Competing Contractor Bids – Bad Idea? - Posted by Ron (MD)
Posted by Ron (MD) on December 12, 2000 at 19:42:51:
I do one or two rehabs per month and have two contractors who do most of my jobs. Instead of having them prepare competing bids, I decide who is in line or better suited for a particular job, then I tell him “if you give me a good price, you get the job”. They both consistently come in at or below my own estimate for the job.
Recently, I had a job that either of them could have done and both were available. I told them that “this time, I’m getting two bids for the job and the lower bid gets it”. Well, one of them came in with a typical bid, but the other dragged his feet until I just gave the job to the first guy. (The foot dragger was, in fact, the better of the two.)
So here’s my dilemma. I’ve been happy with the work and prices from both (without doing competing bids). They are both real good about sucking up minor extras without hitting me with add-on charges. On the one hand, I feel like the status quo is a very good working relationship with each of them. On the other, I know conventional wisdom is to always get competing bids, even in situations like mine.
Am I the only one who doesn’t get competing bids and feels they may jeopardize good contractor relationships? I think there is a value to a contractor when he knows if he gives me a fair price, he’ll get the job. They don’t nickel/dime me, and I don’t squeeze them for their last dollar for a contract.