Suffice to say we’re all suffering from this economy and no one likes to cut a budget, especially when it’s his or her own. But when it comes to planning a remodeling project or build a custom home, a realistic budget can be achieved without having to forfeit your dream.
Preparing, planning for a remodeling project is a lot like going on vacation. You may know where your going, the room and style you want, but the options (eating, drinking from those small in your room refrigerators) well, your choice may drive the price higher than whats reasonable. But there are ways to stretch the remodeling budget and end up with the results you have wanted for so long.
First thing to do
- The most important step is finding a licensed professional remodeling contractor for your project. Obviously we want you to pick us, Integrity Construction, but please contact the http://www2.cslb.ca.gov/CSLB_LIBRARY/License+Request.asp and make sure all of us who are bidding on your project are a bona fide licensed contractor & have the experience to do remodeling.
- We believe in giving you a detailed scope of work itemization of your project. Your contract should have specific products or at least an itemized allowance so that you can have a working budget. Communication is the key in any remodeling. There’s nothing worse that can happen on a project when everyone is assuming, cost will invariably go higher if not checked.
- You will save money by planning ahead. DO NOT RUSH while going through the design process. In my years of experience I have found many ways to minimize the possible stress that comes with a remodeling project or building a custom home.
- Often I’M asked “how much do you charge for a bathroom remodel, addition or what does it cost per sq ft to add on a 2nd story. To be honest I will then ask, are you wanting to spend $400 for a toilet or $50. What kind of tile? Ceramic? Marble? Travertine? Wood windows,Vinyl, Casement?
- As you can see there are many factors involved that will determine the bottom line. regardless the size of the remodeling project. Get a conceptual design idea first, for those who plan on having a room addition or desiring a 2nd story addition, this can save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Anyone who’s been in the business should be able to at least give you some idea of what a project could cost with this type of plan. This will not be an exact estimate/quote. If they do I can assure you it’s heavily padded for the unknown. After you’ve gotten a feel for what your project may cost, then move in getting the structural plans. If your remodel is small, the conceptual drawing may be enough to create a working budget.
- With your new room(s), begin choosing the appliances, light fixtures, etc. These items if known prior to signing a contract will be included in the contract to avoid confusion and unnecessary change orders. Include the model, size, color, and other specifications. Regardless if you have picked them out or not to achieve a realistic budget an allowance needs to be inserted. It is also wise to save 10–20 percent of your budget to allow for items added to the scope of work.
- The number one way to decrease the cost of your remodeling project is product choices. Integrity Construction offers an opportunity to purchase through our wholesale account. But, Look around on the internet to determine whether you can achieve a similar look with a less expensive product
- Compare products and their prices carefully before you make final decisions. Ask me. I’ve been a remodeling contractor for 30 years. I’ve seen a lot of products, some great for the money & others not so great.
- Make decisions based on value and quality, not just price.
Important Remodeling Tips
- If possible, have your contractor involved in the design process. A quality kind of contractor has the potential to save you untold thousands of dollars in the actual construction process. Allow me to explain. The Architect, well to be respectful, they design the pretty picture okay. It’s the engineer that says this is how you can build the pretty picture. It’s the builder (me) that knows how to make it ALL happen. The Architect & engineer are not going to spend countless hours constructing your home. I am. They are not going to pour through your plan making sure everything will work like it should. As an example, in my 25 years I’ve never seen a plan that included where the soffits would go to get certain parts of the home heated & vented.
- Allow your contractor to be creative. There are often multiple solutions to accomplish a design objective, some more expensive than others. Discuss various options with your contractor.
- There are a number of ways to increase a rooms value without having to do anything major. If all the room really needs is a makeover, change the paint add some decorative molding, as opposed to structural changes. Changing the color of a room can do wonders.
- Windows can remain in their existing places & can be upgraded without removing the stucco for instance. Relocating windows can be very costly.
Hidden Value Found
Creating more space can be costly. Once you add square footage to a home, the price increases significantly but so does your investment. Look at my web pageCost vs value. One alternative is to borrow space from a neighboring room (called space reconfiguration). A great place to steal space for a bathroom expansion is from the linen closet or from an adjacent closet in a bedroom.
A small room sometimes has the potential of looking larger using a bay window or changing the ceiling configuration. Skylights can not only add more light but they also have the ability to make a room appear larger.
If at all possible, reuse existing appliances, and build your new cabinets around them. This could save you anywhere from $1,500–5,000 easily. Maintaining the present location of major fixtures is something to consider. Mostly plumbing and utilities that are relative to the plumbing, gas and electrical outlets. This could even apply to the location of the telephone. Moving plumbing, wiring and jacks can be extremely expensive.
Choose neutral colors in fixtures, appliances. They are less expensive initially and won’t look dated when the color trends change. White and almond sinks are much cheaper than color varieties. Should you choose granite, without question install an under mount stainless steel sink. Often I am able to have granite installed at about the same cost it would be if you chose tile. Good floor covering is important. It ties one room to another and provides visual consistency.
Become familiar with various flooring products. Vinyl or laminate flooring is less expensive than wood, tile or slate. Learn the pros and cons of the various materials
Use the existing floor covering if it is still in good condition. If you currently have a vinyl floor covering and wish to update with a newer version, we can install a synthetic floor material over the existing vinyl floor and lay the new tile on top, rather than tearing the old flooring off to install the new.
In some cases custom cabinets can be less expensive than those you find at the big box stores. These choices will drive the overall price. Most cabinets in the first place are pretty much the same uniform size So depending on your budget you can add some of the other bells & whistles at a later date. Go with a simple design in the kitchen employing single height wall cabinets, blind corner cabinets rather than those with Lazy Susan’s, and other standard options. Watch your upgrades.
The doors styles can really change the cost of your kitchen remodel. Do you really need to have solid versus hollow core?, Choose cabinets that can be operated without the addition of hardware (those that are finger–pulled).
Install cabinets without soffits to decrease the labor cost. Also consider cabinets without trim moldings or with simple trim. Or install the cabinets lower than the ceiling. Thereby, the top of the cabinet becomes a shelf to put decorative items on.
If you are going to put in new wood trim (crown molding, trims, door casings) to match the new cabinets, order pre–finished trim instead of having the painting or staining. This will decrease labor cost.
If you didn’t know, a tub can be re glazed rather than of replacing it, especially if it is still in relatively good condition. This can save you more than half the cost of a tub replacement and minimize the over all cost.
Fiberglass surrounds are also less costly than tile. For those who have family members that need assistance, there are a number of high quality shower stalls that can be used for those who have wheel chairs or walkers. These units come complete with handrails & seats.
Examine how you are utilizing space. Many of times we’ve been able to access additional space by removing a portion of a closet in an adjoining bedroom. If your overall space is limited, purchase a jetted tub and shower combination or install a pedestal lavatory instead of a vanity cabinet with a sink. Understand that while pedestal lavatories do eliminate the need for vanities and save space, some models may cost more than a separate vanity cabinet and sink.
In today’s market you go to your local granite marble yard and find a remnant piece for a fraction of what it would normally cost. Cultured marble lavatories can be a great budget choice since it is an integrated sink bowl and counter top sold in one easily installed unit.
Define what is truly needed in the bathroom. If you are going to add a large jetted tub to your project, be sure to get the instant heat also. Otherwise consider increasing your water heater so you can have enough hot water for the rest of the house. A large jetted tub can hold up to an average of 75 gallons or more, which can easily overextend your existing water heater and cause problems in the future.