The Competitive Bidding Approach for Custom Landscape Lighting Design/Build Projects Is Problematic

The Competitive Bidding Approach for Custom Landscape Lighting Design/Build Projects Is Problematic

By Mike Gambino

One of the common ways to go about the process of choosing a professional to design and build a custom Landscape Lighting System is the competitive bidding method. The competitive bidding approach is one in which homeowners interview 2, 3, 4 or more designer/builders.

On the surface, the Competitive bidding process seems to be a logical way to get the best value for your custom Landscape Lighting System investment. But it is not the best way to get the best value or best “actual cost”  for the project and it can lead to all kinds of unintended problems.

Why the Competitive Bidding Process Fails in General

No two builders are the same

  • No two Custom landscape Lighting Systems built even from the same plans by different Designer builders are the same
  • Homeowners will have a different Design Build experience from each Designer/builder
  • Designer Builders know that despite what homeowners say, a lower bid will be more likely to get the project
  • Competitive bidding discourages the best builders to get involved and bid
  • Lack of minimum industry standards, Permits, Inspections and specific licensing and ongoing educational requirements for custom landscape lighting generally leave room for builders to make certain decisions based on lowering costs which will vary from builder to builder and be detrimental to the end result of the project.
  • Competitive bidding encourages some builders to use shortcuts,  lower quality materials, less skilled managers, lower quality craftsmen and other things that are not good for the home owner or the project
  • The bid price, even if that is what is ultimately charged, is not the entire cost of the project
  • Builders that bid low have creative ways of increasing the final costs
  • Projects with problems, delays, or quality disputes always increase the real cost of the project
  • Custom landscape Lighting horror stories often start with a great price

Additional Reasons Why Design/Bid is Bad for High Performance, Low Energy Custom landscape Lighting Design Build Systems

  • The “cost” as reflected in a bid only represents the system’s cost to be built. It does not reflect the cost of building and the cost of owning the system which is the real cost of the system. For example:
    • Gambino Custom LED Landscape Lighting systems are engineered and built to reduce the cost of system ownership by dramatically lowering energy costs, maintenance costs, increasing the life of systems by the use of more durable, lower maintenance materials.
    • Albeit initially higher, the longer term cost savings gained by owning a Gambino landscape Lighting System can be significant.
    • The cost of the system ownership and the value that Gambino Lighting systems offers clients must consider the bigger picture.
    • Bidding based on the cost of constructing the system doesn’t allow for a proper look at costs.
  • While there are other landscape lighting system builders in the area, no other area builder we know builds custom landscape lighting systems that deliver the same savings over time in longevity and durability andGambino landscape Lighting  is known for the value we provide.
  • Bidding, to be helpful for a homeowner must be between builders that can and will deliver the same custom landscape lighting system, the same benefits, the same ownership savings and the same building experience. Gambino landscape lightings’ benefits, process, track record and the value we provide our clients is unique. When landscape lighting projects are put out to bid, Gambino landscape Lighting is never bidding against builders that can deliver what we do.

We’re not saying that using Gambino landscape Lighting will be more expensive or cheaper than using another builder. Nor are we saying that if you use competitive bidding going with the highest bid will assure you have a successful project, delivered on time and on budget.  We are saying that basing your decision about which builder to use based largely on competitive bids is counter intuitively a bad way to go. And it is even worse when it comes to custom design build landscape lighting systems.  It’s best to pick a builder with a track record of building great systems, who has satisfied clients, one you can trust to do a good job, a fair price and a provide you a good building experience.

A home remodeling industry expert once said:

“Most home Improvement horror stories start with a great price.”

Here are some photos of a project that we were recently called out to replace that originally went to the low bidder. These photos where all taken at the same job.

This landscape lighting blog is published by Mike Gambino of Gambino landscape lighting inc. all rights reserved. Mike is a professional landscape lighting system designer/ builder and has been designing, installing and maintaining landscape lighting systems for more than 29 years. Mike resides in the Los Angeles area with his wife and 2 sons. To visit his website go to . To inquire about hiring Mike please click here .

Blog articles may be published with permission on other websites without editing or removing links.




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