How much does a Home Remodel/Renovation Cost? Monetary and Emotionally!
BY PAUL WINANS (Remodeling magazine Jan. 2017 issue)
Remodeling’s editor passed along this inquiry from a reporter for a consumer publication: “I…was wondering if you have any tips on how to reduce the costs of hiring a contractor, or how to save money on building materials. If this is a topic you’re familiar with, can you shoot me a few short pieces of advice…?” I am so tempted to go into a rant about how our profession isn’t regarded as one. Remodelers tear up someone’s house and put it back together in a way that makes the house better for the client. Aren’t there other things to keep in mind besides saving money?
Actually, there are THREE costs to having a remodel done.
MONEYThis is the cost that’s usually focused on. But remodeling isn’t a commodity. It is a service that almost incidentally produces a product. What a remodeling client is buying is a relationship.
TIMEMost remodeling clients are already busy people. Work, family, commuting, recreation, community involvement-all of these consume time, leaving many folks no time to recover. Virtually no potential remodeling client understands how much time they will have to invest in the project. Why should they need to put in a lot of time?
Decision making, for one thing, so much time and effort goes into figuring out what one wants. Given that a remodeling client does not do this regularly and will be living with their decisions for years, it often seems there is never enough time to make all the needed decisions. A cheap remodeling contractor will provide little or no help to their clients regarding product selection. The less expensive the remodeler, the more time the client will spend making decisions.
FRUSTRATION AND STRESS
Saving money comes at a cost. That is life. There is no free lunch. Most folks don’t like to be frustrated. They don’t like living with the stress that comes from uncertainty and unmet promises. Even working with a very good remodeler, a client will experience some surprises and disappointment.
The less expensive the remodeler, the more frustration and stress the client will experience. Good things typically cost more than inferior things. Why? They are worth it.
In the end everyone pays the same “price”. What varies is the proportion of money, time and frustration/stress that make up that price. – Paul Winans, veteran remodeler.