How to start the remolding process

Planning financially for a project can be difficult, especially for people who have never completed a remodel. The most significant barrier that we see from our customers when starting the remodeling process is that they don’t know how much a project should cost. In the forms of TV shows or internet articles, many resources exist today that talk about price. These resources often present misleading information about how much a project should cost. When consuming this information, the most crucial consideration is the content’s motivation. Is the company producing the data trying to sell a product, boost ratings, or generate a click on a link? The right general contractor can help guide you through these questions.

Selecting a general contractor can be a long and challenging process, but it doesn’t have to be. Looking online can be an excellent first step that is easy to accomplish. Most contractors have a website that tells a story about who they are, including pictures of past projects. Reaching out to the local Builder’s Association is another fantastic option. All Builder’s Associations members must be licensed and insured. A contractor must also be trusted by the homeowner. Remodeling projects can be stressful, so building a relationship with a general contractor based on trust and respect is very important.

Once a general contractor is selected, communication and trust are established. The contractor will discuss the scope of the work, which will dictate a portion of the budget. Most contractors will have average prices of various projects completed in the past with a work portfolio in either a printed or digital format. During the estimate process, the majority of contractors will use what is called allowances. These are general prices of materials during the planning stage of the project. Homeowners will select specific materials that may be higher or lower in cost than the allowances established. This shared control creates the final cost of the project.

While planning the project, it is essential to understand that unforeseen circumstances can arise. Perhaps asbestos is found during demolition. Maybe a previous homeowner did the work and did not have it inspected, ensuring quality and safety standards. Thus, it is critical to start a project that leaves wiggle room in the budget. Seasoned contractors will catch most of these issues on the project’s front end, and the estimate should reflect that in the project’s cost. However, contractors do not have x-ray vision, and some problems may go unseen.

Ultimately choosing a general contractor can be easy. The results should be a team effort built on trust, transparency, and communication.

Andrew J. Hrabe, Marketing Manager for Brooks Home Renovations LLC