5 Tips For Negotiating Cost with Solar Contractors

Congratulations: You have done the research, determined that solar paneling is a good choice for your home, and have chosen a solar contractor after sifting through three or four estimates. Now it’s time to make your choice official and sign a contract with that solar installer, meaning it’s time to negotiate for a price.

If you walk away with only one thing after reading this, let it be this: This is your project and the contractor is working for you to install solar panels for your house. If at any moment during the negotiation or ensuing conversations, you feel unappreciated, disrespected, or otherwise neglected, it’s okay to walk away. A solar paneling installation is a worthy, and costly, investment—nothing and no one should push you to do anything you’re not completely comfortable with.

Knowing that, your goal now is achieving the best quality solar panel installation for your home and subsequently increasing its value in the long term. The first step is getting a good deal, both on the money you’re putting into the project and the quality you’re going to get out of it. Follow our tips to negotiate with your solar contractor and ensure the highest return on your investment.

Push for Details About Solar Energy and Your Utility Bill

Your contractor is well versed in how your specific project is going to impact your electric bill, even if only in broad strokes. They’ve visited your house and assessed its potential, its needs, and its challenges. On this front, it’s in their interest to increase your solar energy output and maximize your home’s value in the process. The initial, ongoing, and continued success of their installation is paramount to their near and future prospects.

Why? The cost of solar installation has dropped more than 70 percent since 2010, according to data from Solar Energy Industries Association. In response, therefore, contractors have stepped up their game to compete in an increasingly saturated arena. It’s okay to ask about guarantees.

While it’s hard for a contractor to make exact promises, they can certainly settle on ranges and they can certainly explain the minimum outputs you can expect from your solar panel systems. If they can’t, remember the one thing we emphasized in the beginning—a solar installer unsure of their work should not be the contractor you choose for the job.

Ask Your Solar Contractor to Handle the Bureaucracy

Paperwork is a drag—your contractor might attempt to offload some of that labor onto you to keep their overhead low.

Be sure to ask precisely what forms, permits, and other filings are required and who is expected to handle them during your home improvement project. It’s okay to expect the contractor to handle the bulk of the work—after all, one of their value propositions is expertise in the field and local knowledge about getting the most out of local, state, and federal rebates and incentives.

When it comes to powering your home with solar energy, there’s a lot to keep track of. The Department of Energy’s Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (or DSIRE), for instance, lists hundreds and hundreds of policies and incentives across the country, numbering anywhere from West Virginia’s 14 to Oregon’s 147. While we recommend you research and get acquainted with local policies, you are not the one who’s a professional, nor are such responsibilities yours. You’re paying good and hard earned money to a company to handle the solar installation—so ensure they do so.

Get Clarity on the Warranty, and Ensure It’s Part of the Price

You can always negotiate with your contractor on the price of a successful project before signing a contract. Discuss your budget with your solar contractor. Agree that any unexpected project expenses will be presented in writing to help you remain within your budget. Surprises, in other words, shouldn’t surprise you or your contractor, and they should definitely not surprise your investment.

Warranties will also impact your quoted cost. Most installers offer manufacturer’s warranties that protect you from faulty equipment. Some might offer additional guarantees for the installation, as well, covering potential damage to your house. Be sure the quoted warranty is clear in what it covers—and in what it doesn’t. Additionally, use the warranty as a bargaining chip.

A lower price should elicit a short length warranty and a higher price one that is longer. A 50-year warranty might be too long and a two-year warranty might be too short. The particulars of your system and your solar energy needs dictate these numbers more than anything else. Discuss them thoroughly with your contractor.

Reputation is Everything: Does Your Solar Installer Pass Muster?

Your business is their business—and while this solar installation could stay with you (or at least your house) for decades, it will also build, or continue to build, their reputation into a prosperous business.

A veteran solar panel contractor might be well endowed with repeat business and a booked schedule. Younger companies and contractors might be more willing to reduce their price and elongate their warranties for a solid project like yours.

Get to know local and trusted contractors through services like Modernize. The Modernize Contractor Checklist will help you vet a trusted contractor, so you can relax knowing your solar panel project is in good hands. You can access the interactive checklist by visiting the Modernize Homeowner Portal or by downloading it here.

