Best Practices for Handling Multiple Contractors Price Quotes


One of the greatest challenges non-profit organizations and associations face is maintaining and updating their leased space. Any organization has to periodically make significant changes to their working area. As businesses grow, rooms need to be rearranged, employees need to be moved around, carpet needs to be updated, and sometimes entire walls need to be removed or built.

Meanwhile, routine maintenance often means dealing with outside contractors—lawn care services, housekeeping providers, and HVAC system installation and repair. Before signing any contract, associate executives and non-profit managers need to look for the best value available. Often, this involves fielding bids from multiple contractors. As you work with each contractor to achieve the best deal for your company, there are a few things to keep in mind:

Be prepared to negotiate

Getting the best deal doesn’t just mean asking three or more contractors for an estimate on the job and just picking the lowest one. When contractors bid on a job, they are agreeing on a price beforehand, with the promise that the final cost to you will not exceed that amount. That means that to get the best price, you will have to take an active part in the negotiation process.

Whether you have had formal negotiation training or not, negotiating a good deal is delicate work. While you are trying to get the lowest cost for your company, the contractors are working just as hard to achieve the highest profit for their companies. This is one area where getting bids from at least two or three contractors can work in your favor—and you should let the contractors know that you are taking multiple bids. Not only does it show the contractor that price is important to you, but it lets them know that they are competing with other contractors for your business. In other words, they need to bring their A-game.

One of the keys to negotiating with contractors is to not let it feel like a negotiation. Remember that you are asking the contractor to accept a lower value for their work and effort. If you’re not careful, that can seem like an insult, so keep the contractor’s feelings in mind. Don’t try to trick or bully them into an unfair contract. If you want them to give you what you want, then give them what they want. The goal is to reach a deal that is fair for everyone.

Hire an experienced construction lawyer

When you are preparing your office for a major renovation, make sure to retain the help of an experienced attorney to guide you through the process. They can be a valuable resource as you consider each bid, advising you on the legality and feasibility of what each contractor suggests. Once you have decided on a contractor, continue to check in regularly with your attorney. It’s important to be familiar with potential legal troubles you may come across—necessary permits, zoning laws, and such.

Make sure that your lawyer is qualified and knowledgeable about all aspects of your company’s specific situation. Lawyers representing tax exempt organizations and nonprofit firms are well versed in nonprofit governance; however, they have little knowledge on the complexities surrounding construction laws. It’s therefore important to retain the services of a lawyer who is versed in all the issues that might apply to that company..

Once you have decided on a contractor, your construction lawyer will be the one to draw up the agreement. Before you sign, it is vital that you are familiar with all of the terms of your contract so that you won’t be surprised by any unforeseen problems.

An attorney is generally only necessary for larger projects the design professionals. For a smaller project in the range of about $2000, hiring an attorney may not be necessary. For medium and large renovations, on the other hand, an attorney’s services will prove their worth several times over.

Remember that money isn’t everything

Just because a contractor offers you the lowest bid doesn’t mean you should automatically hire them. It is a mistake to assume that the lowest bidder will always offer the best bargain or the highest value. Some contractors may offer a low bid in order to win the contract and then sacrifice the quality of the work or materials in order to boost their own profit margins. Do your research on each contractor you are considering to make sure your project is completed properly. You can do your best to negotiate the price down as low as possible, but in the end, the wise choice is to go with the contractor with the best quality of work and reputation


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