Monday, January 31, 2011


Last year we got a call from an interior designer friend of ours, Cindy. She owns a home in San Francisco in partnership with two other women. She called because the deck of that house was deteriorating and allowing water to get into the interior of the house when it rained. Steve went to the site, investigated, measured and estimated the job at $50,000. The group of homeowners went with a much cheaper estimate from a different contractor: $20,000. Steve knew that number was extremely low and didn't sound right, but he had to respect their choice.

A year later we got a call from Cindy: the "lower bid" job was now at $75,000, and they were so unhappy. They wished they had gone with us. We've heard this story before, but like the mythological Cassandra, we can only predict and hope that somebody listens.

So LISTEN! The cheapest bid is not necessarily the best and often is the worst. Some contractors only bid low to get their foot in your door. Once you've signed on with them, they then ply you with "Change Orders" that you must approve to keep the job progressing. The next thing you know, your project costs way more than you believed it would with this imaginary great deal you think you got.

Steve estimates thoroughly and accurately and has 25 years of experience doing so. He includes everything that could possibly be involved in the job. It is an honest presentation of what the expense will be.