Is It OK to Negotiate Price with a Contractor?


Remodeling your home or building a new one is a big expense. The project can quickly exceed your anticipated budget, and while quality materials and labor cost money, there’s no reason why you can’t negotiate the best deal.

That said, you can negotiate the price with a contractor. These tips will help you find the best general contractor in Seattle through proper negotiations.

Get an Estimate

The first thing to do is discuss your plans with the contractor. Let them know your specifications, needs, and wants. This will help them create a design that can help give you an estimate. You’ll then know what the project will cost and if you have the necessary funds to follow through.

When you discuss the estimate, you don’t want to have the labor and overhead included without knowing the specifics of the more minor things. You may find variances in fixtures that can make estimates vary wildly. However, contractors also have access to wholesale prices, which can make that easier to handle.

Use the Rule of Three

When preparing to negotiate the price with a contractor, you should find the top three in your area. Like any other industry, they talk, and they will know who was approached and who is planning to throw in their bid.

Compare the Results

After you receive bids from the top three contractors, compare them all. You should separate the categories and compare the price for each of them. Always be cautious when a contractor offers a much lower price than the others. They may have left something out of the estimate or will use lower-quality materials, and you won’t want any surprises.

Narrow Down Your Selections and Choose Your Contractor

Once you have settled your choices down to two, you can begin final negotiations. Call them and let them know their bids are very close. Remember that contractors talk to each other, so this should only be done if the estimates are close. When you talk to them, ask them if there is any room to negotiate.

Whatever you do, don’t tell them how much they should cut the price. This allows them to take a look at the areas where they may have room to trim. Most likely, one of them will cut a little off the price, allowing you to get an even better estimate on the work you want completed.

Final Thoughts on Contractor Negotiations

Always remember that most contractors will want to work with you and help you build your dream home or remodel your kitchen into the perfect space. However, they also need to cover the costs of labor, materials, and overhead. They will likely be able to work within your budget limitations, but you’ll need to be reasonable in your expectations.

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