How to politely reject a contractor?

30 Replies

He came on site to give me a quote the other day, which is much higher than others'. He called and texted me several times asking whether I would accepted his quote today. I don't want to give him any hard feeling, so want to know how you would reply to reject a contractor's bid?

just tell him what happened. You were able to get it done for cheaper. Also tell him you are open to working with him in the future. Sometimes you get the best performance from contractors when they know you have other options

I am a painting contractor , and I get turned for somebody getting a lower bid which is no problem we are use to it . So do not feel bad . This is business !! I am impressed he is following you up with you . I would say be cautious of getting the lowest bid . I am not saying all low bids are horrible . But remember value is the most important . What are you getting for your $$$ ?

Best luck on the project

Thanks for the replies. He offers to do part of the job at a fraction of price.

Also, he said he would be around to check out how well the job would be done. I am so afraid he is going to bother my chosen contractor while they are working.

@Michael Stole

He was probably just posturing. However, if he does any of those things, it will just reinforce your decision not to use him.

In addition, he would have no reason to come on the premises if he is not doing work for you, so, if he steps out of line, you can just ask him to leave.

Thanks, Roy.

Also, for those general contractors, I think they are going to give me a high bid. Should I inform them in advance what I got on bid so if they would give me a high bid, they don't have to waste their time? I think this can save their time on preparing a bid, but not sure if it is proper. Any advice?

When shopping for contractors , I typically create an excel spreadsheet and fill it with parameters that are important to me such as availability , time frame, cost , etc. Then I start calling around and I let them know up front that I am calling around and getting bids from other contractors - sometime they ask the best price I've gotten - sometimes they don't - either way - they are prepared to give me their best price and know that I may be using someone else - they always understand -and it makes it much easier to let them down knowing in advance - don't worry about them taking it personal - like others have stated , its a business -they are used to getting calls like that. good luck.

@Michael Stole

Did you prepare a single {detailed} statement of work that was shared with all contractors? This way they are all bidding on the same criteria.

If you have a budget limit then inform them of that as well.

You do not need to tell them the gap to their competitors bid ... unless you want to see if you can drive a little competition (this is the right time of year). You will be amazed by the spread in bids.

If he is following up this hard you wonder if he has money problems? Tell him you got a better quote but would like to call him on others to get quotes. You should also give him an idea of where you need the budget to come in at.

Originally posted by Curt Davis:
If he is following up this hard you wonder if he has money problems? Tell him you got a better quote but would like to call him on others to get quotes. You should also give him an idea of where you need the budget to come in at.

I use a lot of contractors in my day job, this guy sounds like a fly-by-night operation, hard up for money, drugs, etc. A good contractor is usually so busy YOU have to follow up with them, they're rarely going to hound you for a job.

Thanks. The spread is really big. For exterior painting, it ranges from 3000 to 14000.

One honest professional painter told me the exterior painting season has closed in Ottawa, so whoever said he could do it now and fast is not professional.

Ok, the guy followed up again, and said the subcontractors who came with him charged $150 for estimation.

How ridiculous! If they charge any for estimation, they should let their potential clients know in advance. I am glad I did not pick this guy and regret that I called him to come for estimation.

When you hire cheap labor, you get cheap work. There could be a reason he charges a fee to give an estimate because investors could be using him to give estimates and not using his services.


Joe Gore

I take full responsibility with my decision. But they have no right to force me to choose them just because they have high quality. And just because 80% of their clients called them back, it does not necessary mean their price is fair.

They are sending the bill, and I won't pay it.

Absolutely no.

And I am writing to each of the contractors from whom I asked for bid, saying that this is an open bid, so they may not get the job, if so don't get mad. I don't want to be bother by each of them.

Originally posted by Joe Gore:
Michael,

Did it say anywhere on the estimate that they charge $150.


Joe Gore

No, the general contractor just came and gave me a oral bid, and said he would send two subcontractors later. He never mentioned any charge for estimation, though I don't know how he dealt with the subcontractors.

Originally posted by Michael Stole:
Thanks, Roy.

Also, for those general contractors, I think they are going to give me a high bid. Should I inform them in advance what I got on bid so if they would give me a high bid, they don't have to waste their time? I think this can save their time on preparing a bid, but not sure if it is proper. Any advice?

The high bid , it may be the accurate bid , and the low bid may have missed something . Dont mention the other bids , either the amount or the company . As businessmen , good contractors know their competition . And they can be friendly with their competition . Will you get a fair quote if all 3 contractors know each other , I doubt it , all 3 may go out for a beer and discuss their bids before you get them .

I personally would have charged you and made you aware of my estimate charges upfront with a signed contract. No nothing good in life comes “free” and if you think that well all the power to ya!

A myth that a good contractors are so busy they should not follow up, that is people that have no idea what it is like to run a construction company. Absolutely wrong!

Only place contractor made a mistake is getting you to sign for a good costly accurate estimate. Dumb!

Yes I can produce a very accurate estimate or fake it up front and hit you with a bunch of charges on the back end. Dahh! Nothing new there happens all the time not with our company we are too honest!

You REI need to realize I and my subs will estimate your projects within $50....you can not do that no matter what you think you don't know.

I estimate 5-10 homes a day do u?

@Terry Portier

But you've already advised us in another thread that you work with insurance companies, make at least 50% profit and that we REI are not worth your time.

So, I really don't think you can answer questions from REI who work with contractors that don't do insurance work.

I don't ever pay for bids and anybody advising me that they want to charge me - they don't need to bother coming out.

14K bid for an exterior paint job would seem that it's either a 7-color custom job on a 2 story victorian painted lady or a big multi-family building.

Business is business.  Price, time frame to complete the job, reliability/quality of work are the big 3.  Just be honest.  You have a budget and you feel another contractors price gives you the best chance to hit your numbers and reach your end game.  There shouldn't be hard feelings. 

Tell him the truth.  Everyone can handle the truth.  If you are using another contractor tell him why so he can improve what he does and aligns with what his customers are seeking.

As a roofing contractor myself, I don't know any contractor who is hurt from someone turning down their bid. It's a numbers game. The more people we bid, the more sales we make. The fact that he followed up and is persistent shows he a smart sales rep.