What Should A Remodeling Project Cost?

by | Aug 18, 2019 | Remodeling Budget | 0 comments

Reading Time: 4 minutes

What a remodeling project should cost is a great question. “Hell If I Know” is usually the answer. Remodeling is not a commodity especially in older homes that I typically work on. For me, I take this responsibility seriously and need to do a few things first. Before I share my OPI I must first return to my office and gather more background information, assemble the facts in a document that is shared with my estimator prior to sharing.

I Must First Do These Things

  1. Meet onsite with you to understand the project
  2. Grasp the magnitude of the desired improvements
  3. Experience the space to see the complexities
  4. Imagine that we are doing the project and bounce it against others we have done
  5. Prepare a written summary of our visit

I have no business expressing my opinion of cost on the spot. It is as irresponsible as a doctor giving a diagnosis without an examination and lab testing.

Where is Information Hidden on the Internet?

2015 cost vs value

2015 cost vs value

The best tool I have found for approximating project cost by region of the country is Remodeling Magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value report. However they do not seem to take the age of the home into consideration, (Something I mentioned to the editor when I met him recently)

Why Are There Such a Wide Range of Prices For the Same Thing?

I attended a great class called “Knowing Your Numbers” It was put on by remodelers for remodelers. We were each given the exact same set of plans and vague specifications and asked to estimate the same bathroom remodeling project.

With fifteen professional remodeling contractors in the room, figures ranged from just over $6,000 all the way up to $26,000. This means to me that there is no such thing as a market price for a simple bathroom remodeling project.

Mechanics Figured Out How To Solve This Problem

It is called shop rate pricing. Say you need some work done on your car, they all look it up in the book and say the same price, then all you need to do is find a mechanic that is close and have the work done.

There is no book or shop rate for remodeling.

What Makes it Easy To Make a Conscious Buying Decision?

lets do it

Let’s Do It

The price you are willing to pay is “The difference between the cost, and the perceived value of the thing you are buying”. When I am pitching a potential remodeling project to a prospect, I do everything in my power to show that making the decision to purchase from me is an obvious choice based upon “Need, trust, and ability”.

I always say, “If you are feeling forced or uncomfortable with your purchasing decision, then trust your gut”. Go back to the drawing board and figure out where the issues lie. If the objections can be resolved then wonderful, if not, move on.

Would you go shopping for the least expensive brain surgeon to work on your loved one, or the one who had a great reputation and matching bedside manor? I know what I would do.

When considering a remodeling project, if price is your only objection, then there may be a simple solution in modifying the scope or material selections.

What is more concerning, is a prospect that settles for a contractor based upon lowest price alone. Let that company work for the government, you do not have time to watch over them. Odds are good that you will have a much better experience with the trustworthy contractor you can get along with and communicate with best.

How Levco Establishes the Price

wants needs and wishes

Wants needs and wishes

For starters, every remodeling project is different. The only person that can accurately price a project is the contractor that understands “The magnitude, scope, and complexities of the work involved”. The same goes for every other contractor in the world.

To completely understand what will be involved in your remodeling project takes a site visit to see and understand existing conditions, some serious organizational skills, remodeling experience, and willingness to work together.

We provide that framework on our initial visit and listen carefully to your Wants, Needs, and Wishes.

Revealing your budget expectations early in the process is a good reality check. Having an unrealistic budget is a fairly common occurrence for the uninitiated. Once I share my OPI and an invitation to work together then we can get the ball rolling.

Next Steps

Entering a Pre-Construction Design Development Agreement, covers the cost to discover the things we need to know and create your entire project on paper.

Arriving at a correct contract amount requires time and is an exercise in predicting the future. Much like the weatherman who has a bunch of historical data and some scientific projections.

The real numbers are only know when

  • Plans are complete
  • The MSS is complete
  • DOW is complete
  • The Notional Schedule is complete
  • Estimating has completed the necessary Hard Bid Trade Walks

Unlike the weather man, we stand behind our predictions and promises.


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

If you or someone you know is considering remodeling or just wants to speak to a trustworthy remodeling contractor, please contact me. You’ll be glad you did.

Disclaimer: Some of these images came from the WEB. If they are yours, and you object to them being used, please claim them and I will gladly remove and replace them at once.

Disclaimer: Some of these images came from the WEB. If they are yours, and you object to them being used, please claim them and I will gladly remove and replace them at once.

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