Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 27 seconds
I have read and been coached for years that a professional remodeler does not give a cost breakdown. The problem remains that I firmly believe that it is intuitive for a client to want one. Perhaps there is a client type that doesn’t care about price, I have not met one. On the other hand, I’ve never had the urge to ask the supermarket clerk “How much does this bread cost you? What is your markup? I can’t believe it cost so much!” I just choose things that I want, need, and fits my budget.
- The most frustrating part of Designing a project from our perspective is an indecisive client.
- The most frustrating part of Designing a project from our client’s perspective is taking to long to get to a price.
I Ask Questions Now
Is there some particular number you need to help you make a decision to buy? if so then lay it out I will do what I can to accommodate you.
The automotive repair industry and others have created a “book price” for their work that all the players agree to. Our remodeling industry is perceived to charge as much as they can get away with. My challenge to myself was to dispel this myth for my clients.
During a recent vibrant conversation on a contractors LinkedIn page I follow, builders were all over the place with visceral feelings on the issue. Many believe like me, that educating our client’s that remodeling is even more expensive than building a new structure, if you look at it per square foot.
From the depths of despair, I decided to make sense of how I want to fix it. Being the owner forces me to have to come up with a creative solution. I grappled with what the next best step would be. This is the part of being an entrepreneur that “gives me goose bumps,” to steal a line from a friend. Here is how I developed my “forever for now solution”
I Decided to Do Some Role Reversal Scenarios
- Like buying a car, what are the features I am getting?
- How much control do I have over the cost of my project?
- Would it make me feel good to know that I am getting contractor pricing on the materials I select?
When I realized, that my designer can easily guide my clients to the level of finishes to include. If they wanted a more expensive finish that they would be made aware and pay the small difference. Conversely, they would be provided a credit if they selected a lower level of finish than we estimated. That freed us up to expedite the process tremendously. It also stopped the petty bickering over a detailed material allowance we used to provide
The New & Improved Design Process Was Born
We price projects based upon what you want to afford. Here is what you can afford to have us build for you. It would be considered the base price in this case. Here are some options you may want to include or exclude. So ridiculously simple, and yet it took years to perfect.
We simply accelerated the design process by providing a level of desired finishes in the DOW. Once the contract is signed, then the hard work of selecting the actual materials begins. Among design build companies there is unanimous agreement that there is no need to share proprietary information about how your firm works. Any client that needs this detailed cost breakdown information should either enter a Cost Plus or Time & Materials contract. My company does not currently provide either of these options. That is a topic for another post.
Your comments are welcome. To ask questions or get more information about remodeling, click here to email me directly, or call 208-947-7261