Etiquette Regarding Cost

last month

Hi! My question is- is there a way to respectfully ask the contractor if his estimate will be less come the fall? I've heard that some companies are marking up labor costs right now, just because they can. He seems very respectable and is highly regarded. We live in the Los Angeles area. We could just tell him we need to delay the project because of our summer plans (true) and hope that he gives us a lower price later.

The Details- We are planning two complete bathroom remodels. Everything in the bathrooms will change, with demo nearly going down to the studs. Some plumbing will move, some lighting added, install of LOTS of tile (tub/shower/floors), two pocket door installs, one window being removed and another added in a slightly different location, new everything (possibly custom vanities, toilets, tub, fixtures, linen closet, etc). The bathrooms are each about 8.5'x9'. We've had difficulty getting estimates because everyone is so busy. The only detailed estimate (including allowances) we got was $37K for one bathroom and $38K for the other bathroom. We really like the contractor, but those prices are nearly double what we expected. I know they say lumber is expensive right now, though I don't know we will need THAT much lumber. Also, don't know if the market is also driving up pricing on rough materials. Due to summer scheduling on our part, we've decided to postpone the project till August or Sept. Another contractor gave us a rough ballpark estimate of $43K for labor only covering both bathrooms. A third contractor we liked but he never got back to us with an estimate.

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