Low-Ball Bids Create “Survival of the Un-Fittest”

We’ve worked alongside many general contractors and municipalities over the years, and we understand the pressures they face to keep costs down. Lately, there is an uptick in competition for bids, with some vendors racing to the bottom to secure work at bargain-basement prices. It’s becoming a situation of “survival of the un-fittest.”

Basement bidding is not a sustainable way to do business—for either the vendor or the client. We dislike cliches as much as the next guy, but in this case, it bears repeating. “You really do get what you pay for.”

Look Good Now, Pay Later

Accepting a low bid might get you a few pats on the back at the office, and maybe even a shout out in the next company meeting. But as the work progresses and the project runs into predictable trouble, you’ll be on the receiving end of a distinct form of praise—the unwanted kind. It’s a sure bet that, before it’s all over, you’ll go from being a hero to a zero in no-time flat.

Phoenix Masonry has always done business eye-to-eye, with a handshake and the knowledge that our word is our bond. When you put out an RFP for a commercial construction project, it’s more than advisable to seek a partner with the same philosophy. We bring a value-engineered (VE) approach to our work—combining efficiencies in materials, labor, and scheduling. And we put an emphasis on having well-trained, high-IQ staff because we know they can make or break a project.


As a general contractor or municipality, be aware of the risks associated with assigning a contract to the lowest bidder. Here is a quick rundown of the sacrifices you can expect to make when you accept low bids:

  • Frequent change orders, which make up the difference between their low bid and other higher bids.
  • Low-quality work, because craftsmanship comes at a price
  • Cheaper materials which necessitate replacement sooner rather than later
  • Delays that put your project behind schedule
  • Compromised safety standards which can lead to many unwanted incidents

Due Diligence Matters

Find out who you’re dealing with for your project. How long have they been in business? Talk to their vendors. Do they pay their bills on time? Who is on their team? How long have their employees been with them? What are their safety and quality assurance procedures? It takes some digging below bid numbers to really see what you’re getting. 

Not The Lowest Bid, Just the Most Reliable Delivery

We have been in business for ten years. Our communication is frequent and transparent and our actions are aboveboard. Look under our hood and kick the tires. We welcome your scrutiny, because we know it’s for the good of everyone involved. You know exactly what you get with a Phoenix Masonry bid. No surprises and no excuses. 

We provide competitive bids that have quality worked into the numbers. In many cases, we can adjust our bid to make your budget numbers work; we just need the opportunity to do so. Talk to us. We can work it out. 

The Choice Is Yours

There are companies out there that are making low-ball bids as a means to survive the current turbulence. When the dust clears, you don’t want to be left holding the ball because they can’t deliver the standards you need on such a low budget. Put another way, you can either accept accolades early for accepting the lowest bid or wait for your praise later when you deliver a quality project.