How to Find a Contractor on a Budget
Many homeowners who decide to remodel are also on tight budgets. Unfortunately, there are a lot of contractors who don’t seem to care about their client’s budget. To protect yourself—and your bank account—it’s important to find a contractor who will respect your financial limitations and stick to your budget. Here’s how to find a contractor who fits this description:
Ask For Recommendations
The best way to find a reliable contractor is to ask friends and family for recommendations. If none of your loved ones know of any contractors, it may be a good idea to ask local real estate agents for recommendations. Real estate agents are connected with a lot of professionals in this field, so they should know who does the best work in town.
Schedule initial consultations with multiple contractors so you have an opportunity to ask each of them more detailed questions face-to-face. It’s important to come up with a budget before attending these meetings. Let each contractor know your budget and ask if it’s possible to pull off the look you desire with your limited budget. A good contractor will make suggestions as to how to cut costs to ensure you stay within your budget. This indicates the contractor understands your financial constraints and respects the fact that you do not want to go over the budget you have in mind.
If the contractor spends the entire consultation suggesting expensive changes or insinuating your budget is too low, this is not the right contractor for the job.
Don’t be afraid to ask contractors you are interested in working with for their references. Contact each person on their list to find out more about what it will be like to work with them. Be sure to focus on questions related to how the contractor managed the client’s budget, such as…
- Did the contractor go over the client’s budget?
- If so, by how much and why?
- Did the client have to constantly remind the contractor not to go over budget, or did it seem as if this was a priority for the contractor?
The answers to these questions should provide you with a lot of valuable information that can be used to make the right decision.
Read the Contract Carefully
Before signing on the dotted line, be sure to read the terms of the contract with your contractor carefully. The contract should explicitly state the work that needs to be done and the estimated budget. It should also include details on the process that the contractor must follow in order to make changes to the original plan. This will prevent the contractor from making changes that could increase the cost without your permission.
The contract should also outline penalties for missing deadlines or going a certain percentage over the original budget. If a contractor is willing to agree to these terms, it means he is willing to work within your budget.
Despite what you may have heard, there are a lot of responsible and respectable contractors out there that are more than happy to stick to a client’s budget. By following these tips, you can find a trustworthy contractor who will bring your vision for your home to life without breaking the bank!