Why some remodelers are going to say: “Sorry, I can’t give you a bid”

Tashina WilliamsDesign-Build Process, Home Remodeling

You’ve decided to remodel your kitchen, bathroom, basement, or maybe to add a sunroom or deck to your home. Common sense (so-called), and a lot of online sources may give you the same advice: get three bids.

Three bids; a common shop-around concept. The ideas frequently behind the 3-bid logic being:
• I’m going to get these three bids and go with the middle one.
• I think I want to go with Company X, but I’m going to get Company Y and Company Z to give me a quote too, so I can get a better price out of X.
• I can check these bids and volunteer to perform demolition, painting, etc, on my own and get a lower price.

However, professional remodeling contractors are going to be HONEST with you and say, “Sorry, but no, I cannot give you a bid.”

Why in the world would anyone ever tell a prospective client “no”?

Because it’s the truth, they can’t “give you a bid”.

In reality, it is possible to give you a reasonable ballpark answer. This way a remodeler could explain three price points in which your project “could possibly” fall, but there’s no REAL way to give you a “bid” per se without fully defining the scope of the project in detail.

Even if a remodeler is provided with a partially defined or vague idea of the design they can’t give you real numbers. The quality and completeness of the design will directly reflect the accuracy of the bid you can receive.

Most contractors will want to walk through your home with you to take measurements, get a real feel for the space, and analyze the room for possible issues. They also want to have an in-depth talk with you (and your spouse or other affected party) to uncover what you really need out of the project to make the space special to you and your family.

No professional wants to disappoint and therefore, no honest remodeler can give you a “bid” over the phone or in your home without first finding out what issues you are having and what an optimal solution looks like to you– again, in detail.

What’s in a bid?

An accurate bid ultimately depends on having a well-developed design. A well-developed design will have a first draft, exploration and communication with the client on better solutions for their home and preferences, and a few revisions. Even then, making selections of materials and fixtures, are necessary to create a viable investment or “bid” amount.

If you still decide that you want to get information from more than one contractor, be prepared to invite each of them to your house. Have an organized list of your needs, wants, and extras. If you need an outline to get started, download our free Remodel Preparation Worksheet HERE.