Home Improvement

Home Improvement

Are you building a new home in Los Gatos?  Do you have a massive remodeling project in your home?  Are you expecting bids from these home improvement projects?

Well, whether you are doing a small kitchen or bath remodel or a complete new home; negotiating is an art.  That’s why Dr. Henry Kissenger gets paid so much money for his books and speeches since he is a master negotiator.

The challenge with any contract is that you need to negotiate iron-clad terms to make certain that the other party delivers on their commitments.  Far too often, General Contractors bid low to win your home remodeling contract and then use various tactics to frustrate you to collect more to complete your Los Gatos home.

Below are the top 4 negotiation secrets  to help your Los Gatos remodeling project:

Detailed Pricing:   You must insist on line-item pricing on all your home improvement projects.   Here’s what I mean.  Say your contractor has $30,000 added for Framing.  Then you should ask for number of days and amount of labor required for Framing your Los Gatos home.    Without this detail, you will now know if he’s charging you $200 per hour or $600 per hour.  The same goes for light fixtures, kitchen cabinets, faucets.   Don’t make this a witch hunt, but insist on seeing the detail price on the high-ticket items that you plan to install.    Also, get the labor charges on each item’s installation.

Choose Experience:  Find a contractor who has built similar homes to your style and has experience with Los Gatos planning commission and code enforcement.  San Jose, Los Gatos, Sartoga and Campbell had all different requirements for building codes and dealing with each city’s inspectors is a valuable experience.

Clearly name your finishes:   Don’t just specify  a Brazilian Cherry for your flooring. Specify the width, thickness, finish and even the brand if you have researched it.  Do this for all essential finished materials such as appliances, bathroom fixtures, tiles, flooring, kitchen counter-tops before you meet with your contractors.

Finish Date:  Your project is NOT the only one these contractors are bidding on.   So, create a calendar before you meet with your contractors to make sure they understand your hard stop.  Avoid the cash-strapped contractor who will not be able to finish your home before he gets another contract.   One of the safe ways is to negotiate a penalty for delays and also reward him/her if he finishes your project early.

We managed to reduce our Los Gatos fixer upper remodeling costs by 55%.  So, whether you are doing a small kitchen or small bathroom remodel, keep these recommendations in mind and you will thank us later.

Do you have other tips?  Let us know.