When you require some sort of contractor for your home, you necessarily must undertake comprehensive due diligence. As part of that process, you need to be able to verify that the proposed cost for services is fair and appropriate. At first blush, you may feel confused when it comes to the matter of verifying the reasonableness of a project fee proposal. On some level, it's rather like maneuvering through ascertaining for an array of different service providers. albeit on a much larger scale.
There are some specific strategies you can employ in ascertaining whether a prospective home contractor is proposing a reasonable and fair fee for services. Each of these strategies provides specific insights that can prove invaluable to you as you undertake due process relative to engaging a contractor in the first instance. These strategies are:
· Obtain multiple bids
· Reach out to family, friends, and colleagues
· Obtain detailed estimates from prospective contractors
Obtain Multiple Bids
One of the surest ways you can thoughtfully ascertain if you are getting a fair price from a contractor for a residential project is to obtain multiple bids. A couple of things happen when you seek multiple bids.
First, you are able to ascertain what the going rate for your project is in your community by comparing bids from different contractors. Second, by letting the contractors know you'll be looking at multiple bids, those that submit a proposal will be more likely to keep their bids as reasonable as possible. If they want the job, they'll recognize that they need to provide you a competitive if not the best possible bid.
In addition to being a useful way of obtaining information about costs, opening up the bidding process can be used as an effective negotiating tool in many instances. You can keep the bidding process open for a more extended period of time, allowing prospective contractors the ability to adjust their bids or estimates over time.
Reach Out to Family, Friends, and Colleagues
Even in the age of the internet being an invaluable resource for information, word of mouth and recommendations from people in your life remains an important source when you need data on the cost of a contractor for work at your home. You very well may have family members, friends, or colleagues who've engaged the services of a contractor for the type of work you need to undertake at your home. These individuals are apt to be happy to share with you essential information about the contractor they ended up using for their own residential projects.
Not only are you likely to be able to obtain cost data, but people you know will also volunteer other information about a contractor, including pros and cons. This information can prove invaluable to you.
Access Home Improvement Blogs and Other Resources
A moment ago, reference was made to the internet as a source of information when you are attempting to ascertain whether a bid by a contractor for a home improvement project is fair and reasonable. Indeed, there are a variety of online resources that you will want to take advantage of in this regard.
There is a myriad of home improvement blogs online. Some of these focus on helpful information pertaining to the anticipated costs associated with certain types of home improvement projects. While costs vary for a number of reasons, including geography, you can garner useful general cost data from these blogs and similar online resources.
Obtain Detailed Estimates from Contractor Finalists
If you take the suggestion and obtain project bids from multiple contractors for your home project, narrow the field to a couple contractors. Once you duly narrow the field, request that the finalists provide you with a detailed estimate. This needs to include all primary aspects of your project, including materials and labor.
Once you have a detailed estimate in hand, you are in a position to really drill down and examine what is proposed in the way of costs for your home improvement or other type of project. By getting detailed estimates from more than on prospective contractor, you place yourself in the position to undertake a true apples-to-apples comparison of costs.
You can also use the data gathered in this manner to compare with what a family member, friend, or colleague paid in the past for a similar type of project. A person who undertook such a project should have a final itemization from a contractor.
As you go about seeking a contractor for a residential project of some type, the application of these tactics will go far towards ascertaining what is a fair and reasonable price for a contractor. You will be employing a comprehensive strategy that will go far towards ensuring that your home improvement or other project comes in within your established budget.
This is another guest post from author Jessica Kane