In the home services business, we often refer to the lowest bid as a suicide bid – especially when it is much lower than the middle or top bids. Why is the lowest bidder not the best bet? We’d say, don’t get us started, but you’re reading our blog.
Why Isn’t The Lowest Bid Best?
Low bids are fine; they’re neither good nor bad. What’s bad is when a low bid is significantly lower than the rest. We’re talking significant as in: standard deviation, bell curves, and that statistics class you hated. An outlier.
When you get a bid that is too low, you have to wonder if the roofer knew the correct scope of work, calculated their costs correctly, left something important out (and will change order you to death), or will skip town before finishing the job.
The lowest estimate may not be the best choice – costs will be higher for higher levels of installation quality, product durability and warranty protection.GAF
What Might My Low Bid Be Missing?
There are a ton of reasons why a bid may come in too low, and none of it is good for the homeowner… here are a few.
- Inexperienced contractors – may not have quoted the roof correctly. In this case, they’ll typically come back with a change order to charge you more for something they missed – or worse – you’ll wind up trying to sue them for a job that’s never completed.
- Shoddy workmanship – there are quite a few fly-by-night contractors out there that close shop and rebrand themselves a year later to escape their reputation. Bauerle Roofing has been around since 2001… and we haven’t changed our home office and ownership in any of that time. Our reputation is our future… and we’re not going to hurt it.
- Cheap materials – the quality of the products that you use in making any home repair are critical to how long that product will last. That’s why we openly share our relationship with our suppliers… who are the best in the industry!
- Shortcuts – are your home contractors going to properly prepare the job site before starting? Are they going to clean the job site when they’re done? Are they going to haul away the garbage? Too many home contractors just do the job and you’re surprised by the mess left over.
- Uninsured – Finding “a guy” that can do the work is a hgue risk. Roofing is one of the most dangerous jobs in the industry. Hire someone who is licensed, bonded, and insured so that you know that you’re covered in the event of any accident to the contractor or to your home.
How Low is Too Low?
An outlier is a bid that is significantly high or low. Say you had five bids. The average would be the sum of all of the bids divided by five. Right? That’s the mean or average. The median would be the number in the very middle if you arranged them from lowest to highest.
- Bid 1: $4,500
- Bid 2: $11,000
- Bid 3: $11,500
- Bid 4: $12,750
- Bid 5: $16,000
In that grouping of five bids, the mean is $11,500 and the average is $11,150. The low bid at $4,500 may include discounted or damaged shingles, no workman’s comp or general liability insurance, and/or more issues than it’s worth!
Without performing a statistical analysis look at the bids you received. Do they all have the same scope of work? If yes, you can compare them to one another (apples to apples). If they’re not, well, then you have to become your best advocate and decide whom you will trust.
For the sake of this argument, let’s say that the bids are the exact same scope of work. If the average cost to tear off and install a roof is about $16,000, then a bid that is $5,000 or less is too low.
What if I Can’t Afford The New Roof?
If you don’t have the cash on hand to pay out your roof, talk to us. We can inspect your roof to see if there’s weather-related damage that you weren’t aware of, or direct you to financing options. The problem with not getting a roof replaced is that the costs continue to rise as your home’s structure is attacked by any damage your roof was designed to protect against.
Whether through insurance coverage, roofing company financing, or roof loans, you can pay for the cost of your new roof over time instead of all at once. Always consider your budget in making a financing decision alongside the fees, repayment term, and interest rate before making a selection for your home improvement project.lendedu
Get Your Free Estimate Today!
You don’t want the headache and stress of taking the lowest bidder. Professional roofing contractors are efficient, safe, and effective. We know the local area, and serve the community we live in. Let’s talk about your roofing options today.