Are you being overcharged? Or shopping around for the ‘best deal’ but don’t really know what to look for? We certainly don’t advocate handing over your costly design/build project to the lowest builder-bider, but we do want you to do your research before hiring your contractor. Read on: We’ve broken down how contractors are charging for their services, what to expect, and when to run and hire someone else:

How Much Contractors Charge

Some contractors take as little as $1,000, the maximum by their state law, and up to 10% of the estimated contract to be retained. Once the contract is written, you and the contractor will work out a payment schedule that will keep the job moving forward and meet your financial capabilities.


Having a contractor help finance your project is a great solution because not only can you get what you want but the contractor is financially incentivized to complete your job in a satisfactory manner, and your partnership is further solidified.

The financing process is often much easier than a traditional bank loan process, and it’s definitely much faster. You could also end up with more favorable terms.


A good contractor should be able to give you some very broad ranges of what past projects with similar scopes cost, but will not be able to give you an accurate estimate until you provide a specific set of plans from a designer or architect detailing exactly what will be done and what types of materials will be used. If someone gives you a firm quote without seeing plans, be careful. You could have a lot of change orders in your future.