How do I get competitive bids on my cabinet or countertop project?

What Are Competitive Bids?

Competitive bids are bids that quote exactly the same products and services. The best way to get a truly competitive bid is to have a complete and accurate set of plans and specifications which detail the project as a whole and detail the size and type of all products to be used. It is well worth having your project professionally designed and plans prepared. This not only clarifies the project for yourself, but also leaves no question as to what is to be quoted by your contractors and suppliers.

As you speak to different suppliers and contractors you will be exposed to different, and possibly better,ideas for your project. To get competitive bids have everybody bid exactly the same thing. If you like someone's ideas, ask them to quote the change as an option on your bid. Once you have chosen thecontractor you want to work with spend the time to really refine you project.

Contractors and Suppliers

The biggest variable that affects cabinets, countertops, and every other part of your project is the reputation, reliability, and quality of work, of the contractor, supplier, or craftsman who you are having bid your project.

Check to ensure that they are licensed, insured, and are capable of performing the work to your expectations and in the time frame you require.

To get competitive bids on a project, be specific about the materials you want used, the quality of thework required, the time frame you expect the work to be completed within, and any other expectations you might have.

Kitchen Cabinets


Countertop materials (Formica, Corian, Granite, etc.), within their own product group, are all generally of equal and comparable quality. The biggest variable being the quality of the fabrication and installation work done by the contractor.

To get competitive bids, be specific about the type and color of the material. The size and type of thefront edge and back splash, and the type and type of sink that you want to use.


There are an incredible amount of choices in cabinets not only in the materials, styles, and finish's that are apparent to the eye, but also in the quality of materials and construction that are not so apparent but are ofequal concern.

The difference in price between two similar, but not comparable, cabinets can be as much as a 50% to 100% difference.

Take the time to educate yourself on the different quality levels available in cabinets and the different materials and construction methods used. Also when looking at different cabinet styles, ask how that style compares in the price range of available cabinet styles. To get competitive bids be very specific about the design of the cabinets, materials and hardware to beused; included accessories, type of wood and door style, finish type and color, and whether installation is included.

This is where your plans and specifications ensure you receive "apples to apples" bids.