The California State License Board Cautions Homeowners About Taking the Lowest Bid and With Good Reasons
The following caution is from the CSLB website:
“Do not automatically accept the lowest bid. In fact, you should beware of any bid that is substantially lower than the others. It probably indicates that the contractor made a mistake or is not including all the work quoted by his or her competitors.
You may be headed for a dispute with your contractor if you accept an abnormally low bid. It also is possible that a low-bidding contractor may cut corners or do substandard work to make a profit.”
You can read more on this subject at: http://www.cslb.ca.gov/Consumers/HireAContractor/FindingTheRightContractor.asp
There are Typically 2 Types of Roofing Contractors that Provide the Lowest Bid:
- They Don’t Have the Experience to Bid Your Roofing Project Properly
- They Know Plenty of Shortcuts on Quality (that won’t show up until it is too late).
Most homeowners only hire a roofing contractor every 10 years or more and many don’t know how to compare proposals.
- Many people won’t be able to tell if the roofing contractor has the required experience to complete their type of project. Most also don’t know where an unscrupulous contractor can take advantage of their lack of knowledge.
- Unscrupulous contractors have been known to call a homeowner after the roof is torn off and demand thousands of dollars more to complete the job. If bad weather is in the forecast, the homeowner will believe they have no choice but to come up with the extra money.
- Others will take on a project even if they don’t have the necessary experience. Quickly eliminating these roofing contractors from your list will save you a lot of frustration.
The information on this page is provided to help homeowners avoid hiring a roofing contractor that will frustrate you with poor quality or who will demand more money once your roof is torn off and bad weather is in the forecast.
The Top Reasons to Eliminate the Lowest Bidder from Your List
Choosing the lowest bidder can look like a smart, money-saving move, but it rarely works out. Just like you would choose a luxury French range over a basic oven/stove, you should consider not skimping when it comes to choosing a remodeling company.
Every contractor is in business to make money and if you accept the lowest bid, you will either end up with quality issues or paying more than the original quote. Either way, you end up losing.
Before you sign any re-roofing or roofing repair proposal consider this information carefully.
- Many contractors will use a low bid as a place to start negotiating. Ethical contractors provide their best price first and will include all the details on materials and installation methods. Bids written on the back of a business card are worthless.
- Bids that are 15% or more below other bids can’t be the same job. A 15% profit is a solid profit on a quality roofing job so if a bid is 15% or more below other bids it would mean they are working for free. Of course, no one works for free. In order to make money, they will substitute lower quality materials or take shortcuts on installation in order to save labor costs.
- Most homeowners will not get up on their roof to inspect the job. The low bidder can find plenty of bargain materials that might look good at first glance but will not hold up in stronger storms. Ask for the brand name and check out the reputation and warranty of all material suppliers. If you can’t find the supplier in a Google search that is a red flag.
- Improper installation or shortcuts on installation will void the manufactures warranty and your homeowner’s insurance may not cover the damage to drywall, cabinets, and carpet caused by leaks.
- There are some “nice folks” that may give you a bid that “is really great”. If a bid seems a bit too good to be true make sure you don’t get fooled. Ask for 10 references and call each one. Whether you’re hiring a roofer in Orange County or commercial HVAC in Denver, it’s important that you fully understand the bid that the company provides. Ask about the final price versus the proposal price.
- Low bidders save money by not being properly licensed and many don’t carry insurance or don’t carry enough insurance. This puts the homeowner at risk and by not being licensed the contractor cheats the government and if they will do that they will just as likely cheat you. This is another area that the CSLB warns homeowners about. Ask for a copy of their California license or ask them to provide you with their license number and verify it at the state website. Ask them to provide you with a current certificate of insurance or have their insurance agent send you their insurance certificate directly so you will know it is current.
If you do a Google search you will find that there are numerous stories in prominent national and local magazines and newspapers about unethical roofing contractors. The stories typically describe trusting homeowners that lost their deposit or were left with an unfinished project.
At Galla-Rini Roofing we take a different approach.
My name is Miles Galla-Rini and I own Galla-Rini Roofing. We are a family business that has been installing and repairing roofs in Orange County since 1990.
I set up my company to deliver outstanding personal service and quality on every roofing project rather than trying to become the biggest roofing contractor in Orange County. Simply put, I value excellence versus size.
We back up our work with a 10-year warranty on labor/installation that is almost double what most of our competitors offer.
The roofing industry in Orange County is competitive but the price should not be the most important factor in your decision especially since your roof should provide you with a minimum of 10 years of worry-free protection from the elements.
I appreciate your time and the opportunity to earn your business. I look forward to answering your questions about your roofing needs.