5 things homeowners can haggle for
Small renovations and repairs
"Some contractors will negotiate a price" on renovations and repairs, says Tom Silva, general contractor for the PBS shows "This Old House" and "Ask This Old House." That said, in today's economy "I think everybody's giving the best price they can because they want the job," he says.
Silva advises homeowners to get specific about what they get for their money.
The low-dollar bidder might leave out some steps that would show up as poor workmanship years from now -- and end up costing more. The guy charging a little more might have a reason. Sometimes a higher price might mean that the pro is experienced or is planning for contingencies, Silva says.
And sometimes shopping cheap might not be shopping smart. "Your house is the biggest investment that you make," Silva says. "Yet for some reason, people want to get work done cheapest -- to cut corners."
Instead, to make a smart buy, "get bids, ask questions," he says. "You need to feel comfortable in the process. You need to understand the process."