Aside from doing it all yourself (that would save a lot of money at the expense of your time), the goal here is to elaborate on some ways homeowners can save some money on their upcoming project(s) they plan to use a contractor for. For the Do-It-Yourselfer check out the contractor area for install guides. Hopefully, after reading through here you will be able to save some money and get a better value.
An easy way to help keep your costs down is to be prepared for your project as best as you can. Meaning having an idea of size, shape, colors, textures, goals to accomplish, problems to solve, etc. The more info you can give your contractor the better.
It will save you:
Your contractor will be able to give you a more accurate estimate the first time around. Even if it's a crayon or pencil drawing, oftentimes that can go a long way in expressing what is being said. It is fascinating how small miscommunications can cause so many problems.
Another easy way to save money on your projects is by making the area or site as easily accessible as possible for your contractor. Whether that's as simple as cleaning up the house a bit or remove fencing to allow for equipment access. These options reduce the time for your contractor to be on the job and ultimately save you money.
Some other ideas to consider for project savings might be:
Demolishing and Removing- oftentimes projects require some demo work. Often this can be completed by the average motivated individual.
Debris removal- getting rid of certain debris for the contractor through garbage service. instead of added dump fees.
Clean up final clean-up of project or end of the day- good contractors will factor in a cleanup cost for each day and a final clean-up upon completion. Doing this yourself would save a lot of time, especially longer projects.
Sweat Savings- Offering your labor to reduce the labor burden for the contractor, essentially working for a contractor instead of them bringing another employee.
Be honest about your skillset and motivation to help with your contractor. It may affect their decision to recommend what you can do to help.
covering cost until payment, unless down payment was given
Mark-ups can range from 5% to 35% or more depending on the contractors' profit margin and types of materials.
Taking on the burden to order materials, schedule delivery or pick up/drop off, and the contractor not having to pay out of their pocket will save you on the material mark up as well as labor which some contractors factor into their price when creating an estimate.