When purchasing a mass produced brand name product such as an Apple iPad, there’s virtually no risk in purchasing it at the first store you go into, at least in terms of product quality. An iPad purchased at Best Buy will be of the same quality as one purchased at an Apple store. But hiring a contractor to perform work on your home or business is quite different.
Even if you’re hiring someone to install a mass produced product like a central air conditioning unit, you should get more than one estimate for the job before you hire someone to do it. Here’s why:
To begin with, it’s always good to be able to make price comparisons for the same work to ensure that you don’t overpay. To that end, you should create a list of specifications for the job so that each contractor you get an estimate from knows exactly what you want. These specifications should be as detailed as possible.
Having said all that, you should keep in mind that the lowest price isn’t always the least expensive. For example, if you hire a contractor who doesn’t quite know what he’s doing or doesn’t pay close enough attention to detail and the overall quality of his work, you could wind up with additional expenses down the road to rectify problems he caused, either directly or indirectly.
In addition to price comparisons, it can be very helpful to get different perspectives on the job at hand.
Staying with the central air conditioner example, most people would assume that the new unit should be placed in the same spot as the existing one. However, there may have been changes to local codes that require moving the unit to a different location on the property. Not all contractors stay current in their knowledge of local codes. Or maybe moving the unit to a different spot would be better for its functionality. Again, not all contractors would recognize that and point it out.