Solar Panel Contractors Get Second Opinions—You Should, Too

The entire process of a solar panel installation is detail-heavy and involves a myriad of moving parts, from the fine print of your contract to the machinations of the installation itself—remember what we said about surprises?

Since your contractor has (literally) been around the block and has experience you might lack, be sure to consult close friends and family about the major steps of your journey. While we condone this type of support, homeowners have repeatedly told us through surveys and interviews that deciphering some of the deeper and more complex elements of their project left them seeking more professional support—which our homeowners found with Modernize.

If you walk away from reading this with just one more thing, let it be this: Your biggest friend in a solar contract negotiation could be a service like Modernize. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you.

The post 5 Tips For Negotiating Cost with Solar Contractors appeared first on Modernize.

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Evaluating Contractors’ Roof Replacement Quotes

Modernize knows that 63 percent of homeowners compare three to four contractor estimates ahead of roof repairs and replacement projects. That’s because comparison shopping is one of the best ways to ensure you are hiring a trusted roofing contractor. But to make the most of this process, it’s important to understand how roof replacement quotes work and why they may vary.

The Difference Between Estimates and Quotes

The terminology used for your home improvement project is important. You may receive estimates, quotes or bids from roofing contractors, but these each contain different information.

A project estimate details roughly how much a contractor believes the job will cost. A contractor will use their past experience and expertise to make this estimate. The actual cost of the project will be included in a quote, or bid. Most roofing contractors will gather information for their roof replacement quote by completing an onsite inspection. The resulting quote should be a very detailed document that outlines all aspects of the project.

How to Evaluate a Roofing Replacement Quote

A smooth roofing quote process should begin by establishing great communication with your contractor. Let them know about your budget constraints up front. This will help them estimate the most realistic way to reach your desired end result.

Once you have received multiple roof replacement quotes, carefully consider each. As you compare quotes, take note of any price outliers. All quoted prices should be relatively similar between each contractor. Extremely low bids can be the sign of a scam, and extremely high bids could be just as concerning. It’s important to understand why an estimate or quote is extremely high or low. Don’t be afraid to ask your contractor to explain any outliers you see.

Your roofing quote should be a transparent, thorough and even lengthy document. Every detail of the project should be noted, including materials, labor costs, start and finish dates and hourly rates. Your roofing contractor may also include a buffer budget to cover unforeseen costs that regularly come up during roofing replacements.

It’s also a good idea to take into account how the numbers on your quote are presented. A good contractor will make sure the information is organized and easy to understand. If your roof replacement quote is not properly itemized, feel comfortable asking for a revised quote before signing a contract.

Elements of a Roof Replacement Quote

How much is a roof replacement? The average cost is between $ 8,000 – $ 17,500, but prices vary widely depending on your region and home. When accepting bids from roofing contractors, expect to see several basic elements, including:

  • Roofing Materials: Roofing material prices range from very affordable options like asphalt ($ 150 to $ 550 per square) to options like slate (close to $ 385 to $ 800 per square). Other building materials to consider include, but are not limited to, boards and plywood, fastening, roof underlayment, flashing and sheathing.
  • Labor: Labor costs will vary depending on the size of the crew, their experience, and the scope of your roofing project.
  • Disposal:  In most circumstances, your roof replacement will likely entail the disposal of your current roof. Shingles must be disposed of properly, so your contractor’s roofing quote will budget for a dumpster and haul away fees.
  • Permitting: Depending on where you live, your roofing contractor may need to secure permits to complete a roof replacement. The cost of a roof replacement permit may be a flat rate, or it could vary based on your home’s size or value.
  • Warranties: These include both manufacturer warranties, which covers the roofing materials themselves, and workmanship warranties, which cover your roofing contractor’s work. Be sure quoted warranties are clear in what they cover or don’t.
  • Wiggle Room: Construction may uncover additional costs that are beyond you or your contractor’s control. Especially if you live in an older house, it’s wise to be prepared.

Other Factors That Will Impact Your Quote

Roof Dimensions
The complexity, slope, and size of your roof will have a significant impact on the cost of your roof replacement. The higher square footage you have to your home, the more materials you will need and the longer the installation process will take.

