Things to Know Before Hiring a Contractor: Negotiate a Maximum Hourly Rate

Negotiation is a critical skill to have when you are choosing a contractor.  Getting an agreement on price based upon a specific hourly rate will save you money and will help control costs.

Also consider that most contractors bid a project on time and materials and consider what they give you an estimate–unless you bargain for a firm-fixed price or fixed number of hours for the job.  Either way, you need to have some controls and limits in place to control costs and help maintain your budget.

Since you have already gathered multiple bids from several contractors, you have a pretty good idea as to what they average or going rate per hour.  That will give you a good basis for understanding what a fair price for the project is.

The Grass Queen

Getting an Estimate for your Artificial Turf Installation

As you go out and price and select a dealer and installer for your new artificial turf project, make sure you get an accurate and complete estimate.

It’s the first clue your installer knows what they are doing.

Look for these elements in a complete estimate:

  • A schedule. When do things start? How long will it take to install?
  • Pricing. How much per square foot? What are you getting for the price? Do they break out labor from materials?
  • Guarantees and Warranties. What’s covered and what isn’t? Who does repairs? Will they cost you?
  • Expectations. Are you required to do anything–move things, haul away items?

This is just a starting place, but make sure you get things in writing and a commitment.

One more thing: before you start, can they give you a “ballpark” estimate for the project or cost per square foot?  This shows they can think on their feet.

The Grass Queen