Can we really haggle with the contractors that quote us prices for home improvements? You bet we can!
One of the keys to getting the best price on any home improvement contract be it roofing, siding, or even something as simple as yard maintenance is to let them know that you’re getting multiple prices.
Be up front with the sales representative that’s quoting the project. Make sure that they’re aware that you are reading home improvement articles. That you’re going to be getting a minimum of 3 estimates and more than likely 4 or 5.
Nothing lowers a price like competition. What you need to do is be educated on your purchase. Roofing, Siding, and Gutters are important to your homes ability to stand up to the weather. You don’t want to skimp when it comes to these items. A small leak in a roof can end up being very costly so be sure that you’re getting your prices from reputable roofing contractors. I did pretty good when I had new gutters installed by my friend Herb from Louisville KY Roofers. And he was kind enough to share some of the ways he can be enticed to lower his prices a bit.
Be Prepared During the Estimate Phase
Get a folder that you will use to keep all of your estimates in. Always staple everything from one companies estimate together and keep all of your estimates neatly arranged. This will come in handy as a quick reference when you actually go to hire a chosen company.
Contracting Prices are Different at Different Times of the Year
Singly this is the biggest factor that will affect pricing of any home improvement. During the spring and summer months good contractors will have a waiting list that can be quite long. Anybody and everybody that’s having a project done wants to have it done this time of year. But the truth is a roof, siding, or gutters can be done during the cooler months. It may take a little longer to get done due to the weather, but contractors can be a little hard up for the work.
Remember that contractors have overhead and bills that don’t stop coming in just because it’s fall or winter. Ask your contractor if you can have a discount if you wait till the late fall or winter to have your project done. A lot of times they will discount the work considerably if they know that they can count on you to provide them man hours later in the year when they would otherwise have very little on the books.
Compare Estimates With Your Contractor
Don’t be shy. There could be a considerable amount of money at stake. Show the contractor that you like and trust the estimates that you’ve received from other companies that are bidding the same project. Listen closely and make sure that your comparisons are accurate. Sometimes a contractor can point out something on a competitors estimate that isn’t on his and vice verse. Getting the best deal can take a little digging. But a little digging can sometimes add up to thousands of dollars.
Offer to Advertise for Your Contractor
The best advertisement for any home improvement contractor is word of mouth. And seeing is believing. Offer to put one of their job signs in your yard with their name and contact phone # on it for 90 days. So you have to mow around it. Big deal! Most contractors will take off a full 10% for a job sign and a few references. What happens is people in your neighborhood will see the work being done and will know if it’s quality or not. In all likelihood some of them will call your contractor or even stop by and chat with him while he’s working. If it’s all good they will invite him over to look at their project and possibly even hire him to do a job.
So there it is. Don’t be afraid to haggle your home improvement costs. Your contractor will be glad you did!