Home Remodeling: Invest Wisely, Get the Best You Can Afford

Home Remodeling: Realistic Expectations

Custom fireplace that fit the Homeowners needs, and their budget.

Home remodeling “cookie cutter” projects happen all the time. Most often, the reason is that Homeowners are naive. They buy products at the local Big Box stores. Or they hire remodeling professionals who don’t know (or care) about using new products and methods. Often, there aren’t honest discussions about Homeowners’ expectations.

Experience has taught me that Homeowners want the best that they can afford. Everyone is special in their own way. It shouldn’t matter whether you have $500,000 or $50,000 to invest in your home remodeling. It’s difficult, though, to figure out where your money should be invested to get the best value. You shouldn’t have to settle for home remodeling “cookie cutter” solutions, and you shouldn’t have to over-invest in your remodeling project.

 Money Matters To Homeowners

An expensive home remodeling is not a gigantic windfall for the remodeling team. It requires more time and energy to achieve customized, unique results. But it’s not

about the money. It’s about getting to know your likes and dislikes, your interests, hobbies, and career path. The goals are the same as every other project: to create a positive difference in your life.

It’s the design professional’s duty to help you achieve realistic home remodeling goals within a reasonable budget. They must to provide honest, ethical advice so you can make informed decisions about the products and services you need. Some professionals charge on a sliding scale, whatever the situation allows. Others may charge the same hourly rate for all Homeowners, knowing that their income will be larger from wealthy clients because more of their time will be required. You need to know how designers and contractors charge for their time, and construction professionals need to keep their accounting methods transparent to maintain a reputation for honest and ethical business practices.

Years ago, a couple who lived in a posh suburban neighborhood were looking for pleated window shades for their octagonal breakfast room. There was a 400% difference in price for the same shades from two different companies. The only difference was the sliding-scale mentality of one company owner. When questioned about the difference, the owner got belligerent and accused the other company of selling inferior products and installation. Kudos to the Homeowner for getting multiple estimates, and asking difficult questions!

Of course, there’s the other side of the coin — have you ever seen a coin with only one side? A well-known “old money” family in San Francisco had one of their staff call the stereo showroom where they purchased all of their gear, to arrange for in-home repair. The company obliged, and said that their technician would leave an invoice for the labor and materials. The problem with the amplifier was resolved, and the technician presented an invoice for $145. Despite several phone calls and a certified letter to the Homeowners, the bill was never paid. That one service call didn’t put the showroom out of business, but a new policy was established, getting approved credit card payment for a minimum of $350 in advance for in-home service.

Money doesn’t buy happiness, or immortality. It can — and does — buy a uniquely custom home remodeling with no “cookie-cutter” solutions. People with more limited budgets don’t have to accept home remodeling “cookie-cutter” solutions, but there will be more tradeoffs to achieve high-priority needs. The real and long-lasting bonus for everyone involved in every home remodeling project is getting to know (and like) new people, and working together as a team to achieve the best results possible.

“See the Possibilities. Create a Positive Difference.”

Diane Plesset is a certified kitchen-bath designer, an aging-in-place specialist with 30+ years of experience. Contact her by phone (503-632-8801) or send an email, to get honest answers about your home remodeling project. Guaranteed, no hard-sell tactics — ever!

© Copyright 2015 D. P. Design “See the Possibilities. Create a Positive Difference.”