A Client Takes A Bid For Less & Seems to Fear That Their Decision Is the Wrong One Already-Before the Work Has Even Begun.

Last week I received this message in an email from a client-

“Hi Bill,

I have decided to go with another waterproofing specialist.  You impressed me with your degree of expertise and professionalism, but his bid was many thousands of dollars lower.  I realize that I may come to regret this decision, and hope that if his system fails, you will be open to working with us in the future.”

Now I don’t blame anyone for wanting to save money. Saving money is something we all want to do, but when you think the decision you made may be wrong even before the job starts…well it probably is. Although I impressed him with my degree of expertise and professionalism, someone else’s low price must have impressed him more. But, as they say, it is impossible to pay a little and get a lot. It can’t be done.

“People value the things they pay a lot for more than things that they pay less for. They are more likely to be certain that they made the right decision if they chose to spend as much as they could conceive of.

An interesting corollary – For many, the fear of choosing a good or service that doesn’t fit their need far outweighs the fear of spending too much money. Spending more is almost like an insurance policy against fault. After all, no one is going to blame you for hiring the best WATERPROOFING Company no matter how much they charged. Even if your deck leaks, it’s not your fault.

It weeds out the cheapskates. People who don’t think the thing you do (in my case, waterproofing) is worth what you’re charging won’t hire you…and that’s worth something. 

I don’t like to lose jobs to our competitors-especially when the competitors bid is for  less work than what is going to be needed. If the job was bid on an “apples to apples” basis I could understand losing the job based on the price.  But, when the client takes a low bid solely on the basis of low cost, and hopes that it works out, but if it doesn’t…well I’d predict that there’s probably going to be  problems for that client-such as the possible failure to solve the problem correctly, which would waste all the money they spent, the strong possibility of change orders that may push the job to a much higher cost than I had bid for doing the entire job without change orders, or the possiblity that the product they are buying is inferior to the ICC-ES evaluated Desert Crete decking system we proposed to install.

This job I lost to a low bid has tile over a waterproofing system that has failed in multiple areas (water leaking in). Previous attempts to fix it did not work. My bid proposed to remove everything down to the joists inc tile, waterproofing and plywood. The competitor bid to demo the tile to the plywood then inspect the plywood for what areas need to be replaced.

My question was how are they going to get the plywood clean enough to inspect and then how are they possibly going to be able to go over the plywood with new material so that it’s level and even? Seems to me like a lot of time trying to salvage plywood that’s not really suitable for going back over again. Do you really want to spend money chipping up tile only to find that the costs of the time for demo and cleaning are more than the costs of demo and replacement? Experience has shown that it’s faster and more efficient to demo everything and rebuild it with new plywood.

Another question is are the competitors giving you a deck system that meets fire code? Class A deck/roof assemblies are required on homes in SLO County. Burning embers landing on a rubber deck vs a concrete deck like ours may melt and burn rubber. Concrete doesn’t melt…

We also bid to open the stucco walls, remove all the existing flashings and install new flashings. Coating manufacturer’s all say the same thing; for a complete watertight seal, the coating must run up the leg of the flashing, behind the walls waterproofing materials that come down over it in a weatherboard fashion. Leaving the new coating below the wall waterproofing only leaves open the possibility that water will find a weak spot and intrude.

These items were left out by our competitor. Should we have left them out to open the door for a better chance of getting the job? Our bid would have been much lower.

Perhaps. However, my feeling is that its better to bid the job with a scope of work that will absolutely solve the clients problems, not leaving them to wonder if our system will work and if not, will the other contractor work with us after this fails?

I feel bad for the client because I lost the job because I didn’t educate him enough to make a decision based on knowledge, not price. I’m sorry. I’ll do better next time!

If your like me and want to sleep at night, call us at 805-545-8300. We will do your job the right way or not at all. Failure isn’t an option for us and we won’t let you waste your money (with us anyway) on something we know won’t work for the long term (25+ years in life span).

Invest in your home with a deck waterproofing system that is proven and has passed the test of time. See why we say Desert Crete can’t be beat.


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