8 Tips for Negotiating with Contractors

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On average, approximately $15,000 is spent on a home renovation.

However, depending on the scale of the renovation and type of materials used, this cost can rise to $85,000.

Renovation projects usually involve many minor projects with which surprises and challenges are bound to arise as work is ongoing.

Without a clear plan and budget for your renovation, you may end up spending a lot more than you anticipated or the project may take too long.

This is why it is essential to hire a contractor to make sure your renovation progresses as planned so that you can use your new kitchen.

Though contractors help you with the budget, they’re also part of the budget.

Therefore, the first step for keeping your costs low is negotiating with contractors. 

In this article, you’ll find insightful tips that will not only help you find the right contractor but also come in handy when negotiating with general contractors.

1. Understand Your Project

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This is one of the most important steps that are often overlooked by homeowners.

To ensure that the budget for your renovation is not too high from the onset, you must understand all that your project requires.

You’ve come up with the design and know what needs to be where. Now you need to get into the finer details.

Do your homework on all the materials that can be used for different jobs and know their prices.

Another aspect of understanding your project involves recognizing what processes are required for it to be completed adequately.

Submittals (learn more about those via Procore) are a key piece of documentation because they are what contractors will use to inform you of what equipment and material they need.

Understanding your project will help you respond to these requests properly.

2. Seek Multiple Estimates

Once you are clear on the design and what the project will entail, begin your search for a contractor.

You can ask for recommendations from your relatives, friends, or colleagues or do an online search.

At this stage, your primary goal is to get at least three suitable contractors.

Even if you love the work of the first contractor you find, continue with your search.

Getting estimates from different contractors gives you a clear idea of what the project could cost you.

Also, when negotiating with contractors, make sure to mention that you will consider their offer, but you still have to listen to more estimates.

This will compel them to give you the best possible quote for the project.

3. Be Selective With What You Reveal

In business, different clients get different quotes.

As you negotiate the contract, only focus on the details of the job. If you reveal unnecessary details about your lifestyle, the contractor may become rigid with their costs. 

4. Timing is Key

The cost of your home improvement can vary depending on the season.

Most people prefer to renovate their homes during the summer.

If you want to keep your costs low and have more power when negotiating with a general contractor, reach out to them during winter.

Even if the project may not start at that time, you are likely to get a better quote. 

5. Do Your Homework on the Contractor

Renovation projects tend to throw in a surprise or two along the way.

Therefore, you need to make sure that the contractor you hire has the experience, skills, and professionalism to handle your renovation.

Most of this information is easily accessible on their website and social media pages.

Customer reviews will show you what to expect from the contractor.

6. Purchase the Supplies Yourself

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As you are negotiating with general contractors, request them to double-check that the materials listed for the projects will be enough.

This is important as it reduces the chances of costs increasing midway through the project and delays occurring due to a lack of materials.

Though it’s common for contractors to buy the materials on your behalf, insist on doing it yourself.

Set some time aside to shop around for the best prices. This will help you save some cash.

7. Offer Multiple Payment Options

In most instances, homeowners negotiate with general contractors who then manage every aspect of the project.

This includes paying suppliers and subcontractors. 

However, if you offer to pay the suppliers and subcontractors directly, the reduced paperwork or cost outlays may get you a better rate from the general contractor.

This also allows you to negotiate better rates with the subcontractors and suppliers.

8. Treat the General Contractor as a Partner

One of the key elements of a successful home remodeling project is your relationship with the general contractor.

Show them that you respect them as a professional and individual too. 

In essence, they will be the ones representing your interests while work goes on.

How to Keep Renovation Costs Low

Keeping the cost of remodeling low is all about negotiation with contractors effectively.

You have to choose the perfect time to request for quotes and also be personable as you interact with them.