Do not be tempted by low bids

L shaped custom ADU

I know, it is hard. But it will be even harder later on, when that low bider comes back to you because he had omitted something in the bid to make it look low. This is how homeowners become hostages – the contractor is raising the price, cutting costs where you really do not want them cut, and/or abandoning the project altogether. The result is stress, scope creep, delays, quality issues.

And you think finding the contractor to start was hard? Imagine how hard it will be to get another contractor to complete somebody else’s job (hint: liability).

If anyone is quoting you a much lower number than other competitive bids, check their license, references, and ask if these costs are included:

  • engineering drawings, architect and/or designer fees
  • city fees for building permits and inspections
  • connection to utilities (fees and trenching)
  • foundation
  • building materials and labor
  • finishes (wall tile, paint, flooring)
  • transportation costs and crane rental if modular
  • site setup (i.e. fence, temporary toilet for the crew)
  • water heater, HVAC
  • solar panels (required for new construction since January 2020)
  • appliances (stove, washer, dishwasher)
  • kitchen cabinets, storage units
  • landscaping

You will have to add some furniture and light fixtures on top of the above.

Send me a note if you think I have forgotten an item.

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