5 Tips To Get A Contractor’s Lowest Quote
So, you’re ready to remodel your home. The first step isn’t tearing down walls or picking out new cabinets. It’s hiring a contractor who can do the work at a price that fits your budget. A contractor’s job is to give you an estimate of how much the entire remodel job will cost. Though necessary for a renovation of any kind, a contractor can come with a huge price tag.
And the cost of a renovation can be extremely high. The national average for a home remodel, according to Home Advisor, ranges between $17,000 and $62,000. Don’t forget, too, that the quote is just an estimate. The New York Times suggests the following rule of thumb: take that estimate and multiply that by 1.5 times in order to arrive at a more realistic number.
However, you can still cut down the cost of your renovation. You just need to ask–to see if the contractor will offer a lower price quote.
Choosing a contractor requires some negotiation. Here’s what you need to know in order to get a lower contractor’s quote.
1. Be Upfront About Your Tight Budget
If you’re looking for ways to save, be honest with your contractor. You shouldn’t ask him to cut corners on your remodel, but you do want to be clear from the start that you cannot spend a cent over the estimated cost.
Try beginning the conversation with your budget. If you want to stay below $30,000, tell your contractor that you need to keep the project to that amount. Money.com suggests asking if the contractor can suggest any changes to the project that would save money–for example, does he recommend a similar but more affordable cabinet option? Does he suggest saving few dollars with less expensive bathroom fixtures?
2. Get Quotes From Multiple Contractors
One of the biggest money-saving methods for a home remodel is collecting price comparisons. Get price quotes or bids from a few different contractors. This makes it easy to determine who is the cheapest and who is the most expensive, and to compare what you’re getting for your money.
You can also tell contractors what their competition is quoting. If one contractor is bidding $7,000 more than another, tell the pricier professional that you’ve received a much lower quote. Because they now know they’re competing for your business, the contractor may drop their price if you let them know you’ve done your homework and found a better rate.
3. Do Easy Jobs Yourself
Contractors include every detail in their quotes–from the cost of the paint to the cost of having an actual painter apply it, it’s all added up. But if you have any handyman or construction skills of your own, you could get a contractor to cut costs by allowing you to do some of the work.
Know how to paint a room? Tell the contractor not to include indoor painting as part of the quote (and you could even buy the paint yourself). Handy with faucets and hanging fixtures? Let the contractor know you won’t need that work included. Cutting out simple, small services like these can cut the quote by thousands of dollars.
4. Purchase Your Own Materials
The contractor may offer to include the materials in the estimate. The problem with that is a contractor usually has preferred suppliers, and those materials suppliers may not be the most economical. A contractor doesn’t need to shop around; he just needs to get the job done.
If you buy your own materials, you can shop around for the best price and save on every little detail. You can choose how much you want to spend on everything from countertops to cabinets to flooring, opting to save and splurge where you’d like.
5. Ask About A Payment Plan
Once you’ve decided a contractor is a good fit for your remodel, you might be able to save a few additional dollars off the total cost by asking your contractor about a payment plan. Lifehacker reports that typically, contractors ask for 10-15% of the project’s estimated cost as a down payment before they begin their work. Then it’s up to you and the contractor to work out how the rest of the money will be paid.
Ask your contractor if there’s any kind of discount available for a regular, set payment plan over the course of the project. Contractors will use clients’ payments to pay for materials on other customers’ construction jobs, so they may be willing to drop your price if you’re offering to pay large amounts every month or so.
Combine Quality And Affordability With The Right Contractor’s Quote
There are a number of ways to cut costs on a home remodel or room renovation. Don’t be afraid to be upfront with your contractor, to ask for lower prices, different work, or even your own suppliers and materials. After all, you want the best quality work done within your budget.
Make sure you do your research before beginning any project with any contractor. You’ll save the most money–and prevent the biggest headaches–if you know the going rate, compare contractor bids, and use insider tips to getting the lowest quote possible.