Season

If there has been a recent hurricane or storm, demand for home improvement contractors will be higher. The same will be true during the spring and summer when demand for roof repairs is greatest. Cost will typically be higher during these times of high demand. Consider doing roofing repairs during cooler months when laborers’ time is in less demand. The price of new shingles can also be lower during the off-season.

The quote evaluation process can be challenging but will end with finding a great contracting partner for your home renovation. For more help, check out the Modernize Contractor Checklist. It’s a great tool to help vet a roofing contractor, so you can relax knowing your roofing repair or replacement project is in good hands.

The post Evaluating Contractors’ Roof Replacement Quotes appeared first on Modernize.

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‘It feels like we are still hostages’: Federal contractors who lost health insurance during shutdown remain in limbo

For one firm, the tight margins of federal work meant it wasn’t able to pay its health insurance premium, leading to a lapse in coverage for employees who also lost five weeks of wages. Now they’re bracing for the possibility of another shutdown after Feb. 15.
Politics

SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN:

http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

BEST DEAL UPDATE BY AMERICAN CONSULTANTS RX:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Worries remain for U.S. government contractors as shutdown ends

Minutes after President Donald Trump announced an end to the longest U.S. government shutdown in history on Friday, Yvette Hicks’ phone started ringing.


Reuters: Politics

SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN:

http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

CHARITY UPDATE:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

How To Evaluate Contractors’ Siding Quotes

Comparing contractor quotes is an important step in the journey replace the siding on your home after damage or as a home improvement. A recent Modernize survey revealed 63 percent of homeowners compare three to four contractor estimates ahead of a home improvement project. Evaluating multiple siding quotes helps homeowners scope their budget and encourages contractors to be competitive with their pricing. It is important to understand your project’s unique parameters and why quotes may differ from each other.

The Difference Between Siding Estimates and Quotes

The terminology used with your siding project is important. You may receive siding quotes, estimates or bids from local contractors — but these contain different sets of information.

An estimate on a project is roughly how much the professional believes the job will cost. A contractor will use their past experience and expertise to make this estimate. The actual cost of the project may be more or less— within 10 to 15 percent.

Siding quotes or bids, become contracts once they are signed. This should be a very detailed document that outlines all aspects of the project. At Modernize, we pair homeowners with contractors that offer free siding quotes for the project.

Evaluating Siding Quotes

Once you have received multiple quotes, carefully consider each. Your project quote should be transparent, thorough and even lengthy — depending on what it will take to install new siding for your home. Every detail of the project should be noted, including the cost of materials, start and finish dates, and hourly rate. Your quote should also include factors like disposal/dumpsters, permits, and even portable toilets. Labor should also be included in your quote.

It is important to consider the numbers— as well as how they are presented. A good contractor will make sure the information is in an organized document. If your quote is not properly itemized, feel comfortable asking for a revised quote before signing a contract.

Your Siding Quotes May Vary

For a 2,500 square foot house, the average homeowner can pay anywhere between $ 5,000 to $ 45,000 for siding installation for their home, depending on the material used. Because of the price difference in materials, your siding quotes can vary dramatically. We encourage homeowners to research the type of siding material that are best for them, based on price range, maintenance of material, insulation and times and difficulty of the installation.

On the low end, vinyl siding costs between $ 2-7 per square foot compared to brick siding which can cost between $ 8-10 per square foot. The most expensive siding material is natural stone, with some contractors quoting up to $ 50 per square foot. Both brick and stone take longer to install than vinyl siding, and this additional time is another element contributing to their higher cost.

Extremely low bids can be the sign of a scam — and extremely high bids could be just as concerning. It’s important to understand why an estimate or quote is extremely high or low.

