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Old 09-06-2012, 04:35 PM   #1
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contractor fees discrepancy


I am remodeling a bathroom. one contractor wants $5,000+ and another $3,000--this one is recommended by a friend. Why this discrepancy?
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:07 PM   #2
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contractor fees discrepancy


First reaction is that both prices are way, way low for a bath remodel but then I do not know what you are asking them to do.

To answer your question, are they both bidding the same scoped job, the same materials, and on the same timeline? Both are planning to handle permits and inspections if needed? You have checked out references for both? Both have bid and will contract in writing? Both have discussed and written down what will happen if/when they encounter surprises they cannot see from the surface? Both are licensed and insured unless, and I hope not, this is unimportant to you?

It could just be that it is a very small job and has to be maneuvered within other projects. The higher bid may be compensating for time away from a more elaborate job.

Last edited by user1007; 09-06-2012 at 07:44 PM. Reason: Fixed percentage error
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:19 PM   #3
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contractor fees discrepancy


Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsester View Post
First reaction is that both prices are way, way low for a bath remodel but then I do not know what you are asking them to do.

To answer your question, are they both bidding the same scoped job, the same materials, and on the same timeline? Both are planning to handle permits and inspections if needed? You have checked out references for both? Both have bid and will contract in writing? Both have discussed and written down what will happen if/when they encounter surprises they cannot see from the surface? Both are licensed and insured unless, and I hope not, this is unimportant to you?

It could just be that it is a very small job and has to be maneuvered within other projects. The higher bid may be compensating for time away from a more elaborate job. They are actually within 20 percent of each other so I would not be overly concerned assuming all other factors are the same.
That is 40%
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:43 PM   #4
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contractor fees discrepancy


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Originally Posted by sixeightten View Post
That is 40%
Thanks. I caught that and deleted the sentence but must have done something wrong as the correction did not take. Fixed now.
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:50 PM   #5
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contractor fees discrepancy


sometimes a contractor will bid low to get the job and make it up on extras. not saying this is the case but it happens everyday. make sure as many details are in the contract as you can think of. if it isnt in there it could be an expensive extra. we had a guy come and look at our bathroom just to satisfy my wife's curiosity and get a comparison. the price was 8400.00 for labor only. we supply everything. and on the way down the stairs agreed to do more work for the same price. in the estimate he left there were many things not included. for instance we want to move the shower. i know for a fact there is no 2 inch line in that area. but once they have your bathroom torn up what do most people say when the contractor wants another 900.00 for redoing plumbing they say they didn't plan on doing. i would say that it's their fault, they should have known that they are in the business. sometimes if you don't agree they threaten to walk off the job. the guy thought he was gonna walk out with 2800.00 dollar down payment. he acted surprised when my wife told him she was getting at least 1 more estimate. he was surprised again when she asked for references. if possible see if you can look at some jobs they have completed or that are in progress. talk to past customers if you can. i'm not saying every contractor is a crook but there are many out there that are and do shoddy work. a good many of them shouldn't be allowed to do it they are so bad.

Last edited by DannyT; 09-06-2012 at 07:53 PM.
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:01 PM   #6
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contractor fees discrepancy


Are these written quotes? The quote should spell out everything to be done and if it includes labor and materials, permits, dumpster, clean up, etc. verbal quotes mean nothing. Be careful of low bids, for example I had a painter who gave me a quote much lower than all others, but he was only quoting for 1coat of paint and no primer... So make sure you understand what the quoted price includes....good luck.
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:04 PM   #7
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contractor fees discrepancy


It is recommended to get 3 bids, (5 to 7 is better), see how much difference there is. If it's not big,take one in the middle. If there is a big difference take one over the middle one #3 to 6. The lower one may not be able to fix mistakes, The highest may have a size 27 hat. If one is way high or low eliminate it. A small job is just as important as a large one.
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Old 09-07-2012, 01:32 AM   #8
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contractor fees discrepancy


If you aren't sure get another quote or two..

As others have stated, ask them to be specific with a scope of work that will be done (a professional should do this anyways) This will include things like how many coats of paint with what grade paint on the walls and ceiling, or will a layer of quarter inch backerboard be installed in a layer of thinset before the floor is tiled? is the tub surround getting greenboard or proper backerboard? things like that.

Does that include the cost of a new mixer valve or will that be an extra if needed? stuff like that.

I agree both those prices seem a bit low to me, especially if all fixtures and materials are included.

It is common for some new to contracting as well to underbid jobs- a painful but educational experience. Those who bid higher usually understand what it takes to stay in business. One problem that can happen in a worst case scenario with someone who screws up a price (underbids) -is that they can't afford to finish the job as their whole price may just be enough for the materials.
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