Sunday, April 12, 2009

Bidding Wars: Part II

The term "Bidding War" conjures up images of fast talking auctioneers and stone-faced buyers spending millions with the simple lift of a numbered paddle or nod of the head. If that bidding process is the heart-pounding guerrilla skirmish of bidding wars, then the bidding process to do our addition was the castle siege of bidding wars. The goal was simply to outlast the enemy hoping he would eventually give up. We did not give up.

After final completion of the plans (if they ever really are final), our architect’s company submitted their bid. We also sent the plans to two other companies. One did the original addition to the house 17 years ago, the other did an addition to Sarah D’s parents house. The latter company’s owner stopped by on Valentine’s day, was very nice, asked a lot of relevant questions, and had a lovely portfolio. When he left, Colleen and I were very taken with him and couldn’t wait to get his bid. Three weeks later he emailed a quote that was 40% higher than our first offer. One down.

When the owner of the second company also stopped by to pick up the plans, he asked few questions and went quietly on his way. After not hearing from him for three weeks, I called him up and he said he had a few questions for me, which I answered to the best of my ability. Two weeks later we still hadn’t heard from him so I called again. He had more questions for me (apparently I should have been calling him more often). Six weeks after getting the plans from us he delivered a bid. It was about 10% under our architect’s company, but after waiting six quiet weeks for the bid, we were not excited to jump at that opportunity.

We went back to our architect’s company and asked them what they could do for us. They sharpened their pencils and came back with a quote that was low enough to give them the job. Colleen and I feel very good about the work staying in the hands of the people who have been there the whole time and we are excited about moving on to the next steps.

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