Estimated reading time: 4 minutes, 15 seconds

The B word

If all contractors were the same, (I assure you, they are not) and what you were asking for was exactly the same then in theory, getting 3 bids would work.

Bids (AKA the “B” word) are used by the government to find the cheapest provider. Remember that saying, “You get what you pay for?” It is true.

Insurance companies use “You need to get three bids” as a stalling technique to delay the inevitable. It is a myth, an urban legend, created by insurance companies to make it seem like something is happening. Time is money, and unless your time has no value, you are wasting it getting 3 bids unless contractors #1 and #2 are not a good fit personality wise or have some other flaw.

The truth is that you do not need to get three anythings, you just need to choose a contractor you trust to work with, and you’re done.

Get 3 bids, then what?

Imagine you were in an accident in your car. Nobody was hurt, thank goodness. The insurance company says get 3 bids, then they tell you to use the cheapest one. How would that make you feel?

The same thing goes for remodeling. Is the cheapest the best? Perhaps, or did they forget to estimate something? The uncomfortable conversation that happens eventually is not fun, no one wins, feelings are hurt, friendships are ruined, and trust is lost. Are they going to do what they promised if the budget is weak? Who is at risk in this situation? You guessed it, the client. We are working with a client now whose contractor did the Steve Miller shuffle, “They took the money and ran.” The demolition done, no permit and no contact for weeks. Magic, disappeared into midair.

Insurance work trepidation

First and foremost, we approach all insurance claims with trepidation. The system is flawed in that the company that insures you wants to pay the absolute least they can get away with. This does not build trust or endear them to us. Fighting to be compensated adequately for our work is a 10 on the un-fun meter.

Levco built a better system.

I say, “Spend your time wisely by selecting the contractor that is the best fit for you, then let them do their thing.”

Levco is a quality & service model. The price we calculate for your project during the estimating phase is what allows us to be that way. The fixed price contract amount is a number created by doing the actual ground work needed to be confident that we are dead on. It is a number we track. Proudly we fall within a respectable average 3% variance of actual to estimated costs.

You will hear me say, “typically a project of this magnitude costs between 15- 25 thousand dollars. Where would you like yours to be”? This is how we establish an OPI. (opinion of probable investment). AKA ballpark or a WAG (wild ass guess). These approximations are loosely based on historical data. At this stage, we are trying to help establish if we are a good fit.

The Levco estimating recipe:

Once we agree to work together, you get to sign up for our old school Process. We call it a process because we use the same one every time and it naturally gets easier and more exact as time goes on. I liken it to our “Special Sauce.” If we have created one trade secret, this is it. All this work is done to get the real hard costs corralled for the work that needs to be done. I create one for each project no matter how big or small. We charge for the service and are not embarrassed about it. Naturally, we credit it all back if we are selected and do the work.

Cookin’ with coals

Standard oven, Preheat to 350

Dutch Oven, use 15 charcoal briquettes below and 10 on top

  • 1 cup  >  Measure existing conditions
  • 2 TBS  > Draw plans of the existing conditions
  • 3/4 cup  >  Draw proposed plans then refine them with your input
  • 1/2 tsp  > Create a DOW (Description of Work) then refine it to taste
  • 2 shakes > Create a Take Off  with subcontractor visits for remodeling projects as needed.

Place in a bowl and stir vigorously for about a week and let rise in a draft free area over night. Bake for an hour on the middle shelf. Allow to cool for 30 minutes and serve. Goes well over a bed of chilled remodeling agreement, finished material allowances, a preliminary schedule, and a weekly payment schedule.

Your comments are welcome. To ask questions or get more information about remodeling, click here to email me directly, or call 208-947-7261

If you or someone you know is considering remodeling or just wants to speak to a trustworthy remodeling contractor please contact me, you’ll be glad you did.

Disclaimer: Some of these images came from the WEB. If they are yours, and you object to them being used, please claim them and I will gladly remove and replace them at once.