Home Improvement

Home Improvement

Are you remodeling your Silicon Valley home?  Do you have the permits ready to build?  Are you expecting bids from a few home improvement contractors?

Well, negotiating with General Contractors is 20% science and 80% 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. Line item prices:   Ask your home improvement contractors bidding on your job, to break down their bid based on lined items.   For instance, if they have a line item for Rough Framing, then you need a breakdown of how many days and how many people will be involved.  That’s they only way you will be able to compare bids against each other.
  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 Finishes:  It’s essential you pre-select all your finished materials such as appliances, bathroom fixtures, tiles, 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, model and brand clearly marked on his/her bid.
  4. Calendar: Some contractors are famous for using funds from their new projects to finish their on-going projects.  Make sure you don’t fall into that trap since your project will drag on till your contractor finds his next gig.   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.