Should I Tell My Contractor My Budget?

Lydia Schapiro
Written by Lydia Schapiro
Updated December 13, 2021
Couple discussing budget with contractor
Photo: boonchok / Adobe Stock


  • Finding a contractor you trust is essential for any home project.

  • Whether or not you disclose your budget is up to you, but it can help your project in the long run.

  • If your contractor doesn’t know your budget, they can’t give you the best advice on allocating your time and money.

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It’s a familiar scene: You’ve just hired a general contractor to remodel an aspect of your home—kitchen, bathroom, in-law suite—but you’re not sure whether to tell the contractor their total budget. While this decision depends on your personal opinion, any contractor will likely tell you that disclosing your budget will make your life easier. This is usually true if you have a reputable, trusted contractor. 

Reasons to Disclose Your Budget

There are several reasons why disclosing your budget will benefit you and your project outcome. 

Determine Whether Your Goals are Realistic

Mainly, when a contractor asks for your budget, it’s all in good intentions. By knowing the budget, your contractor can guide you toward achieving realistic goals within a budget. They have expert knowledge to determine which tasks are achievable within your budget, and which aspects of the project to put on the back burner.

Obtain Expert Tips and Knowledge

Whether you’re installing glass windows or completing a full kitchen remodel, a budget is an important part of any home project. So you’ll do yourself a service if you get professional feedback and suggestions regarding your budget. 

After learning your budget, your contractor can give you tips and suggestions based on experience and accumulated knowledge. By providing your contractor with a budget, you’ll offer them the chance to provide you with their advice every step of the way. 

Help You Allocate Your Time and Money

Your contractor can help you reach your architectural or design aspirations if they know your budget. A reputable contractor will help you make the smartest decisions and prioritize where your money is going, as they have the expertise to understand how to allocate your money best. 

Once they know your budget, your contractor can develop a detailed course of action for how you should handle the project. In turn, they’ll contribute to your making better fiscal decisions during the project. 

When to Talk With Your Contractor About Your Budget

So, you’re willing to disclose your budget to your contractor, but when is the best time to tell them? Before jumping into the budget conversation, you should ensure that you trust and are committed to this contractor. That way, you’ll feel comfortable providing them with information about your budget. 

It’s understandable to feel cautious about handing the information over, so tread carefully until you’re confident in your contractor. Some people may choose to wait until they exchange signed contracts with their contractor, while others may decide to disclose their budgets during the vetting process. 

How to Find a Contractor That You Trust

Couple closing deal with contractor
Photo: fizkes / Adobe Stock

You’ll probably be much more comfortable disclosing your budget if you trust your contractor—and rightly so. Plus, you’ll feel more at ease asking your contractor questions if you trust them. 

We understand that hiring a contractor is overwhelming. To find the right contractor for your project, you’ll have to do substantial research. This process includes reading online reviews, conducting interviews, getting references, and obtaining price quotes. You can even ask trusted family members, neighbors, or colleagues for contractor recommendations.

You can start by looking at local contractors, and then do more large-scale research like learning the licenses necessary for your particular project and ensuring that your contractor has them. In addition, before committing to a project with a contractor, make sure you thoroughly read through their contract and ask any outstanding questions.

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