By Jack W. Williams
“What will it cost?” often is one of the first questions people have when approaching remodeling. Contractors, meanwhile, are eager to know, “What’s your budget?” And it seems many architects prefer to avoid the topic altogether for fear it will cramp their style.
If you need a frame of reference before JW Williams Construction completes a formal proposal, check the Remodeling 2018 Cost vs. Value Report. In it, the construction estimating software company, RemodelMAX, calculates costs for 21 projects in the Minneapolis Metro market. Use the data to benchmark your expectations. But be sure to read the descriptions to understand how the size and scope of each scenario compares to your own plans.
The study also surveys licensed Realtors to determine how various improvements might impact a Minneapolis Metro property’s resale value. However, that only matters if you plan to sell your home in the next few years. Otherwise, judge a remodeling's worth to your own enjoyment.
Remodel pricing should not be adversarial
The best remodeling projects are collaborative, not adversarial. Honest contractors won’t try to get you to spend more than you are able or to squeeze an excessive profit out of a job. They know the margins they need to be profitable and charge accordingly. (Keep in mind that lean companies such as JW Williams Construction avoid the overhead of a fancy showroom to deliver the most value to their customers.) Most important, the project needs to deliver your vision or it will fail no matter how much you save.
The challenge for clients and contractors alike is that meaningful cost estimates take information and time. It’s a dance, with predictable steps. Unlike comparing prices for a particular model of refrigerator, every home and project is different. Once we understand your goals and tastes and get a feel for your home, we can develop a plan and price. By sharing your financial comfort zone, you actually will help us to efficiently create the best value for you.
Remodeling Magazine Editor Interprets Study
Craig Webb, editor-in-chief of Remodeling Magazine, which publishes the Cost vs. Value report each year, discusses the trends the report suggests here. It’s written for remodeling contractors, but I think you will appreciate his insights.