Armchair Builder

Getting Bids for Your Finished Basement, Part I

Photo by Justin Schearer

Photo by Justin Schearer

We have been talking about how to go about finishing a basement.  In this post, we will discuss how you go about getting bids from subcontractors.  You will send out bid packages to a minimum of three subcontractors per activity.  So, you will send out a package to three different drywall companies, three different trim carpenters, three different painters…etc.  We ask for three bids to make sure we are getting a fair price.  We talked about this in a previous post titled Save Money on Your Next Home Project.

The bid package consists of three items:  the house plans (or architectural renderings), bid sheet (template for how we want the pricing broken down), and the scopes of work and specifications (define the work to be done and detail quality requirements).  These three items can typically be emailed or you can make paper copies for the subs to pickup.  Some of the subcontractors will insist on a scaled paper copy of the plan in order to scale off the dimensions to estimate quantities.

I usually give the subcontractors one to two weeks to get back to me with the bid.  This should give them plenty of time to work on them.  Keep in mind, many of these guys work out on the job site during the day and the only time they have to estimate and bid is at night or on weekends.  So, we want to be respectful of their family time.

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