December 2019

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Adapted from our friends at Dow Smith We often see owners hiring architects to design a building or a specialized facility, then choosing the least expensive builder to construct it. If you needed heart surgery, would you ask your friends who the least expensive surgeon is? Of course not! You would want to find the best qualified surgeon to ensure the best outcome—the one who has performed that same surgery time and time again with positive results. Choosing a commercial building contractor is no different. But, we often see owners hiring architects to design a building or a specialized facility, then choosing the least expensive builder to construct it. Here are 5 reasons why choosing the lowest bidder can actually end up costing you more time and money: 1. Choosing the lowest bidder does not ensure you have chosen the contractor with the most experience or the highest standards to build your type of project. 2. To keep costs low in an effort to win the bid, some contractors will “squeeze” their subcontractors to force their numbers lower. You have heard the saying, “You get what you pay for.” Subcontractors forced to reduce their numbers to win the contract and remain in the good graces of the general contractor may cut corners to remain profitable. 3. Contractors, subcontractors and materials suppliers can interpret the architect’s specifications and drawings very differently. So, one bidder can be significantly lower than another. The owner believes they are comparing apples-to-apples, but in reality, the lowest bidder may not be accurately estimating