How to compare home improvement bids

The Bolster team once did an experiment to compare three bids on a $150,000 project. It took a construction expert and a data scientist 25-30 hours to do the comparison, and by the end, neither of them were entirely sure what the project was – every one of the bids was totally different, listing different items, materials, and scopes of work. If any of those bids had been accepted, it would have been a miracle if the project had been a success.

The moral of this story: bids on the same project can be WILDLY different from each other. Use Bolster’s advice below to help standardize the bids you receive, so you can compare them accurately – and wind up with the best outcome.

Sample Proposal: Every bid should open with a Sample Proposal section that gives a brief explanation of how the contractor plans to administer your project. This section should state who will be doing what, how the project is going to be delivered, the materials needed, where they’ll be stored, and more.

Scope of Work: This section should contain every line item of work needed on the project, down to the last detail, as well as the material estimate (aka, how much the contractor will charge you).

A key question in any bid is, who is supplying the product? MAKE SURE all of the materials are included in the bid – if not, you’ll wind up having to pay for them later.

Labor: This section should be separated out from materials. It should give an overview of the labor involved, and the parties needed to complete it.

Terms and Conditions: A great proposal should include this section, detailing the certificates and licenses the contractor will need to provide, as well as who’s getting the building permits, whether there is exemption from sales tax, and other relevant information.

Proposed Construction And Payment Schedule: This section will show key milestones that will be achieved, and the payment triggers tied to them.

When you remodel your home with a Bolstered Contractor you automatically receive our standard contract with all of this advice built in.