Itemizing Contractor Cost

4 Replies

I'm thinking of having windows installed in a rental property. The contractor has quoted me a price of $5500. He's asking me to pay 50% up front and the balance when the job is finished. He told me he wants the 50% up front to purchase the windows and he wants me to make the check out to him & not the window company. When hiring a contractor for a job, do you ask for a break down of material and labor cost or do you just pay for ask my guy has requested without a break down?

@Val J. , do you have to pull a permit when you are installing windows where you are located?  I would first make sure that you know that or not.  If you do have to pull a permit the windows you are installing must meet the state required building code.  

Unless you are getting your windows from Home Depot or Lowes (or something equivalent) there is usually a window manufacturer who then has a list of distributors in your area.  These distributors provide pricing quotes to the general contractors to give to you the customer.  I would see if the contractor can provide you with the quote from the distributor so you can understand the breakdown of the costs.  It is fair to give your contractor the cost for the material up front however, do not pay him the labor costs until he is finished.  

@Lynsey Dreis, thanks for the tip. I will do as you've suggested.

This is not uncommon.  

I've been with my contractor for a while, so small jobs I just pay when the work in done, but for larger jobs, I pay him 50% upfront for materials and the balance when he is done.  

What keeps him from running away with your money? A solid contract, his license, and a contractors bond.

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