This month's Reader Panel survey is a continuation of our June 2007 survey, Balancing Act, which examined the successes and frustrations of remodelers entrenched in the bidding game.

This time, the focus shifts to the steps remodelers are taking to prepare thorough bids and, perhaps more importantly, the process by which they follow up on lost bids.

Over half of respondents cited price as the most common reason for losing jobs they've bid competitively. Casting doubt on the veracity of this sentiment, however, is the fact that 32% of remodelers also reported losing bids to contractors who have submitted higher bids.

Furthermore, 79% of respondents say they are only sometimes — if ever — the lowest bid on projects that they are awarded, suggesting that price is seldom the sole determining factor in selecting a contractor. For the three quarters of remodelers still bidding competitively, this should come as a welcome surprise.

Tool Winner: Kenneth Pieper, of KJP Contracting, in Rice Lake, Wis., won a Bosch 3915 10-inch slide compound miter saw for participating in this month's Reader Panel.