Ah, the joys of working with contractors – just kidding. For most people, home renovations are a stressful experience. The work is time-consuming, not to mention, expensive. Whether you’re renovating to make your home beautiful or to increase its value, one thing remains the same – you want to pay a reasonable price. And how do you get one? By negotiating.
Here are a few strategies you can use to convince your contractor to lower their price point:
#1 Get multiple bids.
Shop around for estimates before settling on one price. Is one contractor offering a bid that’s too high? Visit a few others in your area to see if their services are more reasonable. If you’re feeling brave, you can take one estimate that you received back to your favorite contractor, and see if they will lower the cost.
#2 Negotiate the price of big projects.
Are you considering extensive renovations? Then it’s time to step up your negotiation game. With a big price tag, you have more room to haggle it down. Contractors will have a harder time walking away from a job of substantial size. They know that if they accept your price, they might get more work later on. It gives you the freedom to open up a discussion about the price and find areas where it can be lowered. Go over each aspect of the cost to find out where your money is going, and where it can be saved.
#3 Figure out what you aren’t particular about.
Maybe you don’t need every detail of this project to align with your dream vision. If this is the case, you can feel free to compromise to get a fairer price. When it comes to pool renovations, do you need a high-end ladder or liner? Perhaps you can settle on one that’s a bit lower-grade but more affordable. Break down the specifics of your renovation project, and find out what you’re flexible about.
#4 Use the advantage of referrals.
Does your contractor offer referral discounts? Perhaps you want a new roof installed, and your neighbor does too. Leverage this with your contractor. You can tell them that if they are willing to bring down the price a bit, you can set them up with other jobs nearby. When they see more work down the line, they’ll be more willing to accept your terms – they might even offer you a discount.
#5 Try to remove your passion from the discussion.
When negotiating, take emotion out of it, and remember that you’re doing business. Even if you’re excited about this project, it’s not worth it if you’re paying an unfair price for it.
#6 Offer to complete some of the work on your own.
Many homeowners feel intimidated about negotiating with contractors because they aren’t handy with construction themselves. But if you break down the work step-by-step, you might find that some tasks are within your capabilities.
#7 Provide the materials yourself.
Do you have extra supplies lying around? If you can spare some paint, drywall, or even power tools to help your contractor, they won’t have to charge you for these materials. Take advantage of useful supplies you find around the house, and see if they can be used for your renovation project.
#8 Don’t work with shady contractors.
Sometimes, it might be too easy to negotiate. If a contractor is immediately willing to take a lowball offer, chances are they won’t perform work that will impress you. Look online at reviews before contacting a company, and/or ask friends and family members for a referral. You can avoid mistakes by working with the right contractor. If the job is done at a reasonable price, but it’s not installed correctly, you’ll be facing repairs that outweigh your savings.
#9 Pay for it in full at the beginning.
A contractor will have a hard time turning down your price when they see the entire payment in your hands. Only consider this route with a contractor who you trust – otherwise, you risk them running off with the money before any work is done. A powerful vantage point in negotiations is being able to say, “Listen, I can only offer you this price, but I will pay you in full today.” If you’ve got the funds for it, capitalize on this tactic.
Negotiations can be uncomfortable for some. If you offer a price that’s too low, you risk offending the contractor and having them walk away. But consider these tips when you’re haggling with home renovators – they’ll help you bring down the price in a way that leaves everyone happy.