Whether you are building your home from the bottom up or you are remodeling, there is always a way to get a good price from your contractor. Despite what you may think, not all contractors are set out to suck your bank account dry. They want to help you as much as they can, even if that means taking off a few dollars here and there for materials. So, here are a few things that you can do to get a good price from your builder.
First of all, you can absolutely negotiate with your builder. The trick to it is to do it without making it feel like a negotiation. You can do this by finding ways to ask for a lower price without insulting the builder. You do not want an angry builder working on your home. This will lead to sloppy work, cutting around the edges and even an unfinished project. You can make it known that you are getting more than just their bid. If the know that they are competing with another builder, they are more than likely to cut down on the cost by a few thousand dollars. Builders will bid the job for a few thousand dollars more than what it is really going to cost so that they can make as much money on it as possible. If you show concern for the price, they may work with you. This does not mean that you should hire the builder with the lowest price right off the bat. You want to hire the one that is going to work with you and not just for you. Find the one with the best reputation.
Next, ask your builder to “value engineer” the plans. This is a nice way of inconspicuously asking the builder to lower their price. You should ask for their advice on how you can rein the cost of your plans. If the builder placed a bid of say, $20,000, and you are trying to keep the budget at around $15,000, ask the builder how they can recommend changes that would lower the cost. They may be able to suggest a lower costing tile that looks similar to what you want or different layouts for fixtures and where they are. This can greatly cut the cost of plumbing. If your builder knows that your budget is tight, they may be more willing to work on the price with you.
Lastly, offer your own help. If you are handy, you may be able to cut some labor costs by helping out. If you can do some of the same things your builder can, ask them to reduce their price for the work that you put in on your own. If you are a good painter, offer to paint for them in return for a lower estimate. This could save you hundreds, even thousands, on your project.
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There are many ways that you can get the best price from your builder. If they are willing to work for you and your budget, then they are perfect for the job. Contractors who make projects easy and affordable are usually the ones that keep getting hired multiple times by the same person. Once this is accomplished, they will usually always cut their customer a break.
When you are buying a house, an inspector has to come out and inspect inside and outside of the home in search of any issues that may prevent the bank from approving your loan. It is your responsibility to take over the issues once you purchase the house, this is why the home inspection is so important. It is important to know what issues are in your home so that they can be fixed.
Roof problems are one of the most common issues found during a home inspection. A damaged or poorly maintained roof can lead to major problems in the future, such as water damage. Whole roof repairs can be expensive and should definitely be factored into the price of the home. Most buyers are not willing to compromise on the roof because they are so expensive to repair. If the roof still has a few years of life left on it, you shouldn’t expect the current homeowners to replace it.
Environmental issues are huge among inspectors and have become increasingly strict. If there is radon, lead-based paint, mold and asbestos in a home that you are potentially buying, they may need to be removed before you can move in or before the bank will approve you. These are all health concerns and are very dangerous. The same goes for a home that has well water. You are going to want to get your well tested to make sure it does not have iron, copper, manganese, etc in it. These are things that are going to make your home inspection not go well.
Poor ventilation is another common issue that home inspectors find. A home that does not have a significant amount of airflow has the risk of developing mold problems. One of the most common imperfections is a bathroom that is vent dumping into the attic and not through the roof. This makes for the perfect environment for moisture and mold growth.
Another common issue that is found during inspections is foundation issues. If there are any kinds of foundation issues on the home, a bank will most likely not approve your mortgage. This is because it is a liability to the bank. You want to make sure the foundation can be repaired and if possible, try to get the cost of the repair taken off the sale price of the home or make the current homeowner pay for the repair and leave the price of the home alone.
Electrical safety concerns are also a major problem found during home inspections. Older homes may not have electrical systems that are up to codes such as ground fault breaker outlets and grounded outlets throughout the house. These are all necessary for a safe living environment, especially when you think about all of the appliances that need to be plugged into these outlets. If your future home has knob and tube wiring, a lot of insurance companies are not going to insure the home.
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If you are buying a home, keep a look out for these issues. The home inspector is going to point them out, but it will also help if you are also keeping an eye out for any other issues that you may think will stop you from buying your home.