Contractor Network: Cost vs. Quality


Our business thrives because of the breadth and quality of our contractor network.

There’s been a lot of conversation lately surrounding cost and quality of contractor work – and it’s an important one.

Let’s be honest, if you have a good relationship with your contractors – and you treat them well – you will get quality workmanship for a fair price. But it takes time to build a relationship. Our best recommendation on sourcing new contractors has always been through word of mouth because of the existing relationships within your network.

Whether you are building your contractor network or looking for a one-time project relationship, part of the sourcing and selection process will be a cost vs. quality discussion. If you’ve found a contractor and have gone through a prequalification process, now it’s time to talk money. We work with contractors in over 45 different trade categories and the conversation often boils down to price and quality.

Here is a simple model of cost vs. quality that you’ll want to keep in mind as you make your decision to hire a new contractor. If you have a handful of contractors bidding on an identical scope of work, you’re going to get back a range of prices. But you’re also going to get a range of quality. And while there is not always a direct relationship between the two, there are 4 general categories where cost and quality align.


♦ High Cost / High Quality You pay the price for quality work but be sure it is fair.

♦ Low Cost / High Quality This is ideal! We want the best quality and we want to get it at the best price. It is possible when you build good relationships with your contractors.

♦ High Cost / Low Quality  We NEVER say NEVER but right here we will.

♦ Low Cost / Low Quality If you’re on a tight budget, sometimes you have to sacrifice a little quality. KEY WORD: SOMETIMES. You can get the job done at a low price, but make sure your expectations are clear.



There are going to be a few other factors to consider when you’re looking at this matrix and making a decision. Ask yourself these questions:

What is your budget? What are your own quality expectations? What is more important, quality or cost?

You will likely fall into a different quadrant for each project and that’s normal. The decision will come from identifying what’s important to get the job done and communicating that to the contractor.

Stay tuned for our upcoming blog post on interpreting contractor quotes, understanding labor and material breakdowns, and negotiating with contractors.

Mariel Nowack

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