Everyone loves a bargain, don’t they? Many people pride themselves on being good negotiators and being able to get the best deals. However, it isn’t always easy to get the best price, and home improvements can be one of these difficult areas. But when it comes to your roof, there are some things you can try if you want to negotiate with a roofing contractor and save yourself some money.
Get At Least Three Quotes
Always get at least three quotes for the work you want done and then spend time comparing them. Spend some time talking to the contractors about what they need to do to carry out the work and how they will do it. It is usually best to go for the middle price if you are unsure which contractor would be best. They will probably do a better job than the cheapest contractor. However, you don’t want to pay the most expensive price, so if in doubt, opt for the middle ground.
Once you have a quote that is cheaper than the one you are going to go ahead with, you have a negotiating point. Ask your chosen contractor if they will match the cheaper quote you have been given. Some companies will offer a price matching service, but others won’t. You won’t know if this strategy will succeed until you ask the question, so you may as well chance your luck and see if you can bag a bargain.
Don’t Wait Until the Damage Gets Too Bad
Once the damage to your roof gets to a certain point, it will cause you a lot of problems. It may leak in heavy rain or you may find mold spots appearing on your ceiling or walls. At this point, you will become more desperate to get the work done and will probably give the job to the contractor that can start soonest rather than the most keenly priced. They may not be the same one and you could find yourself paying more money to get the work done quickly.
Some contractors will see how keen you are to get the work carried out and may price it accordingly. This will push the price up and you may not have a lot of time to negotiate, especially if you want the roof fixed before the next heavy downpour. It is best to get the work done as soon as you realize the necessity rather than waiting for the problem to get worse as this could cost you more money.
Know What You Want
It is worth doing your homework and knowing exactly what work needs doing and how it is most likely to be done. Do some research on the internet and ask questions of the contractors who give you quotes. That way you will know if all the same contractors are using the same methods and materials or if some contractors are quoting you for something different. Do not be sucked into paying for more work than is necessary, but do ask why one contractor’s work differs from that of another. That way, you can decide for yourself if it is a better idea to pay for some extras or if you would be getting ripped off.
See If You Can Source the Materials Yourself
See if you can source some materials to fix the roof yourself and then pay a contractor for the labor only. This can work out cheaper if the contractor is putting their own markup on the material they are using, or if they have to pay different taxes as a contractor than you would as an individual. Get the quote for the material first so that you have something to compare your research to.
It may be that this doesn’t work, as suppliers will often offer contractors discounts as they are more likely to be buying in bulk and using some of the material elsewhere. However, it is worth comparing the two options as this may save you money.
Ask for a Reduction in Return for Advertising
A lot of roofing contractors use advertising boards when they are carrying out work to attract new customers. Ask if they will reduce the price if you allow them to use an advertising board at your property. This strategy may work better if you live on a main road or in an area where a lot of people are likely to see it. Bigger contractors are often keener to do this than smaller companies.
Larger Companies Are Often More Willing to Negotiate
Larger companies will often put a larger markup on the job they are quoting for and can therefore offer more of a discount. This is especially true for the sort of company that will offer you a glossy brochure and a salesperson to talk the process through with you. Salespeople often have a mandate to reduce the price and will want to do this anyway in order get your business and achieve their commission. Be careful though, as this may still make the quote less competitive than that of smaller companies.
Smaller companies will often be less unscrupulous when it comes to quoting for work. They will often just work out the cost of materials and add their hourly rate to it. This is the quote they will give you. There is often little room for them to negotiate unless they want to work for a smaller hourly rate, and most of them don’t. Their quote can work out cheaper than that of a large company though, so it is worth shopping around for the best price overall.
It may be more difficult to negotiate with a roofing contractor than with some other home improvement companies, but remember, it is always worth asking the question. It is up to the contractor if they want to reduce the price to get the work or if they will refuse. Then you can decide if you want to go ahead anyway or negotiate elsewhere.