3 Red Flags of “Affordable” Remodeling


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With all the beautiful interiors seen on TV shows, featured in home design magazines, and posted across Pinterest and other social media platforms, it’s no wonder home remodeling is such a hot topic among today’s homeowners. Honestly, who wouldn’t want their house to look like Chip and Joanna’s?!

Odds are, if you’re really committed to the idea of remodeling your home, you’ve probably already looked into the process and maybe have even met with a few contractors to for estimates. While it can be tempting to go all-in with the first contractor that offers you an affordable quote, the old cliché “you get what you pay for” is important to keep in mind. It’s a sad reality that many clients come to us after being ripped-off or left high-and-dry by another contractor who made them an offer they couldn’t refuse. Prices might vary somewhat between remodeling contractors, but if someone quotes you a price that is thousands of dollars less than the others, it’s likely too good to be true!

Heed the warnings of so-called “affordable” remodeling! It might seem like a good deal at first, but you’ll end up paying significantly more in the long run to have a quality contractor come in and fix what was done incorrectly by the “affordable” contractor. Double (or triple) the cost, time, and headache. Ouch!

Here are the red flags to be aware of when it comes to “affordable” remodeling:

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1. Lower Prices Could Mean Less Experience

It’s true that experience is the best teacher. Would you rather trust your home to a contractor that has never picked up a hammer, or one that has years of knowledge and experience in the field? New companies that are trying to get started might offer lower prices because they have not yet obtained the qualifying experience to charge a premium price. Yes, everyone has to start somewhere, but hiring a beginner or someone that doesn’t have a good reputation in order to save a buck will come back to bite you in the end.

Also, it is understandable that most homeowners are not remodeling experts. There is a lot more involved in remodeling than many people think, especially when it comes to features and designs. Storage features, improved layout, additional countertop space, and overall functionality are subjects that could easily be overlooked or intentionally avoided by a contractor that is trying to keep the project price low and the construction time short. It’d be a shame to remodel your kitchen or bathroom without being presented with all of the possibilities and options that are available for the space.

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2. Lower Prices Could Mean Cheap Materials

It makes sense that lower prices mean cheap materials. Unfortunately, unless the contractor provides a very detailed quote, you probably won’t know the quality of materials he intends to use. Things such as flooring tile, countertops, and appliances should be thoroughly discussed and researched before agreeing to any design or building plans. Sometimes, it’s hard to question someone you are trusting to be a “professional,” but unfortunately, there are contractors out there that will cut corners at your expense in order to improve their profits.


At Medford Design-Build, we create custom design packages for each of our major remodeling projects. Not only does the package include floor plans and 3-D renderings of the remodeled space, but also, a very detailed scope of work document and a design selections page. These documents lay out everything that is to be included in the project – from flooring to paint, electrical, plumbing, and so on. We also provide a detailed budget items worksheet to help you keep your project on budget based on your selections. Our talented interior designer, Stephanie, is very involved in this process, and will make sure you get all of the quality products and materials you are expecting. Many of our vendors are close by and have showrooms that allow you to touch and feel the product first-hand before making your final decisions.


Once the decisions are made, our General Manager, Kourtney, orders and tracks all of your selected items in the necessary quantities. Not only will you be assured you are getting quality materials, but we will make sure they are delivered on time and in perfect condition!


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3. Lower Prices Could Mean Your Contractor is Skipping Required Permits


The cost of permits range depending on the size and details of the project. Obtaining a permit does increase the final cost of the remodel, but they protect you as the homeowner. Not getting a permit could cause problems if you try to sell your home later on. This also could also allow for dangerous situations if the work isn’t done correctly. You don’t want to risk having a house fire, flooding, foundation issues, or structural problems in the future because you chose to go with a cheaper contractor that did not permit his construction!

The honest truth is that quality remodeling is not cheap. Usually, even a small project will end up costing more than you’d expect. You have to consider all of the labor, materials, and time that goes into a remodeling job. As tempting as it might be to choose the cheapest contractor, trust us, it’s far better to pay a little more to get the project done right – with experienced contractors, quality materials, and proper permits—to save you time, money, and heartache in the long run. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

If you or someone you know is considering a home remodeling project, please be cautious when it comes to contractors that offer you the ultimate low cost! Keep in mind the many risks that are involved. Be sure you choose an experienced contractor that uses quality materials and will obtain the necessary permits to ensure your project is done correctly!

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have further questions about the remodeling process.

Warm Regards,

The Medford Design-Build Team


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