Should You Pay For Contractor Bids or Estimates?

"Carl, I have my house plans and would like to ask several contractors to give me estimates.

I read that the best way to do it is to get a bid and specs (specifications) from one contractor and then use that for the others so you will be able to compare apples to apples. Is this the right way to do it?

The first contractor that I called wants to charge me for an estimate with bid specs is this normal? R.J."

R. J., no legitimate contractor, subcontractor, home builder, or building material supplier that I know of charges for preparing bids or estimates.

Your idea for comparing apples to apples is a good one, but be sure you retype the estimate so that other contractors won't know. Your idea will also make sure the bids are for similar work that the job specifications are the same.

Read my Construction Bids for information on job specifications.

Everyone should get (shop) bids or estimates from at least three contractors for each specific building construction category.

This shopping is important. I hate to shop, but one morning early in my home building career I struck gold when I met with...continued.

Carl Heldmann