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Collecting bids

June 1, 2012

     Hiring a contractor based on a 'grand total' estimate may cost you.


     Assuming that most customers can not distinguish between the costs of labor and materials, dishonest contractors are known to mark up or upsell materials, or exaggerate material costs, to inflate the overall price of the project. In theory, this is crazy because they price themselves out of a job!


     When shopping bids for large projects ($1000+), obtain from each contractor a separate estimate for labor only; Materials and expenses are dictated solely by the project. Try to pay for the majority of materials yourself and review invoices from ALL retail purchases for which your contractor seeks reimbursement. For example, receipts for a kitchen remodel would not include roof shingles and tar paper.


     The customer can accomplish retail material purchases from the supplier with a cash card, store gift card, over the phone with a credit card, or in person at point of purchase.


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Morgan R. Salyer

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