Home Remodel

Home Remodel, (image source brekkeconstruction.com)

Are you remodeling your home?  Do you have the permits ready to build?  Have you selected a few contractors that you like?

Well, negotiating with General Contractors is part science and part diplomacy since they are interested in charging you the highest prices, but using the cheapest material to deliver it.

Below are the top 5 negotiation tips on surviving a major remodeling projects:

  1. Insist on Transparency:   Insist on transparency when it comes to price.  Contractors are smart to bundle installation and material into a single bid in an effort to hide their margins.   Ask them to break down their price and never select your contractor solely on price.   Silicon Valley is full of contractors who bid low just to get the contract and ask for additional payments when time comes to purchase and install of finish items.  Unless you have the option to pre-select your all your  finished items such as Appliances, Counter-Top and fixtures you will be in trouble since the low bid will only cover the cheapest material that might not meet your style and taste.
  2. Experience:  Find the contractor who has built similar homes to your style and has worked with the planning and code code enforcement folks of your town.  Los Gatos, Sartoga and Campbell had all different requirements for building codes and dealing with each city’s inspectors is an experience that is valuable and would save you a lot of time.   Your contractor should not be learning on your job about what sort of plugs will survive the inspection or not.  requirements.  It would be ideal if the home builder you select has worked with your architect, so if the planning department calls for change, your builder can easily accommodate these changes
  3. Identify your material:  It’s essential you pre-select all your Finished materials such as fixtures, tiles, appliances and flooring, kitchen counter-tops before you meet with your contractors.   These items alone could double the cost of your project depending on type of material you select.  And ask your contractor to include these items by name, with the model and brand names clearly identified.
  4. Calendar: Some contractors are notorious about using funds from one project to finish the other one.  So, make sure you don’t fall into that trap since your project will drag on till your contractor finds his next gig.
  5. Cost Breakdown:  Require your home builder to break-down your costs to two main sections for Rough and Finish material including labor and time for each section.  In each section should include line items for Rough Framing, Rough Electrical, Rough Plumbing, Rough Roofing….etc.  This will make it much easier to spot if you are being over-charged.

Using these tips we were able to negotiate a 60% reduction in one Los Gatos fixer upper which included a small kitchen and bath remodel you realized how high was a rough framing cost of a small house which was only going to take 4 days.   Using the total cost of that line item it will be easy to calculate if your home builder is charging you $1,500 per day for rough framing.

So, whether you are doing a small kitchen or small bathroom remodel, keep these recommendations in mind and you will thank us later.