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Bidding Wars: Unveiling the True Cost of Low-Ball Construction Contracts

In the realm of construction projects, the allure of a low bid can be irresistibly tempting for clients. Who wouldn't want to save a few bucks, right? However, as the old adage goes, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. The world of construction bidding is no exception. What may initially appear as a cost-saving opportunity often turns into a financial nightmare, as clients find themselves facing a barrage of unexpected expenses and headaches. Let's delve deeper into this issue and uncover the hidden costs lurking beneath those enticingly low bids.


Initial Low Bids Mask True Costs

At first glance, a low bid may seem like a bargain, promising substantial savings. However, these bids often fail to account for the full scope of the project. Contractors may underestimate expenses or intentionally omit certain costs to make their bid more competitive. Consequently, clients are blindsided when additional charges start piling up throughout the project.


With a Hammerhead quote, our quotes are clearly detailed with inclusion and exclusions. We don't hide behind vague quotes.


Change Orders and Extras

Once the construction work is underway, clients soon discover that what was promised in the initial bid doesn't quite align with reality. Suddenly, there are change orders for unforeseen circumstances, extra materials, or unexpected complications. Each of these adds a hefty sum to the final bill, leaving clients grappling with sticker shock and frustration.


We do out best to keep clients aware of any substantial costs that may arise that may not be known at the start of the project. Our experience allows us to foresee challenges that may arise that may cost, and will inform you up front of possible costs if necessary.


Any changes you make to the project will be detailed in a Change Order and require your authorization before work is completed.


Quality Sacrifices for Cost-Cutting

In their quest to win the bid, some contractors resort to cutting corners on quality. Cheaper materials, rushed workmanship, and shortcuts become the norm, all in an effort to meet the low price promised in the bid. However, this penny-pinching approach often results in subpar results that compromise the integrity and durability of the finished project.


While it may look like a garage when the work is completed, once the contractor is long gone, the poor quality in details begins to rear its head.


Poorly laid concrete can lead to significant cracking beneath the surface, or with poorly sloped concrete, you may experience pooling water. Concrete is not an item inspected by the a third party inspector, so this is a common area where contractors can skip out on quality where it is easily hidden.


Poor framing could mean inadequate headers to support your roof and crooked walls.


Lack of quality exterior materials or improperly installed...leaking, moisture inside, mold. If there is a build up of moisture on the lumber, the walls can begin to decay. The only solution is tearing the garage down and rebuilding it before it collapses.


Poorly installed electrical....well this is how fires start. All of our electrical work is completed by a Journeyman Master Electrician and inspected by the city.


Disputes and Delays

As the project progresses and the gap between the initial bid and the final cost widens, tensions mount between clients and contractors. We have too often seen this nightmare. Many discount contractors who underbid projects will then stop showing up to work unless the homeowner pays the extras, or they simply realize they are about to be in the red, and walk away from the project with what little cash they may have collected so far.


Transparency and Accountability

To prevent falling victim to the pitfalls of underbid contracts, both clients and contractors must prioritize transparency and accountability from the outset. Clear communication, thorough project planning, and detailed contracts are essential for setting realistic expectations and minimizing surprises along the way. Clients should scrutinize bids carefully, ensuring they reflect the true cost of the project, while contractors must uphold honesty and integrity in their pricing practices.


In conclusion, while the allure of a low bid may be enticing, it's essential for clients to proceed with caution. By understanding the hidden costs associated with underbid construction contracts and prioritizing transparency and accountability, clients can navigate the construction bidding process more effectively, ultimately saving themselves from unnecessary headaches and financial burdens.

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