Research finishes, like cabinets and countertops, before calling a contractor because they can make a big difference in the project’s cost, says Jonathan Larkin , sales manager of St. Paul, Minnesota-based JoNick Construction.
“It’s much easier to write up a bid if somebody has some solid ideas of what they really want,” he says.
If you don’t have the details ironed out, Larkin recommends setting a budget ahead of time.
Giving a number may feel like relinquishing leverage, but he says a reputable contractor will use your budget to help you assess options, not overcharge you.
Your budget may need to be higher than before the pandemic, he says. Wood prices skyrocketed last spring and still haven’t fallen to their pre-pandemic levels. Other materials, like shingles and siding, are also more expensive than they were in 2019, Starmer says.
Larkin recommends getting an itemized estimate in case you need to find opportunities to cut costs.