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One Dollar

I commonly have folks ask how much something is going to cost per square foot. This is an interesting question, I suppose, if you are buying a home or having one built. You simply divide how many dollars you spent by the total square feet to find out how much you paid per square foot.

I often reply “How much did your shoes cost per pound?” Confused and bewildered, my potential clients need further explanation. You could easily figure it out by dividing how much you spent by what your shoes weigh. Do you add the shipping into the cost equation? The point is, who cares? Are heavier shoes more valuable? Perhaps, certainly not for runners.

Square Foot

Some  commodity items are sold by weight. At the supermarket, for instance, when evaluating frozen Orange Juice, studies have shown that people will buy the cheaper brand to save a penny.

The important thing to remember is that “No two remodeling projects are alike.”

I completed a remodeling project where I had to replace the entire electrical service to do a simple addition. Many clients want to add high end components that push the project cost outside the norm. Others are quite content to have big box store quality items specified.

There are many professions that use a calculated “per square foot price” for their purposes. Realtors, Architects, and Bankers all find the number a helpful comparison tool. Do they include living space only, or do you get to count garages too? It could seriously skew the numbers.

This John Ruskin Quote says what I mean quite eloquently.

“There is nothing in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and he who considers price only is that man’s lawful prey.”

At Levco, the contract amount is always based upon:

  1. What you want to do.
  2. The materials you want to include.
  3. The complexity of the thing we are doing.
  4. How long it will take to accomplish the task.

Here is a story that brings clarity to the conundrum I face.

Spaghetti Dinner for 2

Spaghetti Dinner

What are the basics you need for a spaghetti dinner? Here is my entire shopping list:

  1. Noodles
  2. Pasta sauce.                                       I expect to spend $8

OK, we head to the store to get the ingredients. We are in the store and get our pasta and sauce, but then see a clove of garlic. Then we decide to add a salad with croutons and tomatoes, and how about a nice bottle of wine, a loaf of French bread and some meat balls, Romano cheese, the dressing for the salad, and dessert? Now we have the groceries rung up, and we are up to $65. That is not counting the olive oil and butter we are going to use out of our cabinets.

Both meals we described are spaghetti dinners, one just cost more. I spent more than I was expecting but not more than it was worth. I even had some left over for a future meal.

How much per pound?

The same thing goes for remodeling.

Initially, I can give an Opinion of Probable Cost for your project. Until we get the shopping list completely and know what you want to incorporate into your project, (get to the check out stand), and by this I mean, (have a very clear idea of what we are going to incorporate into your spaghetti dinner), I cannot know what the Contract Amount will be.

During the Design Phase, we flesh out what you want to do in two stages. We narrow down the DOW to a final draft as fast as we can. Once we have that done, we help you choose what components you want to add. Once selected, we have the materials priced, have our subcontractors give us bids, and estimate the complexity and how long it will take to complete the work. Then we create an amazingly accurate Contract Amount.

If it makes you feel better, you are welcome to figure out your $ per Square foot, and I suppose if we could weigh it, you could also figure out how much it cost per pound at that point.

Your comments are welcome. To ask questions or get more information about remodeling, click here to email me directly, or call 208-947-7261.

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