If you’re taking bids for your new kitchen remodeling project, then most likely you’ve seen allowances on your bids. So what is an allowance any way? Is it really something to avoid? There has been a great deal written about avoiding the allowance trap. Let’s clear this up. As a contractor an allowance is nothing more than a tool. Let’s say you’ve invited a contractor to bid your kitchen remodeling project. You know what you’re looking for in terms of cabinets and arrangements, but you don’t want to waste time picking out lighting fixtures, plumbing fixtures, and tile until you know you can afford the new kitchen. Makes sense, right? Of course it does and that’s why contractors use allowances. Instead of leaving the tile out of the bid, they allot an amount for the tile. It’s that simple. But what if they allot too little to keep their price the lowest. At some point you will need to get a basic understanding of what your tile will cost, so visit a tile store and find out if the allowance is fair. If you find a few contractors that are low balling the allowance that’s great! Now you’ve weeded out the bad contractors without having to enter into a contract and lose time and money.