“Usually a minimum of three contractors are contacted and asked to provide quotations for the project. The suggested norm is to discard the high and low bid; with the feeling that picking the “middle” price minimizes the risk. In this case it is the bid price that drives the final selection. But is that really the best way to hire a remodeling company?”
Home ownership is the backbone of our social fabric. If a home does not meet the requirements of a family, the owners have the choice to either move or improve. When the decision to stay is made, they become candidates for a home remodel. Research and brain storming begins. Traditionally, after formulating a list of needs they follow the well worn path of seeking out “competitive” bids from at least three companies. The literature is loaded with articles that promote this concept as the safest route to follow.
Unfortunately, in facilitating the bid process, they have made several assumptions, amongst which is the belief that all contractors will provide the same level of service, quality and creativity. They have also assumed responsibility for the design which more often than not will be lacking in many necessary details. Once a homeowner finalizes a bid, any deviations from the original project scope are handled with change orders, and change orders can be costly. Increased capital expenditures, delays, and frustration often result.
“The Buckingham Group covers everything from the initial
assessment of the project to the last drop of paint, which includes our design process, specifications and contract.
We offer a full 3-year workmanship warranty on every job and we take pride in a job well done and a satisfied client. We provide outstanding service and have a forty year track record to prove it. ”
There is a better way. Homeowners can hire a design-build firm. An agreement between the homeowner and the firm is executed. The agreement specifies that design and construction will fall under a single source of accountability with one company. The concept of three bids is eliminated and more importantly, the uncertainty of not having all companies quoting on the same scope of work is taken out of the equation.
With a single source of responsibility, our design build team will create a remodeling plan that is clearly defined by you, our valued homeowner It’s an all-inclusive experience, and it will be worth it because you will know exactly what you’re getting
“The assumption is being made that each contractor is providing the same level of service, quality and organization. Unfortunately, price becomes the deciding factor. Nothing could be further from the truth. This leads to the biggest misconception in the remodeling business: that remodeling is a product and not a service.”
In the competitive bidding process, it is difficult to determine whether you’re actually comparing apples to apples. Worse still, it’s widely known that when homeowners are presented with options, they tend to choose the mid-range bid.
In fact, the lack of information present in most bids is staggering. You may end up relying on the best gauge available to you; the price. Unfortunately, the price tells you very little about your chosen remodeling contractor.
“The time and attention to detail that is an integral part of our presentation is indicative of the time and attention you will experience during the actual construction phase with our firm.”
Competitive bids say more about a remodeling firm’s motivation to land the job than they do about the capabilities of the firm, its staff and outside vendors. You want your contractor to have well established relationships with trade partners, to have proper workers compensation and liability insurance coverage designed to protect your home, family and all of its assets.
An initial price may be inaccurate, incomplete and unrealistic.
“With a renovation project, the products, quality of workmanship, service, timeliness and warranty can differ significantly.”
“Like most people, I value some pretty basic elements when buying a service: honesty, a high level of competence in one’s area of expertise and the commitment to do what a company says they are going to do.”
Bids tell you nothing about the contractor’s skill, character, or ethics. The best are polite and well-spoken. They are problem solvers; able to stay calm when challenged.
With complex projects, it can be difficult to know whether a bid for your home remodel is accurate or complete.
“There are many reasons for low bids including incomplete or vague scope of work, shoddy materials, poor craftsmanship, slow production, inadequate safety precautions. ”
“Uniform safety precautions, full “in-force” insurance coverage and a three year warranty are among the protections we provide our clients.”
Ask the contractor for certificates of insurance and check to make sure the policies are current.
Competitive bids set the stage for poor quality labor and materials- sometimes leaving out essential items altogether. Omission of required items can be a recipe for disaster.
“When the homeowner defines price as the leading consideration, it comes as no surprise that discount firms respond with unreasonably low bids with scant detail.”
“Attention to detail, superior craftsmanship, and absolute integrity are hallmarks of The Buckingham Group.”
Bids don’t ensure quality materials, finishes and selections. They also don’t ensure you will have skilled, respectful employees working on your project; employees you would feel comfortable having in your home and around your family.
