Money is one of the toughest topics for many people to talk about. When it comes to the homeowner-contractor relationship, it’s even more difficult. Unfortunately, unethical, incompetent, or otherwise “bad” contractors have given the entire industry a bad rap, leading to the assumption that ALL contractors are shady swindlers looking to take homeowners for as much money as possible. As a result, many clients are extremely wary of discussing their budget with contractors.
No one wants to feel like a fool who got “taken” and overpaid for products and services. Unfortunately, this negative and skeptical approach actually ends up hurting the consumer as well as the contractor. It gets everything off to a rough start, wasting the time and energy of both parties (because the contractor can’t qualify the lead and the customer may have unrealistic expectations), and winds up hampering the success of the project and the satisfaction of everyone involved in the end. With that in mind, here are a few key things to consider when it comes to talking about price with your contractor.
Not all contractors are shady, unethical businesses out to take your money.
The truth is, most contractors aren’t just in it for the money—in fact, it’s a tough business, so if we didn’t really enjoy the work, we wouldn’t be here. Try to remember that many contractors have also been “screwed” by clients and projects that ended up costing way more than planned. Plus, it simply doesn’t make good business sense for us to do our jobs poorly or unethically. Our success ultimately lies in the success of each project we work on, and in making our clients happy so they refer others and hopefully become repeat customers, which benefits our business long-term.
Determining a specific but somewhat flexible budget is essential, right from the start.
Without any reference to a budget, you are leaving the contractor too many unknowns to expect a credible, accurate, and realistic quote. Plus, if we have a budget—or at least a range—at the outset, we can give you much better options with the space and will be far better equipped to help guide you through the process of making the numerous decisions involved in a remodel project.
While price is important, it should not be the only factor you consider.
It can be easy to get sucked in by a low bid from a contractor, but if you base your hiring decision solely on their initial estimate, you may end up paying for it in other ways. For one thing, if a contractor’s price seems “too good to be true” it probably is. These folks are often unlicensed, incompetent, or otherwise “bad” contractors who are more likely to leave you with shoddy work while going way over on time and budget. They may also be cutting corners in major areas like licensing and insurance, which means you’re taking on 100% of the risk should anything go wrong. Don’t take that risk—it’s never worth it!
Additionally, it’s important to remember that whoever you hire will be working with you and in your home for a good amount of time in order to complete the project. So, finding a contractor that you feel comfortable with—someone you can trust and whose general personality and communication style fits well with yours—is just as (if not more than) important as price.
At the end of the day…
The reality is that conversations about money are uncomfortable for most of us, no matter which side of the business relationship we’re on—yet it’s one of the most important and frank discussions we should have. If clients and contractors can establish a realistic and healthy approach to budget conversations from the start, it would surely make things easier and more beneficial for everyone involved.
At J&J, we understand the importance of open and honest communication throughout every stage of a remodel project. We pride ourselves in being one of the most experienced and reputable home remodeling companies in the area. Contact the J&J team today to learn more about who we are, how we operate, and why we’re the best company to hire for your home renovation project.