What is your budget for this project?
1 One project is not the same for the next project
My response will always be what is your budget for this project? I know for a homeowner this is like giving away the keys to the castle. If I give up how much money I have they will want to spend it all. That is one way of looking at it. There is also that funny phrase that we have all used through out our lives! If you have to ask how much it will cost you can’t afford it…
For a General Contractor who has been working in the remodeling field for over 30 years I have worked on many projects and the price of one project is not the same for the next project. Even if they both are a bathroom remodel. The cost of finishes for an example can make or break a homeowner’s budget. Or the size and extent of the project. Moving a master bathroom into an open attic space with dormers for an example. For most homeowners maybe never having done home remodeling the cost of it can be shocking as well.
2- Bathroom remodels for $3500 dollars.
When I started in the trades over 35 years ago the Master Plumber, I worked under used to do complete bathroom remodels for $3500 dollars. Today the fixtures can cost more than that. The tile and install can cost more than that. Depending on the size of the project the permitting and inspections can cost more than that. I like to use the phrase that a master Bathroom is like building a small house inside your existing house. It has all the things that make up a house in one small room. You can even get into the outside of the house if it includes skylights and or windows?
3- Back to giving away the keys to the Castle!
This is important because having a budget in mind we will be able to work backwards from your over all budget to the scope of the project and what you will be able to afford. I call this the end game. Begin with the end in mind and we can walk it back for a complete project. A lot of times what happens in this responsible approach to remodeling is the homeowners have a wish list that cannot be fulfilled because of their budget.
4- One of the big problems I see in the remodeling Industry
When a homeowner believes that he or she should be able to get all that they want for what they are willing to spend. What happens with this scenario is that the Homeowner chooses the low-priced contractor thinking that they will get all that they want; when in return the project goes side ways and ends up in a dispute, court, or worse the homeowners having to call in another contractor to try and finish their project.
5- When researching what bathroom remodeling projects can cost.
One rule of thumb thrown out there is that you will have to plan that most remodeling project run over by 20% as well as they take longer to complete than what is expected. Both of these can be true. Let’s deal with the running over. If you have hired a competent contractor and they are skilled in estimating or is a NARI certified Remodeling contractor you will know that he is trained in seeing all of the elements that you will need to successfully complete this project. In most cases this means the first estimate for this project should be more than you are willing to spend. If this is the case then this contractor has accounted for all Phases needed to make this project a success.
6- Computer Generated Estimates
This estimate should also be on a computer-generated estimating software so it is clear for the homeowner to see that everything is accounted for in the estimate so there will be no surprises.
This can take care of a lot of projects running over although there can be (unforeseen) that can come up during a project that will have to be dealt with at that time. This should be minor due to the complete estimate performed upfront.
7- Taking longer than was expected.
There are many obstacles that can come up in a remodeling project that can delay a project. I believe the most prevalent is the ordering of fixtures that will be needed for the finish of a project. I like to have fixtures and tile ordered before we start a project. Have all finishes selected so that when we have a start date the fixtures are coming in while we are in the demoing of the project and rough stages. This way of something comes in damaged we have time to get it sent back and reordered. One of the biggest scope creeps on a remodeling projects is extra work asked for by the homeowners. Yes, I said it. They want to spend more money? Sometimes people can’t see a project in three D so when it’s apart or during being built that’s when their minds eye can see what it is that they would like in the space. Most of the time in comes in the way of creature comforts.
8- When working up a price for what a Master bathroom will cost
Remember to begin with the end in mind and work backwards. Oh, yay and hire the right contractor for the project! Don’t base it on cost.
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