There is a lot of advice out there in regards to hiring a contractor for your home remodel. Unfortunately, there’s a fair amount of advice that’s just wrong. Some of which include to never pay for an estimate, negotiate your price and to include penalty fees. If you want to hire a contractor who is financially stable and will still be in business down the road, this is the advice to avoid, and why.

Always Negotiate

A contractor who knows how to price their work properly won’t have room to negotiate. They’ve estimated the total cost of the project, then added on whatever they need to meet their overhead needs and make a reasonable profit. If they priced the job properly, what is left to negotiate, unless you don’t want them to make a reasonable profit?

Include a Penalty Fee in the Contract if the Completion Date Isn’t Met

This is only fair if you include a bonus if they finish before the completion date. I know the argument; they’ll rush to finish the job quickly to collect the bonus. Guess what? They’ll also rush to finish the job if it looks like they’ll have to pay a penalty.

Never Pay For Estimates

You should expect to pay for an estimate on your project. It takes time to price a project, and many contractors are no longer willing to invest the time and trouble to compile an estimate for free. You’ll still see “Free Estimates” here and there, but many contractors recognize that they are providing a service when they estimate your project and will ask you to pay for that service. Most contractors will perform a “free consultation”.  But if an estimate and plans are to be drawn up, there will be a charge that is normally applied to the job.

For many homeowners, your home is your largest investment. Hire a responsible, professional contractor and team that you can trust, not a cheap one.