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.