Factors that will lead to a higher bid:

  • High-end contractors will likely have more equipment and overhead.
  • The size of your home or projects also plays into the cost. The higher square footage you have to your home, the more materials you will need and the longer the installation process will take. Which results in a higher bid.
  • The shape of your home also plays a part. A simple box-shaped home is easier to side than a house with eaves, turrets, and/or multiple stories.
  • Some siding can be installed directly over older siding, whereas other homes will need to have the old siding removed before installing a new layer. If old siding must be removed first, the cost for the project will increase. Generally, siding installation is priced by the length of time it takes to complete the project, so anything that adds time to the installation process will also add cost.
  • Warranties will also impact your quoted cost. Most installers offer workmanship warranties that assure the product will be installed in a way that meets the manufacturer’s instructions and specification. Some manufacturers also offer warranties with their products. Be sure the quoted warranty is clear in what it covers — and in what it doesn’t.
  • Research and be aware of hidden costs — like permits and potential fines. Your quote should include a proper breakdown of how local, state and federal policy applies to you and what your contractor will or will not do in that regard. Discuss this with your contractor.

Factors that will lead to a lower bid:

  • If a contractor does not have proper insurance (or any at all), they will often provide a lower bid. This may leave the homeowner responsible for laborer injuries or damages that occur. Modernize recommends that homeowners always select a licensed contractor for their home improvement project.
  • If there has been a recent hurricane or storm, and demand for home improvement projects are high, scammers may prey on stressed homeowners. If a bid is too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Extremely low bidders may also be desperate for a job, which is never a reassuring sign.

For both high and low bids, always check your siding quotes for errors. Contractors are human and, while rare, errors can happen. Communicate any and all questions and concerns with your contractors.

Research Your Contractors

Vetting your contractors will ensure you find the best, reliable, siding installer for your project.

  • Visit a contractor’s website to ensure it is professional looking and updated.
  • Check review sites and make sure they are accredited through the Better Business Bureau.
  • Look at a contractor’s content information to make sure they have a physical address and not a P.O. Box (which can be a worrisome sign).
  • If something feels off about a contractor or business — go with your gut.

To help homeowners easily vet and find a trusted siding contractor, Modernize recently created a free contractor checklist. You can access the interactive checklist by visiting the Modernize Homeowner Portal or by downloading it here.

Homeowners Can Negotiate Bids

Remember, you can always negotiate with your contractor on the price for the successful project before signing a contract. Discuss your budget with your contractors. Agree that any unexpected project expenses will be presented in writing to help you remain within your budget.

Keep All Paperwork

Lastly, keep all estimates, quotes, and contracts in a folder so you can reference these details easily if you have any questions or concerns throughout your siding installation.

The post How To Evaluate Contractors’ Siding Quotes appeared first on Modernize.

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How to Evaluate Contractors’ HVAC Replacement Quotes

Comparing contractor quotes is an important step in the journey to save on your HVAC improvement project, whether you are replacing an air conditioner or upgrading the furnace heating your home. A recent Modernize survey revealed 63 percent of homeowners compare three to four contractor estimates ahead of a home improvement project. Evaluating multiple HVAC replacement quotes helps homeowners scope their budget and encourages contractors to be competitive with their pricing, which is especially significant when more than 75 percent of American homes use air conditioning and nearly all new homes get built with central air systems. It’s important to understand your project’s unique parameters and why quotes may differ from each other so you avoid costly mistakes in the heat of the moment.

The Difference Between HVAC Replacement Estimates and Quotes

The terminology used with your HVAC project is important. You may receive quotes, estimates, or bids from local contractors, but these contain different sets of information.

An estimate on a project is roughly how much the professional believes the job will cost. A contractor will use their past experience and expertise to make this estimate. The actual cost of the project may be more or less—within 10 to 15 percent.

HVAC replacement quotes, or bids, become contracts once they are signed. This should be a very detailed document that outlines all aspects of the project. At Modernize, we pair homeowners with contractors that offer free HVAC replacement quotes for the project.

Evaluating HVAC Replacement Quotes

Once you have received multiple quotes, it’s important to carefully consider each. Your HVAC contractor’s quote should be transparent, detailed, and even lengthy—depending on what it will take to replace or repair your HVAC unit. Every detail of the project should be noted, including the cost of materials, start and finish dates, and hourly rate. Your quote should also include factors like disposal of old systems, if applicable, or perhaps permits. Labor should also be included in your quote.

