Successful Re-quote Tips

All contractors have a story about how a bid went south and how it taught them valuable business lessons. What do you do when a little job morphs into a giant repair?


Know what happened. Sometimes, there aren’t any outward signs of damage, and you won’t be able to tell that anything is failing until you get down to the studs. Once you’re in there and you can see the true extent of what’s going on, you know you’re going to need more people and more time to do the job as promised. Other times, it’s your error. Either way, you’ve got some legwork to do.

Help Wanted?

Can you handle it internally? If it’s inside a wall, it’s usually water or electricity. If your people aren’t licensed plumbers or electricians, call in the experts. Start making calls to your local tradespeople. Find out availability and get some quotes. A great resource is the local trade union. They can refer licensed, experienced specialty tradespeople, and help you keep your job on-track.

Back to the Drawing Board

Once you get your support team on-line, rework the quote and then highlight the differences. That way, your owners can find what’s new, easily and quickly. Be prepared to talk about each new item.

Revise your timeline. Longer timelines may create a domino effect. Does your work need to be complete before another trade comes in? Knowing the other schedules can help you determine your best course of action.

Contact Client

Call the owners and explain what happened. Even if it’s something you missed, be honest. Let them know that you have a revised quote and timeline, and are ready to proceed with their permission. Most people would prefer not to halt a job mid-way through. It means looking for and booking another construction company, which usually leads to more time and more energy than most people want to spend.

Negotiate by knowing your hard costs ahead of time. Go into the conversation knowing what your bottom line needs to be. Not being aware of material charges, labor costs or even the price of getting your workers to the job every day can cost you.

Amend Future Contract

Make sure your future contracts have a statement that says your quote assumes all other systems are in good working order and use up to code specifications. If not, then your estimate can and will change to accommodate new time, materials and labor costs.