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Big Bucks

Big Bucks is no joke. We are constantly trying to get our clients to focus on not changing the scope of work while we are in the Design Developmental stage of remodeling. The next challenge is to deal with our own creative nature when it comes to finding opportunities to improve things during the project.

I recently lost a project because the client’s vision of the project kept growing and I allowed it to get out of hand. My Opinion of Probable Cost had envisioned a basic project, but it only took one hidden defect and misreading the client’s idea of fit and finish to blow the budget out of sight. The last thing I want to do is crush a client’s creative energy. Never the less, I missed the mark completely and lost the opportunity to build the project.

The $100,000 question is what is more important the budget or what you get?

Here are some tips I use to keeping your budget on track:

  1. Clearly establish the scope of work at the very first opportunity.
  2. Clearly establish a budget or a not-to-exceed number (and share it with us)
  3. Do not let daydreaming or well-meaning advisers (that know nothing about the budget) allow you to be swayed.
  4. Make sure to follow each new material selection to be validated with the contractor in the context of your budget.

Cost VS. Value

Cowboy Boots

A friend of mine went into a shoe store to buy a pair of cowboy boots. Anyone who has bought shoes knows that there is a huge price range. His plan was to spend $150. Upon leaving he had a $450 pair. He was sold a pair of boots. He spent 3 times his budget! He had no anxiety about the transaction because the sales person was able to communicate the value of buying the pair he ended up with.

Buyer’s remorse, does it exist? I think so. Perhaps, but not in this case. The budget was not the point, it was all about getting a great pair of shoes. To the extent that folks understand it, we are anxious and open to share our thoughts and experiences. A big part of what you are buying when you employ a General Contractor and design staff is consultation time, sound advice, and recommendations in a safe environment.

Up Selling

There is very little I like about being up-sold, so I try not to do it myself. I joke about it in retail in my pet peeves blog, but I get that folks just don’t always know what is best for them, their budget, or what is available.

I just saw an example of a very expensive home with a wall of “integrated technology.” It included a thermostat, a security key pad, three switches and a remote to control some other high tech device. The joke is that with today’s technology, an I-Pad on the wall would have handled all of these functions at a fraction of the price and a cleaner look. This is the kind of up-selling I love to do.

When it comes to selecting your materials during the Design Development Phase of a project it is important to be clear on your Wants, Needs, and Budget. Don’t be surprised if your budget gets blown but before you pass judgement. Look at what you are getting for your money!

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