I recently had the opportunity to be interviewed by Yahoo Real Estate editor who asked me what the #1 recommendation is we give to HMD clients about working with contractors.

Well, here it is.

Require your contractor to provide separate and specific line item pricing for:

  1. labor items such as demolition, plumbing, framing, flooring installation, painting
  2. finish material quotes for things like flooring, tile, plumbing fixtures, lighting, doors

By breaking contractor quote’s down into individual labor and finish materials you will be able to compare apples-to-apples pricing from multiple contractors.

Many contractors may not like this approach, however I promise you – it is also in the best interest of the best contractors.  Here’s a for example:

  • Contractor #1 quotes a job assuming inexpensive white 6×6 porcelain tile
  • Contractor #2 provides a quotation based upon a pricey imported hand painted white 6×6 tile

If you receive quotes for your bathroom remodel that simply specify “6×6 white tile, installed” the only difference between contractors may appear to be price.  Contractor #1 may seem to be a lot less expensive, but in fact his labor costs could be significantly higher for installing a product you have not had an opportunity to research or price shop.

Separating out the labor and finish materials helps both you and the contractor ensure there is an accurate, aggressive and sustainable quotation for his/her services.

It also gives you the assurance that you can choose the finish materials you prefer from a much wider range of sources at the best possible prices.

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