The first bids for the $7.2 million dollar renovation project at the Mitchell Corn Palace have come back higher than expected. The Palace Board will now look at several alternative plans to try and bring the price closer to budget.
Many people working on spring construction or landscaping projects at any level may also be dealing with a similar bidding process.
“I went over budget a little bit…there's always something when you're building that you're going to want to add that you see is really cool,” said Shawn Kenkel, who just finished building a custom home.
Sioux Falls home builder Dusty Rallis says when many people start a project, they start pricing it with the best, top-of-the line materials.
“Say it’s installing a window; they could be charging you $200 for that window, but then the same size window could also cost $1000,” said Sioux Falls Home Builder Dusty Rallis.
But eventually your planning process is going to come down to your budget—that’s why its important to do some research before you start.
“We did a lot of looking around, at parade of homes houses, talking to other people, talking to some of the contractors,” said new custom home owner Paul Bezdicek.
Rallis says the most important step during the planning and bidding process is to pay attention to details.
“So you know if you're getting a new window put in your house, what kind of window, what is it made of? If you’re getting some landscaping down, what kind of landscaping am I getting? Am I getting two little plants or big tall trees,” said Rallis.
While contractor's bids can vary quite a bit, the type of products you choose to use in your project will have the biggest affect on a contractor’s final bid.
“You can get stone for $2 a square foot and you can get stone for $20 a square foot. That’s before it’s even put on the wall,” said Rallis.
That’s why you should choose your materials before you bid the project, so contractors are giving you a quote for the exact same work.
“One guy might include this, another may not...make sure you're getting an apples to apples comparison,” said Bezdicek.
“Make sure you know the product that you're putting in. Know that the total project is going to be X dollar amount, this is going to be the contractor’s percentage of profit—make sure its all spelled out in black and white. That way there's no hard feelings,” said Rallis.
Also remember that choosing a contractor and keeping your project on budget can come down to more than just price.
“I always looked at was reputation of the contractor. I'd always ask them to bring a brag book or references, that kind of stuff so I could talk to other people that had used them before. I’d also go and look at some of their work too to make sure it was done the way I wanted it done,” said Bezdicek.
“You want to know and trust your contractors…so the bottom line is just being comfortable with the person you hire, and knowing the kind of work they can do,” said Kenkel.