Bids do not ensure that a contractor will keep his word. Will he be act responsibly if issues arise during or after construction? Will they show up on time when they are scheduled to be here? Does the contractor have the respect of his tradesmen and crew? Will they, in turn, respect your property?
“We enjoy professional relationships with our customers based on respect, dependability, and honesty. Using our web-based Builder Trend Software Buckingham Group clients can monitor construction and follow their job from anywhere in the world that provides internet access.
“Our track record speaks volumes. Rest assured, The Buckingham Group will be meeting the remodeling needs of families throughout the Greater Tulsa Area well into the future.”
Do they have a good track record? Will they be in business after a year? 5 years? 10 years?
Accurate Scope of Work is not required in the bidding process. Instead of working from a detailed list of selections, competitive bids are inherently vague. Even when consumers can accurately articulate what they want, they may not know exactly what they need.
“The scope of a home remodeling project is likely to change when the specifics have been determined and the remodeling contractor balances it with the actual cost of the project.”
“The Buckingham Group has been serving the needs of Tulsa homeowners for more than 40 Years. 4,400+ customers. Litigation free.”
When you hire a contractor, you are dependent upon their knowledge, skill and expertise in complying with local building codes and providing a quality, finished product.
After going through a remodel, the last thing you need or want is to be going through a process of litigation. Make sure to screen each remodeling contractor to make sure they will be around and return your phone calls well after your project is finished
In what state will they leave your home when they’ve left for the day? Will they control dust, air quality, and protect your existing floors? Competitive bids don’t answer these important questions. On the contrary, competitive bids give no indication of how the contractor will treat your property.
“We tread lightly on our clients’ property. Intrusive construction activities are anticipated and scheduled with the client’s approval. And, at the end of each day, we leave a tidy and safe work site.”
Know a friend, neighbor, relative, or co-worker with a great home remodel? Ask them who did the work. Ideally, pick the brain of someone who had a similar project done.
Whatever you do, don’t just thumb through the phone book. Your remodeling project is part of your home. It’s personal. So start with a solid referral from a reliable source. They will be able to speak to a contractor’s experience and integrity from firsthand experience.
Instinct is important, but backing it up with accurate information is essential. You will learn a tremendous amount about the company and it’s mode of operation during this process of discovery. Thank the referral source for their information and integrate it into the library of information you are accumulating on potential design-build firms.
Pay close attention to the quality of the website. Can you get a good sense for the type of people you will be working with? Do they have a clear design/build process? Do they demonstrate they can successfully perform the work needed on your home?
Ask some specific questions about their experience with the remodeling company in question. The more you learn, the more confident you can be with your choice of a contractor.
Get a feel for whom you will be working with and whether you can trust them. Develop a rapport by asking questions about their history and qualifications. For example, ask how long they have been in business, and how they handle warranty coverage.
Once you’ve confirmed that your first choice in contractors is the right choice, ask them to prepare a written, detailed document defining the scope of work for your remodel.
Be prepared to pay a fee for these detailed professional documents. They are highly complicated, time-consuming to create and rely heavily on a contractor’s expertise in design, codes, construction, engineering, craftsmanship, safety, and security. The fact that a remodeling contractor understands the value of these services, and charges accordingly, is a sign of experience and integrity.
We provide Peace of Mind for our clients throughout the entire design/build process. To start, we listen carefully to your wishes, design a project based on your input and then provide “Peace of Mind” by clearly defining the scope of work with our comprehensive specifications. When the remodel begins, our experienced and carefully screened job site managers are intimately involved in all job related activities to guarantee your Peace of Mind during the construction phase.
But your Peace of Mind does not end with job completion. We offer responsive customer service not only during the job but after the job is complete through our written warranty program. We warrant all of our workmanship for three years and call all clients every six months during the warranty period. We also assist in the satisfaction of manufacturers warranties during their entire warranty coverage period.
Learn more about how The Buckingham Group can transform your home, please click here to link to our website, BGTulsa.com.
Ready to get started? Schedule a Conversation on-line or call us at: 918-624-2666
The Buckingham Group is an award-winning, design-build firm specializing in home remodeling and historic renovations in the Greater Tulsa, Oklahoma area. From beginning to end, we provide beautiful design, conscientious construction, and caring management that makes your project an investment in excellence.