When Contractors Grossly Underbid a Job

I have run into a new pattern of claims recently where either homeowners accept a quote that is significantly below market price, or they try to limit the scope of work to less than is needed.  Simply put, this is a recipe for disaster.   From the contractor’s perspective, he has put himself in a horrible position.  He can’t deliver the quality that is expected and has to cut corners.  Usually there will be no choice but to abandon the job.  Even if the contractor agrees to limit the scope of work in order to keep costs down, the homeowner will be dissatisfied because she will not be receiving a “finished” product.

Once a contractor abandons, the homeowner finds out that the cost for completion is so excessive, that he may not be able to finish the job.  At this point, a homeowner may be forced to do damage control by paying to return the property to a livable state rather than completing the scope of work.  Damages would not allow for the homeowner to recover enough funds to complete the project.

Contractors should never agree to cut corners when estimating a job.  Even a homeowner that acknowledges that certain work won’t be done may ultimately find the contractor’s effort unacceptable.  If a price sounds “too good to be true,” it usually is.