Pin It

No Surprises! – Getting an accurate, reliable and complete estimate.

Long Beach Remodeling Contractor Provides an Accurate, Reliable and Complete Estimate

Upon hopping into general contractor Michael Baum’s truck for ride-along, I found a 15 page, plastic cover, wirebound “Report” looking thing sitting in the passenger seat. As I picked it up and sat in its place, I began to look more closely at it as Michael replied to me, “that’s an estimate for a job.”

Estimates – How Some Home Remodeling Contractors Trick You…

I thumbed through it and had tons of questions . . .about this estimate, about how estimates work in general and about how the heck estimates are even put together. Michael began to explain to me something I had never thought of before. He told me there are 2 different approaches when it comes to estimates for a construction project. One way is a “low-ball” technique. This is where the initial estimate (also called the “bid”) is provided at the lowest possible price, knowing there will be costs added on later.

Image of Professional Long Beach Remodeling Bid Proposal

Example of a Professional Bid Proposal from Baum Construction & Development

Michael Baum of Baum Construction & Development does not believe in submitting low-ball bids to prospective homeowners.

When a home remodeling general contractor low-balls a bid, it is usually with the intention of “winning” the job against other bidders. Once the job is won and the customer has signed an agreement (and paid a deposit), the job is started. You should not be surprised to know now that additional costs begin appearing.

When “Apples to Apples” is Really “Apples to Oranges”

As Michael explained to me, low-balling is a technique that has been adopted by other home remodeling contractors because it can be competitive out in the marketplace, and many homeowners think they are comparing “apples to apples” when they compare bottom line estimates from different general contractors.  In reality, you could be paying much more for a job that initially is estimated to be thousands less than its competitors.

What You Should Look for in Any Bid You Receive

When I asked how Baum Construction & Development does their estimates, Michael explained that they have a 4-part guarantee to their clients:

  1. No Deposit Required – Michael does not require a deposit up front to get started
  2. Guaranteed Project Completion Date – Michael will finish on schedule…or pay you $100 each day they go over schedule.
  3. Guaranteed Cost Estimate – You NEVER pay more than is on the original estimate
  4. Clean-Up – They clean your whole house upon completion…even the parts of the house they didn’t work on

How Other General Contractors Compare to Baum Construction & Development

Specifically regarding the estimate, this is an impressive guarantee. When I searched for other general contractor guarantees, I found very little. I did find several listings for low-cost contractors . . . and several dissatisfied customer reviews for other companies that added on thousands (and sometimes tens of thousands) of dollars throughout the construction process.

My very next question to Michael was “do you lose a lot of bids because people are simply price shopping? He said that about half the time, he explains his guarantee and the customer understands and signs with him. The other half the time, the customer ends up going with the lowest bidder. And its happened before that a customer who went with another contractor has come back to him after having a poor experience with the “lowest bidder.”

How Complete are the Estimates You Receive?

Image of Example of Detailed Bid Proposal (Baum Construction & Development)

Click to See the Level of Detail You Should Require in a Home Remodeling Bid Proposal (Baum Construction & Development)

Another important part of the estimate, especially if it’s a large job (total home renovation) is the subcontractors getting an initial look at the property. The more eyes you have on a job, and the more direct estimates you get, the more accurate and reliable the initial bid will be.

Low-Ball & Incomplete? Or, a Guaranteed Bid from Baum Construction & Development?

So, in thinking back to that bound report style estimate, I now understand how valuable such a complete outline of a construction job can be. Every item that could possibly be used in the job is listed. Every different area that any of your money will go is also indicated with an exact price. With an estimate like that, its obvious that Long Beach remodeling contractor Michael Baum of Baum Construction & Development places value on an educated and informed client.

Educated and informed almost always means saving money in the end.

-Elaine Frazier

Filed Under: Long Beach Remodeling General Contractor

home remodeling companies March 22, 2013 at 10:08 am

With an estimate like that, its obvious that Long Beach remodeling contractor Michael Baum of Baum Construction & Development places value on an educated and informed client.

Daniel September 9, 2013 at 12:43 pm

I got caught by that low-ball thing once before. I like that you put it right out there and warn us homeowners what to look out for like you are already on my side.

Previous post:

Next post: