There are endless possibilities when it comes to remodeling your home. In the internet age, inspiration and ideas are abundant as homeowners can easily see projects from anywhere in the world with just a few clicks!
With endless possibilities, how do you decide what to focus your limited resources on? How do you choose the right trade offs while still getting excited about your project? Let’s discuss.
Understanding Your Goals
A key component of the planning process and maximizing your budget is understanding your goals. In fact, this should be the first step as you begin talking with contractors.
Here are two great questions to get you thinking:
What problems are you trying to solve?
What is your desired outcome?
Let’s unpack those questions and why they matter.
What Problems Are You Trying to Solve?
All remodeling projects start with a problem: Are you and your partner constantly bumping into each other while cooking dinner in your cramped kitchen? Is your family growing and in need of an extra room to accommodate? Do you need a mudroom to prevent the dirt from being tracked through the house? Are you tired of the aesthetics and ready for a visual change? Does your entire home need an upgrade?
Once you've identified the starting point (your problems), it’s time to think about the finish line...
What is Your Desired Outcome?
Are you trying to make cooking with family more enjoyable? Trying to eliminate the chaos of shared bathrooms/bedrooms? Looking to inspire a certain mood when you walk into a room? Wanting to give your historic home a modern update?
Once you’re able to articulate your problems and desired outcome, then you can start getting into the fun stuff like material choices and expressing your personality.
Honest Conversations With Your Contractor
Some homeowners are hesitant to disclose their budget with contractors when trying to get an estimate. There’s a fear that the contractor will artificially raise their estimate to meet the budget you’ve given them. From our experience working with homeowners, the more transparent you can be upfront about your budget, the better your remodeling experience and overall satisfaction. Here’s why.
If you withhold your budget and tell your contractor you just want to know how much your project will cost, you’ll likely end up with sticker shock; homeowners almost always underestimate how much their project will cost. When this happens, homeowners either get discouraged and cancel their project altogether or they try to find another contractor who can do it for cheaper (which can be problematic as discussed in our other blog post, “How To Find The Right South Bend Remodeling Contractor”)
The more transparent you are about your budget from the get-go, the better your contractor can help you understand the choices and tradeoffs that will drive satisfaction. This is when the benefit of working with a design-build firm also comes into play. Designers are experts at creatively finding solutions to remodeling problems and helping you see what’s possible. When they’re operating under the same roof as the contractor, this adds a practical element that ensures your project can be built within your budget.
What Causes Price to Increase/Decrease?
Material choices are a huge factor in determining price. The price of your project will largely come down to how fancy and custom you want to go. For example, the differences in price between stock, semi-custom, and custom cabinetry will vary tremendously.
To circle back to points made earlier, this is why honest conversations about your goals and budget are so important in the planning process. If you’re absolutely determined to have custom cabinetry in your kitchen, then you might have to make trade-offs elsewhere. If you identify this from the beginning, you’re able to get what’s most important to you while staying within your budget.
Ready to Talk With a Trusted South Bend Remodeling Contractor?