Home improvement projects cost a pretty penny these days. If you have your heart set on a new kitchen remodel, get ready to cough up tens of thousands of dollars. Knowing how to negotiate can help keep your renovation bills from draining your bank account. Here are tips from the pros at that you can use to score the best deal possible when hiring a contractor.

Do your homework

The right information can give you powerful leverage in a negotiation. So, before you talk to contractors, do your research. First, nail down what you want to be done. This will help you narrow down your search.

Then, dig up as much as you can on the going rate for labor and materials for your project. You can use home improvement websites like or Also, find out how long your type of project takes on average. This can help ensure the contractor isn’t padding the bill with extra time.

Get multiple bids

Once you know what your project entails, get bids from contractors. Negotiation experts say getting at least three bids encourages competitive pricing. A survey by Angi (formerly Angie’s List) showed that 80% percent of contractors were willing to drop their prices to secure a job.

Make sure the bids are for the exact scope of work. This ensures that you’re comparing apples to apples. As bids roll in, don’t just make a beeline for the lowest offer. With home improvement projects, the adage – you get what you pay for – rings true. Instead, hire a contractor who provides great overall value such as price, quality, and on-point customer service.

Schedule work during the slower seasons

When contractors get slammed, they’re less likely to want to negotiate. So, if your timeline has any wiggle room, try to schedule work during the slower seasons. Besides cost savings, you’ll also have contractors’ undivided attention.

Most homeowners tackle projects from late spring through early fall. Work often dries up from winter or early spring when business often dries up. Remember, though, that some projects are best done at certain times of the year.

Offer to pay cash

To contractors, cash means immediate payments. They also don’t have to worry about processing fees, which eat into their profits. Cash payments are also fully deductible come tax time. So, consider paying in cash to sweeten the deal.

Don’t fork over the full amount if you choose to pay cash. Instead, give the contractor a deposit. The average deposit is 10% to 20% of the total cost. This protects you in case the job isn’t done to your standards.

The takeaway

With a little know-how, you can successfully negotiate with contractors and significantly slash your bill. While being firm is important, don’t forget to show respect. You never know when you’ll need them again. Building good relationships now, even if you don’t agree, can come in handy down the road.

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How do you write a contract negotiation letter?

Writing a contract negotiation letter can be a complex task, requiring careful attention to detail and effective communication skills. The purpose of this letter is to propose changes to an existing contract or to negotiate terms for a new agreement. To begin, it’s important to research the company and understand their needs and priorities. This will help you frame your proposal in a way that aligns with their interests.

Next, start the letter with a clear statement of the purpose and objective of the negotiation. Be specific about what changes you are proposing, and why they are important. It’s important to be transparent and honest in your communication, while still maintaining a professional and respectful tone.

When presenting your proposal, provide clear and concise details and use evidence to support your arguments. You may also want to include a timeline for the negotiation process and any key dates or deadlines.

Finally, close the letter by emphasizing your desire for a mutually beneficial outcome, and by expressing your willingness to work together to find a solution that works for both parties. A well-written contract negotiation letter can help establish a positive tone for the negotiation process and increase the likelihood of a successful outcome.