Asbestos abatement workers removing roofing material

How to negotiate the lowest abatement cost 

How to negotiate the lowest

asbestos removal cost



Confirm the presence of asbestos by microscopic analysis

Use an environmental consultant or asbestos professional if you feel uncomfortable collecting your own samples

Look for a qualified person or environmental consultant. They should be AHERA building inspector certified and come with additional training and certifications as well. They should have a variety of insurance coverage from workers’ compensation to liability and E&O. I cannot recommend a consultant directly for your area but there are many  environmental consulting firms  and asbestos specialists, some laboratories will also provide this service.

While you can also collect your own samples, you will not get the years of training and certifications that go into asbestos sampling by an asbestos specialist of environmental consultant.  Learn how to collect your own samples.

sampling procedure for asbestos

Selecting an abatement contractor

Working in the asbestos industry, I am often asked this question. It would be a conflict of interest if I recommended specific contractors for your area. What I can say is to select an abatement contractor who comes with certifications for all their employees. They should also come with liability, E&O and workers’ compensation insurance coverage when working on your property. Transparency is important as the industry is known for corruption and they should not bristle at any of your questions. Online reviews can also be helpful to backup a decision on the right contractor.

When the time comes for removal try to get at least three quotes to see if they are all in line with each other. Watch out for start date and project timelines as they can vary widely. Removal techniques and controls in place can also impact prices. With pipe insulation, glove bags can sometimes be used in lieu of other controls to lower the risk classification of the project. Paying attention to these details in the estimate and reading the terms/conditions closely will help you to make the best decision for your removal project.

Getting the lowest abatement cost

To get the best possible cost, get as many quotes as you can from different asbestos abatement firms. This will help you find a firm with savings, potentially, in the thousands of dollars. This may sound elementary but, from my years of experience, this helps to keep asbestos removal contractors honest.

Project timelines can also add negotiating power, a short window to complete the project will increase costs. Clearly negotiate the costs upfront and in writing before the work starts by having all areas up from removal identified in an asbestos survey report with recommendations and estimated area/cost of removal. This way an abatement contractor can see the area, the report, and then make a competitive offer for the removal costs. 

Hidden costs can be: areas that are difficult to access, a new ACM found, underestimation of disposal costs, or additional equipment for containment (extra negative air machine). Having the project well planned with the assistance of an asbestos professional can go a long way. 

How to negotiate the lowest abatement cost