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Door Hanger

Door Hanger

I am following a thread on my contractors’ LinkedIn site about how much markup folks are charging around the country for remodeling projects. From the thread sparked this thought: As a professional remodeler I understand what it costs to run my business and I charge the appropriate markup to keep the doors open and make a modest profit.

I received a door hanger on my home the other day that looked like this one. It boasted about kitchen remodeling starting as low as $3,300. Everyone wants the “biggest bang for their buck” but glossy pictures of high end cabinetry, contemporary lighting and granite counter tops with incredibly low “starting as low as” pricing is exactly what is contributing to confusing the public about the cost to remodel.  Now, I have to go out in the world and dispel this remodeling myth. Trying to compete with this sort of fabrication is pointless. I just have to believe that my clients are smart enough to realize that deceptive advertising such as this, is ridiculous.

Have you ever compared your hamburger to the one in the commercials? There should be a law, I tell you!

If your goal is to get something for nothing, odds are, what you will get will have little value.

A national franchise bathroom remodeler has made its fortune by covering up failed showers and bathtub surrounds. Do you really want a plastic overlay placed on your broken failed bathtub and tile? I get that it is a quick fix but what you covered up is still there, eating away at the value of your home. You will be paying for it now and paying even more later to tear it out and fix it properly.

Although I have not had the pleasure of ripping one of these “one-day-makeovers,” out, I can’t wait for the chance. I’m not saying that price always denotes value, because I’ve seen some awfully expensive poor workmanship in my day. For some reason there is security in having things installed by the big box store’s contractor.

There are often things done to your home that are out of your control, like a previous owner that scabbed on an addition or something. We understand there can be moments of weakness, when getting it done cheap and fast is the best option.  We get that the three tab roof was a cheaper option at the time. Now, 12 years later the roofer is gone, the product is no longer available, the plastic vents are cracked, you’ve got a leak, and the shingles are falling off in the slightest breeze.

Warn out Roof

Warn out Roof

One of the worst examples of having to pay for it twice is when big box store convinces a homeowner to install their own tile shower, or paint the house. You may not be willing to admit it, but honestly, we can usually tell. Some things are best left to a professional.

Would you like your eyes worked on by the low bidder, or the eye doctor with the best reputation?

From years in the pizza business, one of my mantras is “all pizzas are not alike!” Just because the bathtub ad says “high grade,” and it looks good on the showroom shelf and is half the price of the wholesale house model, don’t expect it to be as good a quality. When you drop a shampoo bottle and crack the tub, you’ll be wishing you had spent your hard earned cash more wisely.

It reminds me of this favorite John Ruskin quote:

“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 we believe, that there needs to be balance, as with everything in life and you need to evaluate your investments into your home wisely.

One thing that you can count on is that I will always steer you into making smart decisions about your home improvement projects. Adding value to your home is what we are all about.

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

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.