Do you like to tell the contractors you didn't hire who you did hire?

6 Replies

I'm in the middle of two projects: some light rehab/improvements on a duplex, and my first time project managing a "real" rehab, consisting of gutting a fourplex and turning it into a triplex (done larger projects like this done before with a hired out project manager, but this is a whole different animal). As a result, I'm in communication with more contractors right now than I've ever been before.

I do my best to get back with all the guys that I didn't hire to let them know that I've gone with someone else, and try to tell them why (particularly if it relates to price or budget).

They have responded professionally and with appreciation for the notice. A few have asked me who I went with instead. I've always been open about it in response, and it made me curious what others do.

Do you tell your non-hired contractors who you decided to hire? If not, why not?

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I've always told contractors they didn't get the job and why. Especially with my commercial jobs, they like to know what trade put them out of the running for the job. They can then look at the subs they are using and re-evaluate if they want to keep them. Helping them to understand why, helps both parties.

I usually tell them to let them know. They usually don't mind and glad I am honest with them. Occasionally they get mad or try to bad mouth whoever I chose but overall they seem OK. Of course if I keep asking them to bid and they don't get the job they stop responding etc. Also I found nowadays that they like to only give verbal bids and only if they get the job will they put it in writing to save them writing up all those quotes.

@George P. It's a small converted house, and the units were <400 sqft 1/1's. Which is fine, and there's a market for that, but the area could command higher rents with >500 sqft units 1/1's.

@Stewart Beal & @Bryan H. Good advice. Particularly as it relates to their subs, employees, and overhead.

@Mark Langdon Verbal bids seem very smart for a contractor's efficiency, but has that made it challenging for you? I like to see in writing a list of what the contractor plans to provide in the price before making the decision to hire so I can make sure that a lower price is not reflective of a missing piece of the job.

It makes it a little more challenging as I am from the old school where contractors would always send you written bids. Some are more sophisticated than others so they send you an email quote. Its the smaller guys who give you better prices than a big outfit who do the verbals. Before I give anyone the project; I always get it in writing. So if I get a verbal price and I like it I tell them that I have to get it in writing. I will never give anyone work based on a verbal. You always have to meet with them and walk through the entire project of what you are having them do so both parties know what's in and what is not in. You can clarify that on the proposal if you need to. When you get it in writing then you usually sign off on the quote/proposal indicating you agree with the scope, terms, conditions, and payment schedule.