Investing in an HVAC replacement or finally facing a long-needed HVAC repair could substantially lower your utility bills. Top air conditioning systems use between 30 and 50 percent less energy to produce the same amount of cooling as A/Cs made in the mid-1970s, according to the Department of Energy. “Even if your air conditioner is only 10 years old, you may save 20 to 40 percent of your cooling energy costs by replacing it with a newer, more efficient model,” it predicts.

In recent surveys of homeowners who upgraded their HVAC systems, half told us they financed and half told us they had saved in advance. Of course, an HVAC emergency does not allow anyone the opportunity to save. If you are not already throwing quarters into a piggy bank, you might be interested in financing your project. Financing can either be self-propelled through a loan you take or it can be part of the HVAC contractor’s quote. Additionally, there are programs that will assist with financing your project, like Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), a state-based program through which eligible homeowners can “finance energy efficiency and other eligible improvements,” according to the Energy Department. Whatever your choice, you should consider options. If one of those options is your contractor, be sure their quote includes all applicable details.

It is important to consider the numbers—as well as how they are presented. A good contractor will make sure the information is in an organized document. If your quote is not properly itemized, feel comfortable asking for a revised quote before signing a contract.

Your HVAC Replacement Quotes May Vary

It is reasonable to assume replacing an A/C unit or the system heating a home means installing a new one sized similarly to the old one, but that is not always the case. Homeowners might expect the cost for HVAC replacement to come close to its initial installation, as well, but that is also not always the case. Advances in technology, not to mention new climate norms, HVAC market changes, and manufacturers’ costs could affect the availability and quality of systems meeting your needs. In turn, this means bids can be different.

Extremely low bids can be the sign of a scam—and extremely high bids could be just as concerning. It’s important to understand why an estimate or quote is extremely high or low.

Factors that will lead to a higher bid:

  • High-end contractors will likely have more equipment and overhead.
  • HVAC replacements can vary drastically in price. These disparities could be due to the type of unit—how quiet an air conditioning system is, for example. We encourage homeowners to research the HVAC system best suited for their homes and needs.
  • HVAC systems can also vary in price depending on hardware other than the main units themselves.
  • Warranties will also impact your quoted cost. Most installers offer manufacturer’s warranties that protect you from faulty equipment. Some might offer additional guarantees for the installation as well, covering potential damage to your roof. Be sure the quoted warranty is clear in what it covers—and in what it doesn’t.
  • Research and be aware of hidden costs— like permits and potential fines. Your quote should include a proper breakdown of how local or federal regulation applies to you and what your contractor will or will not do in that regard.
  • Expect an analysis of what your bills should look like after the installation, and how you should expect these costs to change in upcoming years.
    • A SEER rating of 16 could mean saving upward of $ 400 annually, for example.

Factors that will lead to a lower bid:

  • If a contractor does not have proper insurance (or any at all), they will often provide a lower bid. This may leave the homeowner responsible for laborer injuries or damages that occur. Modernize recommends that homeowners always select a licensed contractor for their home improvement project.
  • If a contractor doesn’t have a solid grasp of local policies or applicable local, regional, and federal incentives—like the ones found at the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency, they may leave that to you and subsequently lower their fees since they have less paperwork to worry about. While a contractor may charge you for help navigating the bureaucracy of HVAC regulation, a good contractor will assure your energy compliance and maximize your return on investment utilizing expertise you may lack.
  • Extremely low bidders may also be desperate for a job, which is never a reassuring sign.

For both high and low bids, always check your HVAC replacement quotes for errors. Contractors are human and, while rare, errors can happen. Communicate any and all questions and concerns with your contractors.

Find the Right HVAC Contractor For You

Vetting your contractors will ensure you find the best, reliable, solar energy installer for your project.

Visit their website to ensure it is professional looking and updated. Check review sites and make sure they are accredited through the Better Business Bureau. Look at a contractor’s content information to make sure they have a physical address and not a P.O. Box (which can be a worrisome sign).

If something feels off about a contractor or business— go with your gut. To help homeowners easily vet and find a trusted HVAC contractor, Modernize recently created a free contractor checklist. You can access the interactive checklist by visiting the Modernize Homeowner Portal or by downloading it here.

