Price vs. Your Dream
Rather than focusing on price negotiations, I suggest that you and your contractor focus on creating your dream for your home. Keep in mind that this renovation, whether small or large is something that you may be living with for years to come. You certainly don’t want to have any regrets or wish that you had done it differently. The small amount that you save now may not be worth it in the long run. By communicating with your prospective remodeler, together you will be able to make your dream a reality.
To establish a good working relationship with your contractor honesty is needed on all sides. It is best to share not only your needs and wants for your renovation, but your restrictions as well. Unfortunately I often hear about the broken relationships caused by lack of information from the beginning. In order for a professional to create a sound, realistic plan for your project, it is important that they have some type of idea of your budget. I know that many of you will resist this, however I want to point out that it is next to impossible for anyone to create a project plan and proposal unless they have some idea of your financial limits.
It doesn’t have to be the exact amount of money you can afford, but you need to give some parameters to the remodeling professional. This will guide them in developing the project and selecting materials. A good remodeler will be able to give you various ranges and you can choose the range that will be most comfortable for you. Otherwise the prospective contractor is hampered in determining which way to go. If the project is too low-end you will be disappointed because it doesn’t have all those things which you want included. On the other hand if it is too high-end you stand the chance of falling in love with something that is just not affordable. In either case you both lose.
By selecting a contractor that will do a professional analysis up front, you will ultimately save time, money and aggravation. By getting all the questions answered up front there will be fewer surprises and fewer change orders.
I suggest you and your contractor focus on buying your dream, rather than just negotiating price.
Congratulations on making the decision to take charge of your life and to create the home of your dreams.
Lorraine Hart is the president and senior consultant for Ideal Consulting. Ideal has been providing business consulting, coaching, and training of small businesses in the construction industry since 1992. Lorraine has been writing and managing content for numerous organizations for over 25 years. She is a national member of NARI and contributor to its national blog. She is also a regular contributor to Remodeling Today and the coordinator and editor of the weekly home articles for the Houston Chronicle. On top of all that, Lorraine is also a member of the GHBA, the Remodelers Council, Custom Builders Council, and the Bay Area Builders.