Searching for the right home improvement contractor can be an overwhelming process. The more contractors you inquire about, the more quotes you receive, which can lead to more confusion. There are a few things to keep in mind when starting this process that will help keep things a lot simpler. Here’s how to compare home improvement quotes:
1. Make Sure the Quotes Are Quoting the Same Project Scope
A very important thing to remember when comparing quotes is to make sure you are comparing quotes for the same project scope and parameters. You should give each contractor the same project details to make sure you get accurate quotes that can better help you evaluate the cost and value between them.
If you talk to one contractor and get a quote but then add something extra or change something before you talk to the next one, you will not get a quote for the same project scope and you won’t be able to accurately compare quotes. Be sure you know what you want before talking to different contractors at least enough that the project scope can be clearly defined.
You will need to be very direct and specific with your projects and make sure the quotes clearly define them. For example, if you want to replace your siding, the quotes you are comparing should all include removing the old siding as well. If one doesn’t, you’re not comparing quotes for the same project and won’t get an accurate view of the actual costs for the project you want.
2. Compare Everything That is Included in the Quote
Don’t just look at the bottom line. Make sure any estimates you are comparing relatively line up with materials, timelines, and labor. Be sure to go over the estimates with a fine-tooth comb. There are lots of things that should be in a home improvement quote, and it’s important for your quotes to include them and to compare each of those.
Compare line items, terms and conditions, and accepted ways to pay for home improvement projects. Look at the projected timelines from each quote as well. You might see a lower price, but it might be a much longer project. Each quote should also include a payment outline. Some require an upfront payment, others are paid in installments as work is completed.
3. Ask Questions if Prices Are Wildly Different
If, in comparing quotes, you see vastly different price points, ask questions. Be wary of exceptionally high or low quotes. When comparing each common item, take note of price differences. If anything is wildly different and you can’t figure out why, ask the contractor to clarify. Getting things in writing and asking questions can help you avoid home improvement scams, ensure you’re being quoted fairly for your project, and can also help you get a better sense of the contractor or company you’re considering.
There could be a reason something is a higher cost between contractors. A contractor might use a specific brand or include upgrades, which can be a price difference. There may be a logical reason for it, or it could just be unnecessary upcharges. This is also something to look for when evaluating whether home improvement coupons are worth it. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if something feels off or not right.
4. Consider the Contractor Providing the Quote
It’s also important to consider the contractors along with the quote. Ask about experience and skills to ensure they’re the right fit for your home renovation project and have the experience to accurately quote for the type of work you need.
If you’re replacing your windows, you want to choose the best window replacement company, not a contractor who specializes only in decks or has no experience with windows. Ask about their team or subcontractors, too. You want to be sure this is a team you can work with without conflict or issues.
5. Think About Other Included Benefits
Be sure to ask about their included benefits in the contract. Are there warranties included or offered? Is the work guaranteed? If something goes wrong in a certain period of time after the work is finished, what protocol do you follow?
Also, clarify if the contractor handles other details like applying for permits or inspections. These are important parts of renovations and cannot be missed. Some people think you don’t need permits for a remodel, but that’s a common home improvement myth. Also, permitting can be a time-consuming and stressful process.
Be sure you know exactly who is taking care of what. And, include that when you are comparing home improvement quotes. Warranties, guarantees, having the contractor handle all the permits, etc. offer a lot of value and can also save you from a lot of unnecessary stress and time. At Zephyr Thomas, we take care of this for our customers, so they don’t have to worry.
6. Evaluate the Home Improvement Contractor
Once you narrow down your quotes to a few solid two or three options, do your research on the possible contractors! Read online reviews or ask friends or family who have worked with that contractor before. Also, check out their testimonials and references.
Be sure to get their license number and check if they belong to any professional contractor organizations. These are just a few of the questions to ask a home improvement contractor that will help you get a feel for experience, reputation, and even what it might be like to work with them.
Ask about timelines and follow-through for getting projects done in a reasonable time. Things will come up, but the right contractor will anticipate as much as possible and plan accordingly. These are all important aspects to consider when choosing a home improvement contractor.
Work With Zephyr Thomas on Your Next Remodeling Project
These are just a few tips on how to compare home improvement quotes. If you don’t have a trusted contractor already, it can be hard to know if you are making the right choice, but don’t be afraid to ask questions! If you’re considering starting a home improvement project, Zephyr Thomas Home Improvement is here to help. Call us at 717-399-4708 for a free consultation.