When starting a new project, a potential client typically contacts us via email. We discuss with them the scope of work they are looking to have done, i.e., kitchen remodel, bathroom update, basement finish, etc.
One of the first questions we ask is, “What is your budget?”
This number is really important to know from a designer and contractor perspective so we can know first, if the project is realistic and second, what we have to work with.
If someone is wanting a full gut and remodeled kitchen and their budget is $30K, it isn’t realistic for us to be able to get the job done. If your budget is $50K + than we know it is at least doable.
Know What you Want to Spend
Before reaching out to a contractor for a bid, know what you want to spend.
At construction2style, we have a calculated algorithm that takes into account the amount of work, what it will cost, and how much money we will need to get paid to make a profit.
Knowing what you are able/willing/wanting to spend right off the bat will help ensure that you are a good fit for that company, and that company is a good fit for you.
Once you have come to an agreement that the budget is within reason, you will typically start the selection process. This can be an overwhelming step, and thank goodness we have people on our team that can help walk you through it. A lot of people are unsure of where to start. Do you go for a certain look, a certain style, a certain color, a certain price, etc.? All of these things are all taken into account, which brings me to my second point…
Know your Budget
Having a budget for the initial construction planning process is crucial because there are a lot of selections to make.
Knowing where to start often starts with knowing how much you have to spend. Dividing your money into allowances is a common thing when it comes to selections. We will often start with what is most important to you (countertops, tile, cabinets, etc.). We will then allocate the needed amount into each allowance.
That being said, if you could give a rip about what kind of tile you want, chances are we aren’t going to a custom tile store with a $15,000 allowance. But if you aren’t willing or haven’t shared your budget with the builder, they won’t know what you have or are willing to spend on that specific item.
Now that the hard part is over and the fun part is going to begin, the money thing shouldn’t matter, right? Wrong. Each project that we do always has its bumps. Some smaller than others, but you are almost always guaranteed to run into something. These are sometimes considered change orders. Either you need to get a different color, different style, eliminate something, or add something. All of this costs money and takes time. Which brings me to my third point…
There’s always more work
The little things throughout the project are not worth getting hung up on, especially when it comes to paying for them. But they do happen, and the cost must be covered. Whether it’s $100 or $1000, there will likely be some additional work throughout the project. A good contractor will let you know when these things come up as the project goes on. It’s also our responsibility as a construction company to make sure these things were somewhat accounted for in the initial budget discussion. No, we don’t have a line item for “add ons” or “change orders,” but if we completely max out your budget, then ask for an additional $2000 because we added extra lighting to your kitchen; things might get messy. Therefore, we try and leave room for additional things, never knowing what exactly they will be.
Conclusion: Don’t waste anyone’s time.
Too many times, we have worked with clients that have said: “you just want my budget so that you can price things as high as they can be.” For example, if they say their budget is $80,000, then our bid will naturally come in at $79,500 without even pricing anything out. First off, we like to tell clients what our starting price is and what it can go up to at the upper end. That way, they can figure out if we are a good fit for them right off the bat. We have been burned one too many times, creating a bid and making all the selections for a project and not having a budget. When we come in $20,000 over their “budget” that they didn’t share with us, we have to start all over again. Let’s avoid and eliminate the guessing game with contractors. Be upfront with them and demand that they are upfront with you. No one is getting rich in this industry off one client or one project. At the end of the day, each contractor strives to do fair and quality work. And if they don’t, call us. We will.