The results of this month's Reader Panel show that for the overwhelming majority of remodelers, competitive bidding is simply a part of business. Of our respondents, 85% say that they are currently bidding competitively for jobs. Nearly half of these companies spend more than 10 hours preparing their bids, and some are spending up to 50 hours on a single bid--a staggering figure when you consider that most remodelers still do this work free of charge.

The survey also shows that the majority of projects on which bids are placed (61%) are for jobs under $50,000, suggesting that remodelers who are able to make the leap to higher-end work also have a better chance of avoiding competitive bidding.

It is encouraging to find that when it comes to keeping records of competitors' past bids, most remodelers are doing their homework.

But when it comes time to apply this information, many remodelers are dropping the ball--81% say that they do not consult their records of competitors' bids on past projects.


Why does your firm charge for pre-bid estimates?

"We feel that our time is worth money and shouldn't be given away. This process weeds out clients who aren't as serious as others."
-- John Caulfield, Plumb Square Building Group, Silver Spring, Md. "Expenses are going up and prospects looking for the cheapest bid will get what they pay for. I sell quality and a job well done, along with customer satisfaction."
-- Richard Cline, Richard Cline General Contractor, Normal, Ill.

Why doesn't your firm charge for pre-bid estimates?

"Our market does not allow us to charge. If you want to be competitive, you have to give free estimates."
-- Craig Barrett, C.D. Barrett LLC, Washington Township, Mich. "It is the 'free' part that makes the customer see you as more professional and they will almost always call you for details - which gives you the opportunity to close on a tight bid."
-- Douglass Watson, Douglass Construction, Jacksonville Beach, Fla.

Tool Winner

Dale Burdin, of Creative Carpentry, in Avoca, NY, won a Bosch 1275DVS Belt Sander for participating in this month's Reader Panel. "The thing I like about the Reader Panel," Burdin says, "is that it shows remodelers that REMODELING magazine asks for our input and doesn't simply say, 'This is the way we think it should be.' This provides valuable input from people within the industry."