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Question DetailsAsked on 4/13/2016

How many estimates should I get for rebuilding my porch

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For significant (to you) cost jobs, I recommend getting 3 responsive bids - meaning they give you a meaningful bid that includes the scope of work you asked for and price within the ballpark, and are properly licensed and bonded and insured. So all three within generally not more than 25%, or two within 10-15% and a third maybe outside the 25% variation. That way you get a feeling for what the fair market value in your area is.

Of course, the more "routine" the work is - say painting or vinyl siding - the closer the bids should be. The more sophisticated or fancy the work, the more deviation, and work where it can be done several different ways like maybe foundation repairs and detailed landscaping or interior decorating yuou might get a much wider variation.

One key reason to get multiple bids is so you can identify which bidder(s) are out-of-range - to identify bids which are unrealistic or low-balled or maybe too high and are just a courtesy bid, and also if you think the bidder is legit but out of bounds to discuss whether (without exposing actual contants of other bids) whether he made a math error or such. If I think a bidder is legit but maybe made a scope omission or math error I will tell him that he is way out of range (without specifics on which way or how much) and let him recheck his bid for errors.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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