Get at least 3 contractor bids before making a hire

Published On: Jan 13 2013 02:08:22 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 14 2013 05:40:00 AM EST

Whether you are starting a home improvement project with your kitchen, bathroom or your roof, it is important to be thoroughly educated before making your hiring decision.  Some of these projects can cost in the thousands and you don’t want to get stuck with a team with whom you can’t get along.

Getting three bids is an uphill battle. How do I know? Because 30 percent of respondents to a recent Angie’s List poll admitted that they didn’t fully read their contract before they hired their contractor. If you’re not reading the contract, chances are you’re not doing the preliminary work either – and both are incredibly important to getting your project done well, done on time and at a fair price.

Angie’s List tips on why you should get three or more bids:

Many homeowners tell us their search for a contractor ends if they think the bid is too high. But a recent Angie’s List poll showed that more than 80 percent of contractors are willing to negotiate with homeowners to get jobs. So don’t let sticker shock keep you from making a good hire. If you have three bids to compare, you have leverage to potentially talk down that high bidder. There might be a good reason the bid is higher than you expected but you’ll never know if you don’t have an apples-to-apples comparison.

What should be in a bid?

When getting ready for a big project, you want to get as much information from the contractor that you choose. You are basically conducting an interview with the company. That contractor will be the one responsible for how your project turns out. If you see red flags from the beginning, end the relationship then. Trust your instincts.

Questions to ask while deciding: