Comparing Timber Frame Bids: Apples Are Not Oranges

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You're ready to start your project and you've talked to several timber frame companies. There's one quote that is several thousand dollars lower than the other two. Should you choose that one? The most important step you should take at this stage is comparing the timber frame bids. Do they all cover the same scope of work?

Use this list as a starting point for comparing timber frame bids:

  • Design - Will developed shop drawings be provided for your approval ?
  • Engineering - Will the shop drawings have a structural engineering stamp? This is usually needed for permitting.
  • Wood Species - What kind of timber will be used? Are there options?
  • Wood Finish - Is any finish included in the bid? Will the timbers be smooth or rough?
  • Square Foot - What is the SqFt of the frame? What is the cost per SqFt?
  • Board Foot - How many Board Feet of timber is in the frame?
  • Hardware - Is all necessary hardware included in the bid?
  • Delivery - Is delivery to site included? Is a forklift for unloading included if needed?
  • Installation - Is erection of the frame part of the price? This is an important item to check.
  • Equipment - If a crane, forklift or man lift are needed for raising the frame are they included in the bid?
  • Travel - If you have to travel to raise my frame are any costs I'll be responsible for included in your bid?
  • Business - How many years have you been in business?
  • References - Can you provide references?

For more information and frequently asked questions check these links - FAQs / Homeowner Questions / The Process