How to keep costs down when gas prices rise
Follow these tips to save money on home improvement as fuel costs increase:
- Know what you're paying for: Insist on itemized charges related to fuel costs so you know exactly what you are paying for.
- Don't get tripped up: If you'll be charged a trip fee just for the estimate, find out if that cost will be taken off your final bill if you choose that contractor for the job.
- Be creative: If your contractor – lawn service, dog walker, errand service, housekeeper, or tutor – has more than one customer in your neighborhood, see if you can coordinate service calls to cut down on your contractor’s fuel costs, and minimize the pass-through.
- Prioritize: If you have an emergency service need, be smart in your hiring decision. Getting your issue resolved now -- even if you have to pay a fuel surcharge -- could still save you money in the long run.
- Comparison shop: If you're just getting started on your project, add fuel cost questions to your list of things to ask about, and don't be afraid to negotiate.