Comparing Landscape Lighting Bids Apples to Apples

comparing bidsSo you are looking at installing outdoor lighting and you’re doing your research to pick 3 companies to get bids from. After all, it is the smart and responsible way to find any contractor.  First off, the best way to find a reliable company is to ask your friends and neighbors if they have a company they would recommend.  Be sure to look at the company’s online presence including customer reviews and testimonials.

After you have picked a few to call and have initial meetings, now you have three great bids to consider, but are they the same? Probably not. How do you know that the lighting contractors you’re talking to are giving you pricing for the same thing?

Here are a few things to watch for:

First off, make sure your bid is in writing.  Are they professional? Examine the contract and determine if it is fair. Also, ensure that the legal agreement includes the payment schedule and bid price as well as the scope of work and details on the fixtures.

One of the big differences in lighting bids are the quality of the fixtures that they are installing.  There is a huge variance in fixture price that is directly based on the quality of that fixture.  If you are comparing a bid using cheap fixtures that won’t make it through a season vs fixtures that carry a lifetime warranty, there is likely a huge initial cost savings with the cheap fixtures that will have you paying more in the end when you have replace it.

The fixture manufacturer’s offer different warranties on their fixtures so be sure to ask what type of fixtures the contractor will install and what warranty comes with the fixture.

Finally, can you communicate with them? This may seem like simple stuff, but don’t take it for granted. First, can you call or email them and have them get back to you with answers to your questions in good time? And second do you understand each other? And do you understand the explanations they give you?

Every business is a little different and the goal is to find the one that is right fit for you!  It is not as easy as just picking the lowest price bid as that may not get you what you are looking for.  You aren’t just looking for a fair price but also the company that offers great service and high quality.

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