How Much Does Remodeling Cost?
Over the last 15 year of general contracting I have
heard countless horror stories from home owners. I once met a customer whose master bathroom
remodel lasted 10 months and was still incomplete. For those who have never remodeled before,
that is 10+ months of master bedroom invasion!
Personally, I enjoy the private solitude of my master bedroom and
bath. But it is not just the privacy
that is an issue here. 10+ months of remodeling
means 10+ months of constant dust invading your space. It is 10+ months of constant strangers too
since most general contractors will be hiring trades and subcontractors to
complete portions of the work. 10+
months for this type of project will probably result in voided warranties too
because no construction business can stay in business when it takes that long
to complete simple projects. 10+ months
also leads to backbiting and fights as the crews, subcontractors and trades are
not paid. Those people approached the
homeowner of this story for payment with the threat of placing a lien on the
house all because of the incompetency of the general contractor! The homeowner paid those workers on top of
what was paid the general contractor.
What makes this story even worse is that the homeowner began to make
compromises on quality throughout the project just to get the general
contractor out of the house.
What’s the moral of this story? The cost of remodeling goes beyond an
estimate thrown at the homeowner after a 1 hour consultation. Even if you collect multiple estimates from
incompetent contractors, none of those estimates may be right. Price shopping for a general contractor is
risky and the cost can far outweigh the reward of the finished product. This does not downplay the importance of
cost, but it should put it in better perspective.
Why is price important? There are two reasons price is import. First, the homeowner needs to know if he or
she can afford the project. Second,
price prioritizes everything. It sets
the budget for the project. Adjustments
are made to the project based on the budget.
Why is pricing out a project tricky for
homeowners? Unlike buying a car, there
are no set prices for construction. Each
business prices out a job based on its ability to perform the work and the cost
of materials. Materials are like
comparing the cost of a Honda Civic versus a BMW 7 series. You will shop both cars depending on the
degree of luxury you desire. Materials
are the luxury in the remodeling process.
You can go up or down in cost with materials depending on how luxurious
you want your project to be. However, at
the end of the car buying day, everyone wants to go home in a car that
works! This is non-negotiable. Having a project work depends on the workers
and their ability to get the job done as planned and on time. You can compromise on the luxury of
materials, but compromising on the work for a project is like buying a broken
car. It will cost you more than you
planned to spend and will not get you where you want to go.
Hire a general contractor with experience to build
your project and references to back up that experience. The experienced contractor will help you
price out your project correctly and make sure you get what you want in a
timely manner without the horror story.