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How to Get Bids on Home Projects So You Don’t Waste Time or Money

Installing a barn door seemed so simple.

The doors look great on HGTV when the hosts hang them on the rail and slide them back and forth. It couldn’t be that hard to do, could it?

Then the door arrived. It was unassembled and unpainted. None of the hardware was attached. Installing it would require tools and skills I didn’t possess.

I needed help, so I started looking for a professional handyperson. I asked neighbors and went online, and I started collecting bids. The bids varied widely both in the amount of time the pros thought hanging the door would take and what it would cost.

Only one handyman asked me lots of questions, so I hired him, even though he wasn’t the cheapest, because I thought he knew what he was doing. He arrived with a few extra supplies he knew I’d need based on the questions he had asked me. He even took the old door away. It worked out much better than it would have if I’d tried to do it on my own.

While the process of getting bids can be time-consuming and you may be tempted to go with the first or the lowest one, that’s not always the best course of action. By making sure to ask the right questions when evaluating professionals, you can save yourself time, money and frustration in the long run.

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