UT Reader Asks: Should You Split Renovation Work Between Contractors?

by UrbanTurf Staff

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Our publisher’s recently renovated co-op.

In this installment of UrbanTurf Reader Asks, a reader wants to know if it is suitable to split renovation work between two different contractors.

I need a quick bit of advice from the UrbanTurf audience. I am in the midst of renovating my new co-op. If I am ‘shopping around’ for contractors, is it okay to hire one to do one aspect in my place and another to do something else? My example: A recommended floor guy gave me an estimate recently that is a full $2,000 less than the estimate given by another contractor. If I decide to go with the floor guy for just the floors, and the other contractor for the rest of the work, would that go over okay or is it a faux pas of sorts in the industry? Thanks for the advice!

Readers, what do you think? Post your thoughts in the comments section. If you would like to submit a question for UrbanTurf Reader Asks, send an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/ut_reader_asks_is_it_suitable_to_split_renovation_work_between_contractors/8006

9 Comments

  1. Found said at 3:55 pm on Thursday January 16, 2014:

    I don’t see a problem splitting the work. You may want to just get the flooring work done before the other contractor starts his/her work.

  1. Matt Lateer said at 4:27 pm on Thursday January 16, 2014:

    Not a problem at all, it’s very common.  You may even want to tell the higher priced contractor and he may match the other’s price (there is a lot of margin in flooring).  I would agree with the other responder, that you should have the work done at different times so the two aren’t tripping over one another.  I normally have floors done after other work, as if there is painting involved or whatever else there is always a small chance that the floors could get paint or whatever on them.  The key is if you’re going to be changing base molding (molding just above the floor), have the floors done first especially if you’re painting afterward or else you may have to get a painter to come back in.

  1. bill gordon jr. said at 5:23 pm on Thursday January 16, 2014:

    This is a common practice among educated consumers…....to thine own self, be true!!!!

  1. ABD said at 6:03 pm on Thursday January 16, 2014:

    Would definitely recommend asking the other guy to match the price.  That will save you a lot of headache, because if you have two contractors, you will be responsible for coordinating between them.  If he won’t match the price, and you decide to go with two contractors, I’d recommend having a kick off meeting with both contractors present, so they can be on the same page for timing and sequencing.

  1. SW, DC said at 6:16 pm on Thursday January 16, 2014:

    of course you can split the work. it’s your money… act accordingly. but as a contractor myself I can assure you this is standard practice.

  1. SS said at 8:34 pm on Thursday January 16, 2014:

    Do what is best for you (and your wallet). I had flooring and painting/walls done by two different contractors. It was not a problem and the painter worked to have his work done before the flooring guys came.

  1. LivinginTrinidad said at 9:48 am on Friday January 17, 2014:

    Absolutely split the work.  It may not just be about price but also quality of workmanship.  We have found in our renovation work that oftentimes going with a specialist in a particular discipline (e.g. flooring or insulation)you get a superior product for less cost.  We went with a flooring specialist to refinish our floors and got superb quality.  Similarly, we went with an insulation specialist for insulation and was able to get spray foam work done which our GC would have had to subcontract for - at a lesser price.  In fact the batt insulation the specialist installed over the spray foam and also for sound insulation also was cheaper than what our GC quoted us.

    I disagree with the poster who said have both contractors at the table for a kickoff meeting.  Why?  There’s no point in that as you are the one coordinating the job.  Definitely ask each contractor at what stage it would be best to do each job and ask them to give you a heads up of two weeks or so before they get to that stage so you can schedule the other guy to come in.  Definitely do flooring last.  If you need to come back to have molding readded then that can be done after - but make sure your paint is already on the walls before you put in your flooring.

  1. Ellen Davis said at 4:34 pm on Friday January 17, 2014:

    Just be clear about who is responsible for what.  You don’t want to discover in the middle of the job that you’re missing an essential part. Unless you are an expert at renovation, try to sit down with everyone and go through the job before it starts and not to overlap the work. That can breed arguments about trash removal, extent and sequencing of work, etc.

  1. Tom @ Central Properties said at 12:28 pm on Monday January 20, 2014:

    Be a little careful, the first contractor may have given you a lower comprehensive price (in total).  If you take the flooring out, it might not save you the full amount.
    But, you definitely have some bargaining leverage.

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