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Short on remodeling cash? Barter your way to home improvement bliss

By: Allison Millar, Contributing Writer
In: Repair your home's value
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Short on cash for remodeling ? Consider bartering for plumber, carpentery or painting services. If you’ve got the skills they need, you can save money and get your new bathroom design or indoor painting projects done now.

Bartering for Remodeling

Here is how it works:

  1. Determine what skills you have. Could you design a sales brochure, build a website, help a contractor automate billing or call customers to promote new services?
  2. Decide what your services are worth. If you’re creating an Internet advertising campaign for a contractor, consider that the national range is $10.95 to $46.18 per hour on a full time basis, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Rates for graphic designers range from $12.60 to $36.98 per hour. Consultants often charge 20 to 40 percent more to cover expenses and insurance, however.
  3. Define the projects. Bartering is ideal for small projects, such as using tile to create a stunning bathroom design. Small projects allow you to try the arrangement for 2 to 5 days and not risk a large amount of your time or the contractor’s fees. For larger projects, be prepared to pay for a portion. This national survey by Remodeling Magazine shows that a $1,218 entry door replacement is an ideal barter, while you’ll likely pay for part of a $10,973 deck project.

Next, call contractors you know and focus on the services they offer and the value you can add to their business. Prepare ideas for a creative sales campaign or a new website design.

Remodeling Agreement

When bartering, create a contract that spells out:

  1. What services each party will provide
  2. If the barter is based on an hourly or project fee
  3. How extra costs will be handled–extra bartering or paying directly?
  4. Who pays for materials? Oftentimes, the contractor can’t control those costs, so you may have to buy tile and grout for the bathroom or the lumber for a new deck.
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  1. One Response to “Short on remodeling cash? Barter your way to home improvement bliss”

  2. Aug 26, 2011

    Love the ‘bartering’ idea. Actually, I used that method to trade services with our landlord for cheaper a cheaper office rental rate.

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