Updated: Apr 27
When you are getting your home remodeled, you might think that your biggest concern is to stay under budget, without realizing that there are other things more important [to you] than saving a little bit of money. Getting your project done to your expectations is important because you want to be happy with your investment. Every remodeling company does things differently, and prices do vary, which means that the results of your project and the experience of the remodeling process may also vary. If you haven't remodeled before, this article is a must-read to determine if there are other things you care more about than just staying under budget.
Here are other things that might matter more to you than saving money:
1. Timeline: Getting your project done within your expected timeline might be important for you. For example, you might think its crucial that your project gets started within the next week. Or you might be okay with waiting 6 months to get your project started.
2. Quality: Are you looking for good enough quality or are you looking to obtain the highest quality possible? Details and perfection are a must for some. Generally, skilled contractors charge more for their craft because they either take their time perfecting their work, or they developed a skill throughout the years to be able to deliver top quality work in no-time. Regardless of how much or little it takes for them to complete the scope of work, you should have an idea of what you are expecting the final product to look like in terms of quality. Levels of quality do not cost the same.
3. Protection: Is it important to you to have protection? Having an official contract signed by both parties is a great way to have protection. A contract outlines what the company will do. If this is important to you, make sure that the contractor is licensed, insured and bonded to do the type of work you need done. Will permits and inspections be pulled for the project? What are the warranties? A company that can offer protection almost always costs more than a company that isn't properly licensed, insured or bonded but it can save you down the road if issues arise.
4. Communication: Are you big on communication? On being in the loop? If so, it might be the best idea to find a contractor that values communication. This can mean that they return your calls, emails, texts promptly during business hours, or that they will be updating you throughout the journey of the project. Not everyone is communicative in this line of business, and some homeowners might not mind a lack of communication so it depends.
5. Transparency: If an unexpected cost comes up, will you mind if they let you know at the very end of the project? Most homeowners like to know right then and there if the final payment will be increasing due to an unforeseen situation.
6. Schedule: How long will it take for the project to be completed? Knowing what the scheduling will be like might be important to you. You may find a contractor that is able to get it all done in one sitting rather than halting work mid-project to work on another project.
These are just some of the things that you might care more about than simply staying under budget. Money can either buy you a pleasant experience, or cost you an unpleasant experience if you compromise the scope of work, materials or settle for a company that won’t offer the value you expect and desire.
In other cases, sometimes the lowest option really is the best solution for you, and sometimes things do turn out better than you could have ever expected. The point of this post is for you to explore what matters the most to you. What is your non-negotiable? It is very important to find out what you care about the most and share it with the contractors you talk to so that your expectations for the project can be met.
This is the time when you must be communicative and realistic about what your expectations and desires are for the project, and how cost factors into it those expectations. Your budget might only get you half of the things you care about or want. One contractor might offer everything you want, but he may be out of your budget. Are you willing to settle?
Now let's discuss unrealistically low budgets. If after doing research and getting a few estimates, you are adamant about getting your project done for considerably less than what it actually costs, it might not turn out the way you expect it to. Attempting to stay under an unrealistic budget might end up costing your pocket more than you bargained for. Either the quality will be compromised because the contractor will have to rush themselves to get it done quickly, or you risk shortcuts being taken or lesser quality materials being used on your project.
Don't make the mistake of solely focusing on the money. Look at the bigger picture. What will saving money on your project entail? What will it cost you in the long run? What will a quality product done the right way save you (in hassle, money and time) in the long run?
For the most part, after talking about these scenarios, most homeowners realize that money is in fact the least of their concerns. They realize that it is more important to get their job done right, with quality materials, and by a reputable, licensed company that cares about delivering outstanding customer service (transparency, communication, dedication to getting the job done on time, and workmanship warranties/guarantees etc).
Investing with the right company will solve your current issues, and help minimize future issues. There’s no point in low-balling your project if your expectations/desires won’t be met. Going with the lowest cost effective choice might also result in a failed project a few years down the road due to corners being cut or lesser quality materials being used.