Preparing for your first home remodeling project requires a good bit of research. The first step, of course, is exploring how much your specific project will cost and if it fits within your budget. There is nothing worse than getting your hopes only to find that your dream project isn’t a realistic option financially! Unfortunately, if you’re new to remodeling, you’ll likely be surprised at how much the process actually costs. Even if it’s not a “full gut” or a major renovation, the estimated cost can still be higher than most homeowners expect. One great resource we can provide when it comes to the average cost of various home remodeling projects is this cost vs value report. The report is location-specific and is updated each year, making it a great tool for those in the early research phase of their project.
At Medford Design-Build, we strive to educate our clients about every aspect of their remodel, from realistic pricing to the details of the design phase, to the completion of construction. One of the very best things you can do before proceeding with any home project is to do the right research and know what to expect from start to finish. This is especially true when it comes to pricing, as it is something that must be addressed early on. Because many homeowners choose their contractor based on the estimated price, it’s in your best interest to be familiar with the average price range for your remodel. Our owner, Mike Sr, always says that if someone offers you a total that is more than 15% less than the national average, they are likely planning to cut corners or leave out a portion of your project. Trust us, you’ll end up paying significantly more to have your remodel redone correctly if you opt for the “too good to be true” price the first time around!
Although the total cost of your remodel is better described as “lots of small things that add up,” there are a handful of items that can quickly increase the final numbers. Here are 3 major price contributors to be aware of before proceeding with your home remodel:
1. Structural Changes
Changing the actual structure of a room when remodeling will increase the final cost significantly. For example, removing a single load-bearing wall between rooms to open up your floor plan may sound like a simple project, but doing so would require an inverted support beam to be installed in the attic, which is an extensive process, requiring the time and expense of a permit and an engineer. Removing a wall also requires the surrounding rooms to be updated, as the flooring must be replaced, new trim must be installed and painted, and usually, neighboring walls must be painted. Even if you opt to do some of the finishing work yourself, you still incur the cost of materials. Similarly, turning a half bath into a full bath will require the addition of new plumbing, electrical lines, and an increase in square footage, requiring more materials such as tile, paint, and flooring. These types of structural changes add up to more hours on the job and an increase in cost. If your primary goal is to keep your project price on the lower end, it’s a good idea to work with the footprint you’ve got instead of making structural changes to your home.
2. Professional Workmanship
One benefit of working with a design-build firm (like Medford Design-Build!) is that they have their own qualified professionals. Licensed electricians, plumbers, engineers, stone masons, and carpenters are more expensive than a standard worker or general handyman. Likewise, the quality of the work is significantly better. For instance, if you’re looking to remodel your master bathroom and you want a specific vanity style to be installed, our professional carpenters would come to your home to build, install, prime, and paint your custom vanity on-site. Because the work is custom and it is done on-site at your home, you’re paying for the design, the materials, and also the hourly on-site labor of the professional. It would be much more affordable to go pick up a pre-made vanity at Lowe’s or Home Depot, but again, you get what you pay for. Unfortunately, good quality and one-of-a-kind customization cost a pretty penny!
3. Product Selection
It’s easy to look online or in magazines at beautifully remodeled spaces and feel overcome with inspiration for your own project. Selecting each of the little parts and pieces— the light fixtures, the countertops, the cabinet hardware, the appliances, etc.—is what really allows you to create a unique space that is all your own. As much fun as this part is, it’s important to remember that the items you choose can range drastically in price. For example, we typically budget $450 for a quality toilet in most bathroom remodels, and we were shocked to recently source one that was $6,000! Our plumber also noted that it would cost significantly more to install this model toilet due to its weight and wall-mounting requirements. Our owner thought it was best to *flush* that idea!
One of the perks of working with Medford Design-Build is that we include the services of our Interior Designer with your project. Not only will she organize all of your selected products and ensure that nothing gets overlooked, but she will also work with you and our estimators to choose the best items to meet your needs and stay within your budget. If you’re looking at granite countertop slabs at our stone yard, for example, she will be sure that you are directed to the level of granite that falls under the appropriate price point while still matching the aesthetic appeal you are going for. Having her on your side to help with these decisions makes for a faster, smoother experience and a total cost you can be satisfied with.
No matter how minimal you think your home remodeling project is, you should be aware that getting it done right will probably cost more than you expect. However, you always have the option to modify your scope of work and product selections in order to bring down the total cost of the project. It all depends on your budget and your vision for your remodel, and of course, the professionals you choose to work with!
If you have any questions about pricing or would like to discuss options for your home remodeling project, we’d be happy to help! Contact us today for more information!
The Medford Design-Build Team