Estimating for Remodeling

A forum discussion that I visited today was discussing “discounts” and how now is a great time to remodel because prices are lower. Well yes they are slightly because material prices have come down, but the business cost to keep the doors open haven’t, they have actually gone up.
Most people don’t understand why things cost what they do. The manner in which they are sold makes all the difference. With major stores i.e. Home Depot, Belks, Sears, Target, when they run sales and give discounts it is on only a select few sale items compared to the thousands they sell. Their strategy is that while you are buying the sale item you’ll pick up a few other things while you are there. This is a 180 from the method of remodeling job costing. First we have to draw the plans, Then we count sticks and bricks (along with thousands of other things), then evaluate the labor to get a feel (best guess) regarding total hours, get pricing from our trade contractors (electrician, plumber, etc.), get pricing for all the homeowner’s personal selections. Then we pull together all those costs and “give a shot in the dark for unknown items” (contingency). Once we determine to the best of our ability the total project hard cost, we then add what we need to keep the doors open and a markup for profit (yes I know they are bad words, but it keeps us in business) and present the price to the homeowner. All during this time we are hoping that the pricing is near our ball park estimate (that “I won’t hold you to it” number) and that the project will move forward into construction.
All of that is an investment in a prospective client,. I sometimes have up 60-80 hours in the whole process and that is why we and all Professional Remodeling Contractors charge for the estimate.

Just in case you needed to know.
Blue Ribbon Renovation, Blue Ribbon Residential, Blue Ribbon Construction, John Sperath, Design Build Remodeling, Remodeling Raleigh, Remodeling triangle

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