Homeowners Can Negotiate Bids

Remember, you can always negotiate with your contractor on the price for the successful project before signing a contract. Discuss your budget with your contractors. Agree that any unexpected project expenses will be presented in writing to help you remain within your budget.

Keep All Paperwork

Lastly, keep all estimates, quotes, and contracts in a folder, so you can reference these details easily if you have any questions or concerns throughout your HVAC replacement or repair.

The post How to Evaluate Contractors’ HVAC Replacement Quotes appeared first on Modernize.

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Evaluating Contractors’ Window Replacement Quotes

Comparing contractor quotes is an essential step of the window replacement process. A recent Modernize survey revealed 63 percent of homeowners compare three to four contractor estimates ahead of a home improvement project. Evaluating multiple quotes helps homeowners scope their budget and encourages contractors to be competitive with their pricing. It’s important to understand your window estimates and why quotes may vary from each other.

The Difference Between Estimates and Quotes

The terminology used with your home improvement projects is important. You may receive estimates, quotes, or bids from local contractors, but these contain different information.

An estimate on a project is roughly how much the professional believes the job will cost. A contractor will use their past experience and expertise to make this estimate. The actual cost of the project may be more or less— within 10 to 15 percent.

A quote, or bid, becomes a contract once it is signed. This should be a very detailed document that outlines all aspects of the project. At Modernize, we pair homeowners with contractors that offer free quotes for their window project.

Evaluating Window Replacement Quotes

Once you have received multiple quotes, it’s important to carefully consider each. Your project quote should be transparent, thorough, and even lengthy— depending on the scope of your window replacement. Every detail of the project should be noted, including the cost of materials, start and finish dates, and hourly rate. Your quote should also include factors like disposal/dumpsters, permits, and even porta-potties. Labor should also be included in your quote.

It is important to consider the numbers— as well as how they are presented. A good contractor will make sure the information is in an organized document. For example, your bid should read “two basement hopper windows” instead of “basement windows.”

If your quote is not properly itemized, feel comfortable asking for a revised quote before signing a contract.

Your Window Replacement Quotes May Vary

Ideally, your window project quotes will be very similar, but sometimes bids will be wildly different. Extremely low bids can be the sign of a scam. It’s important to understand why an estimate or quote is extremely high or low.

Factors that will lead to a higher bid:

  • High-end contractors will likely have more equipment and overhead.
  • Window prices, depending on the brand and type, can vary by hundreds of dollars. The price jump may be due to the windows themselves. We encourage homeowners to research the lifespan, energy efficiency, and price of their windows to find what works best for your home and budget.
  • Warranties will also impact your quoted cost. Many windows come with 25-year warranties, which saves homeowners time if there are problems in the future.
  • Research and be aware of hidden costs. Discuss these factors with your contractors.

Factors that will lead to a lower bid:

  • If a contractor does not have proper insurance (or any at all), they will often provide a lower bid. This may leave the homeowner responsible for laborer injuries or damages that occur. Modernize recommends that homeowners always select a licensed contractor for their home improvement project.
  • If there has been a recent hurricane or storm, and demand for home improvement projects are high, scammers may prey on stressed homeowners. If a bid is too good to be true, it probably is.  
  • Extremely low bidders may also be desperate for a job, which is never a reassuring sign.

For both high and low bids, always check your window replacement quotes for errors. Contractors are human and, while rare, errors can happen. Communicate any and all questions and concerns with your contractors.

Research Your Contractors

Vetting your contractors will ensure you find the best, reliable professional for your project.

Visit their website to ensure it is professional looking and updated. Check review sites and make sure they are accredited through the Better Business Bureau. Look at a contractor’s content information to make sure they have a physical address and not a P.O. Box (which can be a worrisome sign).

If something feels off about a contractor or business— go with your gut.

To help homeowners easily vet and find a trusted window contractor, Modernize recently created a free contractor checklist. You can access the interactive checklist by visiting the Modernize Homeowner Portal or by downloading it here.

Homeowners Can Negotiate Bids

Remember, you can always negotiate with your contractor on the price for the successful project before signing a contract. Discuss your budget with your contractors. Agree that any unexpected project expenses will be presented in writing to help you remain within your budget.

