When it comes to renovation, nothing is cheap. With some strategic thinking and negotiation, you can have a great remodeling project without busting your budget.
Off season discounts
In the same way you can buy winter coats at a discount in June, you can contract remodeling projects during the off season to get substantial savings. When home improvement contractors have a slow season, they slash rates. Replacing a furnace in July or installing a patio in November could yield 5 to 15 percent in savings.
The online shopping mall is not just for clothes, books, and toys. You can buy all of your home improvement products online, too, from stores like Do It Best. Most of these items can be found at a 10 to 25 percent discount from the price at local home improvement stores. As you purchase your French doors or kitchen sinks from online vendors, be sure you know what you’re getting. Order early so you can exchange the item in case there’s a problem. A final tip, make sure you buy products from authorized resellers; you can verify this on the manufacturer’s website.
Bundle small jobs
When you run errands around town, you probably try to do as many as you can in one trip. First, you go to the bank, followed by the post office, then you pick up your dry cleaning, and finally, you pick up the kids from school. In the same way that you save time when you bundle errands together, you can save on small, bundled remodeling projects. Carpenters and handymen typically charge a minimum amount just to visit your house, usually two hours at $50 to $100 per hour. By bundling a few jobs for your contractor, you get more bang for your buck.
Negotiate with your contractor
Negotiation is a skill many business men, politicians, and diplomats profess to have. Even if you’re not in those industries, exercising your negotiation skills can get you the lowest price for your home remodeling projects. While the contractor-client relationship doesn’t prosper with haggling, you can still let the contractor know there are other competitive bidders for your project. When the contractor learns he has competition, he’ll be more willing to give you a discount.
Set a low budget
Before your contractor bids, give a ballpark price that is about 20 percent less than what you really expect to spend. As the contractor settles on a bid, he’ll have your low budget as an anchor.
Be friendly, collaborate
Ask your contractor for some strategic or painless methods by which you could alter the remodeling job to save money. Some contractors will offer consulting and mentoring services. If you’re eager to learn manual skills, it’s possible that you can partner with a contractor to build your construction skills.
Let the bid stew
Before you sign a contract for a bid, take time to let the numbers settle. Once you have a contractor’s offer, wait a few days before your agree. If the contractor has wiggle room and he’s desperate for work, he’ll reach out with a better deal.