Often times, when searching for a builder, people are drawn towards the lowest quote imaginable. This is not surprising, as it’s human nature to be drawn towards the best bargain. Though based on seemingly sound logic, the trouble with this is that people often do not factor long term costs into the equation.
To show you what I mean, let’s take a look at an example from outside the construction industry.
Say there are three friends looking to buy a suit for another friends wedding. The first friend purchases the cheapest suit possible, while the second friend decides to go with a higher end affair from a reputable brand and pays a bit extra for alterations. The third friend chooses to go with the absolute top of the line option, and gets a custom tailored Italian suit. At the wedding, the first friend may suffer from discomfort due to his stiff, ill fitting attire, but overall the three will probably do fine.
But what happens the next time they need a suit? Or the time after that?
Eventually, over time, the cheap suit will become frayed, torn and generally unwearable. It will likely not be cost efficient to have alterations done to a cheap suit, so, before you know it, friend one will find himself back at the shop, selecting another suit from the rack.
The third friend is likely to run into another problem: He has spent over a months worth of salary on a suit that he will only wear a few times per year.
The second friend will likely be the best off in the coming years, as he chose to use value as his main criteria for suit selection. While the third friend sunk a bunch of money into his initial purchase and the first friend’s frugality will end up causing him to have to purchase cheap suit after cheap suit, the second friend went with an option that stretched his dollar the furthest.
This emphasis on value is what people should focus on when hiring a contractor.
A builder with a ‘too good to be true’ low quote will be more likely to take shortcuts, cut corners, hire an unqualified crew and provide low value work. A builder with an unreasonably high quote will likely do a fine job, but at tremendous cost to the homeowner. If you are simply adding a deck to your home, there is no reason to hire the same gentleman who outfits the homes of celebrities and nobility with winding staircases and powder rooms.
For most homeowners, the ideal choice is the neither the cheapest option, nor the fanciest option. A qualified contractor with fair rates and a lengthy history of service is the most likely to provide value - the exact services you require, at a reasonable price with a smile on his face.