After getting your multiple bids (it's best to have a minimum of 3) you are ready to decide which Contractor to go with. Here's the tough part, do you grab the cheapest bid, hope for the best, and accept. I mean after all you are saving $2,500! Or do you carefully look at each bid, weigh the price but also weight the quality, the company, and the finishing expectations?
Price is very important, but just as important is the quality of the job. On a low bid you may end up with a finished project that isn't up to par and wouldn't last more than a few years. In that case, in the long run it isn't worth saving a few bucks now to then have to replace everything a few years down the road. Also, Be sure to look at the materials that are going to be used and do the research to make sure you are getting what you want.
Another very important thing to consider is your first impression of the Contractor as well. This may not seem important, but remember, depending on the project you may be communicating with this person for months! You should make sure you can communicate clearly, and can understand the Contractor. If your Contractor shows up in a truck that is falling apart, with tools sitting in the back completely rusted. He parks on your lawn steps out with a cigarette in his mouth, holes in his shoes, bids the job, while barely talking to you, then leaves without shaking your hand, it may be a good idea not to go with his bid, even if it is the lowest.
Look closely at what the bid includes. Some bids may include clean up and finishing work (seeding grass, removal of debris etc...) where others may not. Some bids may not include everything to finish the project, meaning if you accept and start the project then realize the Contractor didn't include something you need, he could add it in at an extra cost, bringing your final total up from the initial bid.
Finally, just as a tip, if a low bid is extremely low compared to the other bids you received in comparison, there may be something seriously wrong. Always be on the look out for Contractors who promise a lot for a little price, you may end up getting little in the end! The best advice I can give, is to pick a bid somewhere in the middle. Go with the polite guy who shook your hand and answers your calls, the one who explained the entire job to you, the one who will finish and leave you with an end result you love that will last for years....even if his price is a little higher than the lowest bid!