Finding a Contractor: Getting Multiple Bids

Rick Goodmanson
Rick is the CEO of Goodmanson Construction where he facilitates opportunities for both staff and clients to achieve their goals.

“We Want to Get Multiple Bids.”

Residential Concrete Stamped Concrete Patio

So you want to hire a contractor for your business or home improvement project. Great! Many times we hear our customers say they want to get multiple bids on their project when they are choosing a contractor. We totally understand. It’s the smart way to go!

A lot of times the projects are a huge investment for them and their families and we want to make sure our customers are as educated as possible so they do not make a decision they will regret. Finding the right contractor is a lot of work!

After our customers have received multiple offers, sometimes the question comes up “why are Goodmanson’s prices higher than this other contractor when comparing apples to apples?”

When you’re talking about a good contractor, rarely is the comparison actually apples to apples and here’s why:

Goodmanson Construction Equipment

1) Equipment – Most construction companies do not have the type of equipment we have.

Some examples are:  We use skid steers for re-grading of your lot, we shoot laser measurements to make sure of heights for grading purposes, we compact the base materials 3 times with large compacting machines, we use a diamond saw to cut your control joints, which get deeper than hand tooled joints (40% of the pressure to crack is alleviated with this method).

Goodmanson Construction HARD-CEM finishing concrete
Goodmanson Construction Pouring Concrete

2) Materials – This is usually where most of the job cost is associated.

Let’s just talk about driveways, here: We install a base of 2-6” recycled concrete, we reinforce with 3/8” rebar on a two foot grid pattern which sits on 2” chairs so the reinforcement stays in the middle of the concrete and not on the ground, our concrete is a specifically designed 4,500psi falkstone mix which is installed on driveways 5 ½”-6” thick, we apply curing compound and a sealer, we cut the control joints with a diamond saw 2” deep, and finally we fill all form with black dirt and grass seed and thoroughly clean the entire area.

No one installs a driveway like we do.

Goodmanson Construction Staff

3) Workmanship/Staff – Our craftsmen are career craftsmen.

We do not sub-contract our work.  They are certified finishers, which means they have been trained and educated on the latest techniques, as well as having decades of experience on the job.  Our concrete driveways are poured as one monolithic piece.

A smaller contractor might pour it as a few pours, which causes uneven heights and tripping ledges.  You could also end up with different colors of concrete, with each pour.  Smaller staffs cannot finish at the same time, so they pour in smaller batches and you could have three or four different levels and colors of concrete that do not match.

America's Concrete Contractors of 2017

4) Time-Line/Completion – If it was difficult to get bids from other companies just think how they are going to install your project in a timely manner. For our staff, installing an average driveway is a 3-day project, weather permitting.  Many times we hear stories of contractors starting jobs and spending all summer before it is finally completed.

Asphalt PArking Lot Removal

5) Billing and Payments – Kind of a a minor point but we’ve heard horror stories about this, so we just want to mention it.

Goodmanson Construction isn’t going to keep you on hold for three hours while you work out a payment schedule, or try to make a final payment. We know your time is valuable, so our office staff works as hard as our concrete works to give you personal service and attention to all your billing and technical questions.

Goodmanson Construction

6) Guarantee – a 10-year guarantee is only as good as the company providing it.  We stand by our work, year after year.  We have stood by our work for the last 46 years and we will stand by it for the next 46!

That’s why we were named Best of St. Paul Concrete Contractors for the last 4 years, by the US Commerce Department! That puts us among the best of the best concrete contractors in the Twin Cities metro area. How’s that for an endorsement?

So, in the end it is important to not only look at the price, but also what you are getting for that price. Find out if the contractor is knowledgeable about the products they use, check references and actually call their past customers and look at previous jobs.

We have been called many times after a customer hired someone else and then they hire us to completely re-do the project.

Like the saying goes “The bitterness of poor quality and service lingers long after the sweetness of cheap price is gone”.

What to ask your contractor before making your decision:

  1. How long have you been in business?
  2. Can I see your contractor license?
  3. Are you insured?
  4. Who will be working at this job site and are they able to answer any questions as my project is being installed?
  5. Who are your subcontractors and suppliers?
  6. How long will this project take your craftsmen?
  7. What type of equipment will be used for this project?
  8. How do you ensure proper slope of my project so water runs away from the house/garage?
  9. What type of base is used and how much?
  10. What type of reinforcement do you use and how do you ensure it will not fall to the bottom of the concrete?
  11. What concrete mix design do you install and what is the aggregate?
  12. How thick will the concrete be poured? The forms must be 2”x6”’s in order for the thickness to reach 5 ½”.
  13. How do you apply the curing compound and sealer?
  14. How do you install the control joints and how deep will they be?
  15. What is your guarantee for this project?
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