By Susan Koeppen

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Home improvement projects can be stressful, but there is one thing you can do to improve chances of success.

Angie’s List shows what the magic number is to get the job done right.

Once Catherine Duff made the decision to remodel her half bath, she instantly thought of her father.

“He kind of drilled it into us that it’s really important to shop around and make a decision based on the pros and cons and not a gut feeling and to kind of do your due diligence,” Duff said.

That due diligence led to her getting three bids from potential contractors. According to consumer experts, that’s exactly what every homeowner should do.

“For the last 17 years I’ve talked a ton to consumers about the importance about getting three estimates when thinking about a remodel job. I know it takes a lot of work and a lot of effort, but I’m going to tell you why it’s really important,” Angie Hicks from Angie’s List said.

Angie Hicks founder of Angie’s List says it’s important not to overlook the fact that a team of people will be in your home for an extended period of time.

“They’re going to be there in the morning when you are having breakfast and they also might be there in the evening when you are having dinner. So you want to be sure you are comfortable with the crew and it’s another reason why getting three estimates is good; so you can a chance to talk and compare what it’s going to be like to work with each team,” Hicks said.

Many homeowners end their project even before it gets started because the initial bid is too high. But, a recent Angie’s List poll showed that more than 80 percent of contractors are willing to negotiate with homeowners to get jobs.

So, getting those three bids, say experts, can be leverage for getting a lower price.

“I did not choose the lowest bidder. I’ve always been one of those people who, right before I cross a bridge, I think, ‘You know this was built by the lowest bidder.’ And I would rather be crossing a bridge that was maybe built by the highest bidder or the next bidder because I’ve always thought you kind of get what you pay for,” Duff said.

What Duff paid for and got was a beautiful bathroom and peace of mind that the time and energy spent getting three bids was well worth it.


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