrock from China can create health issues. Improper joints can cause uneven seams.

Electrical – wrong load count used will cause circuits blowing, GFCI not working or the reset button is hard to locate… hang Xmas lights and suddenly every time you turn on your hair dryer half of the lights in your house blow out.

Plumbing – Leaks resulting in interior damage, inferior cheap plumbing components may break quickly and be difficult or impossible to repair as parts may be hard to locate. Can create mold issues which can result in a huge increase in mold related litigation. Mold is very expensive to remediate… If noted on insurance CLU report; your home may be considered uninsurable in which case it can't be sold. Go too cheap on your toilets and you may end up having a plunger be a permanent fixture in your bathroom.

Windows – improper installation will create leaks and the associated problems with leaks. The type of windows you install will have a direct impact on your utility bills each month. Does it make sense to be cheap up front and expensive long term or vice versa? The right windows will save you measurably on electric bills.

Roofing – Improper or inappropriate installations will create problems with storms and the associated winds and rain. This can create leaks that may result in damage to drywall, cabinets, carpet etc. It will be very expensive when you go to sell and the inspection report comes back with the news that the roof needs to be replaced. It will likely cost thousands of dollars and may even cause a buyer to walk away.

Paint - only as good as the prep work… uneven seams, lines present from rolling or brush; if cheap paint is used you have no wash-ability – paint comes off and you're looking at drywall mud. Trim work that is sloppy looks bad.

Payment Options- Always discuss payment options with your contractor before signing that contract. We are able to take all major credit cards including Master Card and Visa.




"Eco Construction remodeled our master bathroom, and they did a great job with everything. They were on time, they were nice and respectful, and they cleaned up after themselves. The owner gave us very good suggestions, and we were very happy with the finished product."

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