Keep All Paperwork 

Lastly, keep all estimates, quotes, and contracts in a folder, so you can reference these details easily if you have any questions or concerns throughout your window replacement.

The post Evaluating Contractors’ Window Replacement Quotes appeared first on Modernize.

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BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Evaluating Contractor’s Roofing Quotes

Comparing contractor quotes is an important step to your roofing repair and replacement process. A recent Modernize survey revealed 63 percent of homeowners compare three to four contractor estimates ahead of a home improvement project. Evaluating multiple roof replacement quotes helps homeowners scope their budget and encourages contractors to be competitive with their pricing. It’s important to understand your project estimates and why quotes may differ from each other.

The Difference Between Estimates and Quotes

The terminology used with your roof replacement is important. You may receive estimates, quotes, or bids from local contractors, but these contain different information.

An estimate on a project is roughly how much the professional believes the job will cost. A contractor will use their past experience and expertise to make this estimate. The actual cost of the project may be more or less— within 10 to 15 percent.

A quote, or bid, becomes a contract once it is signed. This should be a very detailed document that outlines all aspects of the project. At Modernize, we pair homeowners with contractors that offer free quotes for their roofing project.

Evaluating Roof Replacement Quotes

Once you have received multiple quotes, it’s important to carefully consider each. Your project quote should be transparent, thorough, and even lengthy— depending on the scope of your roofing project. Every detail of the project should be noted, including the cost of materials, start and finish dates, and hourly rate. Your quote should also include factors like disposal/dumpsters, permits, and even porta-potties. Labor should also be included in your quote.

It is important to consider the numbers— as well as how they are presented. A good contractor will make sure the information is in an organized document. If your quote is not properly itemized, feel comfortable asking for a revised quote before signing a contract.

Your Roof Replacement Quotes May Vary

Ideally, your roofing project quotes will be very similar, but sometimes bids will be wildly different. Extremely low bids can be the sign of a scam. It’s important to understand why an estimate or quote is extremely high or low.

Factors that will lead to a higher bid:

  • High-end contractors will likely have more equipment and overhead.
  • Roof shingles can vary drastically in price. The price jump may be due to the shingles themselves. We encourage homeowners to research the lifespan and price of shingles to find what works best for your home and budget.
  • Warranties will also impact your quoted cost.
  • Research and be aware of hidden costs, like permits and tear off fees. Discuss these factors with your contractors.

Factors that will lead to a lower bid:

  • If a contractor does not have proper insurance (or any at all), they will often provide a lower bid. This may leave the homeowner responsible for laborer injuries or damages that occur. Modernize recommends that homeowners always select a licensed contractor for their home improvement project.
  • If there has been a recent hurricane or storm, and demand for home improvement projects are high, scammers may prey on stressed homeowners. If a bid is too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Extremely low bidders may also be desperate for a job, which is never a reassuring sign.

For both high and low bids, always check your roof replacement quotes for errors. Contractors are human and, while rare, errors can happen. Communicate any and all questions and concerns with your contractors.

Research Your Contractors

Vetting your contractors will ensure you find the best, reliable, roofing professional for your project.

Visit their website to ensure it is professional looking and updated. Check review sites and make sure they are accredited through the Better Business Bureau. Look at a contractor’s content information to make sure they have a physical address and not a P.O. Box (which can be a worrisome sign).

If something feels off about a contractor or business— go with your gut.

To help homeowners easily vet and find a trusted roofing contractor, Modernize recently created a free contractor checklist. You can access the interactive checklist by visiting the Modernize Homeowner Portal or by downloading it here.

Homeowners Can Negotiate Bids

Remember, you can always negotiate with your contractor on the price for the successful project before signing a contract. Discuss your budget with your contractors. Agree that any unexpected project expenses will be presented in writing to help you remain within your budget.

Keep All Paperwork 

Lastly, keep all estimates, quotes, and contracts in a folder, so you can reference these details easily if you have any questions or concerns throughout your roof replacement.

The post Evaluating Contractor’s Roofing Quotes appeared first on Modernize.

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