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How Do I Compare Contractors’ Bids?

How Do I Compare Contractors’ Bids
How Do I Compare Contractors’ Bids

The world of Contractors can be quite confusing. After all, there is no one standard way of writing a contract for doing work on your home. There is no standard for hiring a contractor at all, and we were never taught how to vet through potential candidates. Which is a little messed up if you think about it. We are taught how to make money, but not how to spend it efficiently and not get scammed. Not anymore!!

So, you have some Foundation Repair to be done at your house, or maybe some Basement Waterproofing. You’ve heard the stories. You’ve read the reviews. Buyer beware!! Well, the stories are true. Many contractors out there really ARE out to get you. Whether it be through misleading contracts, inflated pricing, un-needed services, or screening your call, there are many ways that contractors can, and do, scam every-day consumers.

Great, thanks. So now what? I just “hope” that it doesn’t happen to me? NO. There is a LOT you can do about it.

Today, we are going to teach you how to protect yourself against the many ways a contractor will try to “pull a fast one on you.” When it comes to services, we will be relating these to the Basement Waterproofing and Foundation Repair industry, as that is our industry. But these principals can be applied against all trades and contractors.

Ask for An Itemized Contract

Many times, you don’t even know what you are paying for and how much it costs because the contractor will bundle all services into one “reasonable” price. That price is rarely reasonable. Be sure you ask for a breakdown and itemized list of the costs. When we say itemized, we say by service, NOT by labor/material/profit. We have not known any contractor that puts them detailed that specifically for the customer, but they should at LEAST itemize the services so you can compare the quote with another.

Learn more about – Do I Need to Give My Contractor a Deposit?

Compare This Itemized Contract with Other Similar Bids

GET 3 BIDS!! It is crucial for you to get multiple bids for your project. There are a lot of charming sales reps out there that can indeed convince an Eskimo to buy ice. Regardless of who comes to your home, decide before any visit that you will compare contractor bids with at least two other options BEFORE making your decision.

Know more about – Does Every Company Install the Same Systems?

There are many companies out there that do not pay their sales reps unless they sell the job on the first call, right there in the home. You’ll be able to spot these people out MILES out from these simple tips:

  1. They will be PUSHY.
    1. Many times, these sales reps will ask you for a signature on the contract 6 times before they will leave your home. You know what someone is after when they ask it from you 6 times.
  2. They will not leave your home unless they call their Sales Manager.
    1.  This is a tell-tale sign you have a company concerned about one and only one thing, your money. The Sales Manager call is for the Sales Manager to ensure the sales rep there did, in fact, ask you to sign the contract multiple times and did everything they could do to get that signature. Who signed up for going to a used car dealer?!?
  3. A manager will call you the next day, claiming they have found a “mistake” on the contract and can save you THOUSANDS of $$.
    1. The call we all want, until we realize the truth behind it. These calls are scheduled for EVERY customer that does not buy on the first call. But wait, how can that work?
      1. Well, every job’s price is inflated dramatically, allowing for steep “discounts” to make you think you are getting a deal. In reality, you are paying thousands of dollars more than the market average for that job.
      2. Never trust a company that comes back and does this. While everybody makes mistakes, these companies tend to do it, as a process, for each and every customer.
      3. Another thing they will offer is to have another rep come out in the next couple days to “verify” everything and go over the new deal. Pffffftttt.
  4. They will take a “smoke break” or “go to get something from their car” for 10 minutes or so.
    1.  This is another sales tactic used by older reps in the field. They will go outside to take a smoke break to allow a couple to discuss the contract away from them.
      1.  This way, they can come back in and ask you to sign, as you’ve had time to look it over.
      2. ALWAYS wait if you are unsure.
  5. You will be offered a large discount for signing right there and then.
    1. How is that reducing the cost of the job at all? Those steep “discounts” are nothing more than the reps removing inflated pricing from the contract. Worst thing yet, the price is STILL inflated after that!

There is NEVER a situation where you must sign a contract right then and there to get a deal. NEVER. This kind of scam is the reason most states have legal allowances for consumers to back out of contracts. Most dishonest and non-reputable companies that do these kinds of sales processes focus their company not on customer satisfaction or quality work, but sales. They solve all issues by selling more, not by taking care of the issues that come across their desk. ALWAYS GET 3 BIDS.

Do Your Research

In the age of the internet, companies can’t hide their dirty laundry anymore. Everybody has a voice, and they proclaim it on popular review sites such as:

  • Yelp
  • Angie’s List
  • Better Business Bureau
  •  Google
  • Home Advisor
  • Next Door
  • Facebook

When selecting companies to come out, be sure to compare them across multiple platforms for the most genuine look at how they are doing. BAD COMPANIES CANNOT HIDE BAD REVIEWS. Everybody can get a good review, but the truly bad companies will have consistent bad reviews pop up. Be sure to go through and read all the reviews.

Throughout our website, we have tons of videos, blog articles, and education on the Basement Waterproofing and Foundation Repair industry for you to do research. If you have any questions about comparing contractor bids, be sure to give us a call, and remember:

Not Everything’s Better When Wet!


Austin Werner

Austin Werner is the Owner of The Real Seal LLC, a basement waterproofing and foundation repair company. Austin believes that having a highly trained and happy team is the key to success. This is reflected through hundreds of 5 star customer reviews his company has received online.

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