The Boyertown Area Times
Tips for negotiating with contractors
Spring is the season for fixing up a home.
Homeowners who aren’t interested in doing the work themselves turn to contractors to ensure the job is done not only to code, but on time and efficiently.
After receiving an initial estimate from a contractor, homeowners may wonder if there is any additional wiggle room in contractors’ costs.
Certain contractors are willing to negotiate while others are firm in their prices. However, learning the basics of negotiation can put homeowners in position to save money on dream renovations.
Do your homework
Getting the best price typically require shopping around and not settling on the first bid.
Experts recommend getting at least three estimates on the same job, and be sure to let each contractor know that you are soliciting multiple bids.
This alone may entice a specific contractor to give you his or her best offer up front.
Avoid simply choosing the lowest bid. Look at quality of work, reputation and reviews. If you like a costly contractor more than another, see if that contractor is willing to match a lower bid to win the job.
Pick the right season
As with other industries, home renovation work heats up during certain seasons or times of year.
General contractors may be more willing to negotiate for a lower price depending on when their busy season may be.
Jobs may slow down in winter, for example.
Talk about supplies
Even after getting a good bid, you may be able to speak with your contractor about lowering costs even more by choosing less costly supplies.
Find out if contractors can source materials from a low-cost supplier. In addition, discuss if you can purchase your own supplies.
Ask to do a portion
Be honest with the contractor about your budget and figure out if there is any way for you to do some of the work to lower costs.
The contractor can give you jobs that are within your abilities, which can shave dollars off the final price.
Know your rights and laws
Understand the laws governing contract language in your state.
Contracts should also
spell out the change order process so that expectations of changes and costs will be
known in advance.
These are just some of the tactics homeowners
can use when negotiating the price of home remodels or improvements.