Ask why the lowest bid is so low

We took a bid of $10,000 over one of $15,000 for a gut-reno job on a bathroom. We were happy with the results until I was steaming up the room to soothe my 2-year-old's cough and aimed the hot water against the shower wall to run it awhile. Ten minutes later a neighbor rang our bell to tell us water was streaming down the siding. Seems the cheaper contractor had saved by cutting corners behind the tiles—there was just a big gap of nothing back there.

—Kathryn Keller, Deputy Editor

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