Homeowners will often price out their home remodeling project with a few different contractors. When looking at the quotes, it might be hard to understand why some of the prices are so drastically different. You might even wonder if each of those contractors were looking at the same project! Pricing for individual projects will vary throughout the construction industry. Many homeowners will go with the most affordable option because it seems like the best way to save money. The trouble with this approach is that going with the cheapest option often means settling for a lower quality of work, and possibly a more expensive project in the long run.
Why is price important? First, the homeowner needs to know if he or she can afford the project. Second, price prioritizes everything, setting a budget for the project. Adjustments are made to the project based on the budget. This can be tricky for homeowners because, unlike buying a car, there are no set prices or “MSRPs” in the construction industry. Each construction business prices the job based on their ability to perform the work required along with the cost of materials.
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! That part is non-negotiable.
Cost of Labor
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.
Low Cost Equals Low Quality
Over the last 13 years of general contracting, I have heard countless horror stories from homeowners. 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 constant dust, and strangers in your home. Talk about a master bedroom invasion! Aside from the logistical and privacy nightmare for the homeowner, this project also probably resulted in voided warranties.
Eventually, this led to backbiting and fights with subcontractors and the crew because they weren’t getting paid! Those people approached the homeowner of this story for payment with the threat of placing a lien on the house all because this general contractor was inept at his job! The homeowner paid those workers on top of what was paid to 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 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.
Hire a general contractor with the experience necessary to build your project. Ask for references that back up that experience. The experienced contractor will help you price out your project correctly and make sure that your project is executed with quality and timeliness in mind.
Helton Remodeling Services, LLC provides quality models and additions in the Austin Metro Area. We partner with award winning interior designers and architectural firms to make your dream project become a reality.