Designer Talk: Getting What You Pay for with a Remodeler

by | Designer Talk, Remodeling, Repairs & Advice

Jake Spurgeon

Both on and off the clock, Mosby Building Arts designer Jake Spurgeon improves homes – it’s a compulsion. Along with being talented, he’s candid about the nuts and bolts of remodeling. Jake shares his behind-the-scenes knowledge of what good remodeling looks like.

We have all heard the mantra “you get what you pay for.”  But how does this apply to remodeling?  Know that from the first appointment to the final punch list, the experience and skill of a good company can save you money – and quite possibly your sanity.  From first-hand experience, here are some reasons why choosing a premium remodeler is important:

Don’t Assume Every Project is DIY

As an avid DIY individual, I am proud when I’m able to tackle small projects in my own home  from painting a front door, replacing the garage door opener, or changing out the bathroom door knob that doesn’t lock any more (“Oops, sorry for not knocking honey…”).  But when it was time to have a new roof installed, or the master bathroom completely updated I knew I would not be able to properly and safely complete those items myself.

You want big projects done correctly the first time because if even one part of a project is done incorrectly it can cost thousands in follow-up repair.  I also know from my time in the industry and as a homeowner that an experienced company with fantastic references is not going to be the cheapest bid. Quality costs, but it also pays off in the end.

money down the drain

Beware of Incomplete Work Scopes

A reoccurring area of remodeling angst I hear about from clients is when they chose a remodeling company with the cheapest bid.  That low price tag too often means that required work was missing from the initial work scope. Items like an electrical panel upgrade (“Oh, you want to use your hair dryer with the bathroom lights on at the same time?”), plumbing stack replacement or code compliant upgrades will come up once the project is underway. These become change orders, and it adds to the final bill.

Choosing a low-priced or inexperienced company puts you in line for change order overload, whether it’s intentionally poor ethics or from an honest lack of knowledge.  A premium remodeling company has a highly-skilled team on every phase of the design and renovation process, and this group knowledge creates a realistic work scope and budget, upfront.

Embrace Realistic Project Time Frames

I have met with many potential clients over the last decade, and one claim I hear a lot is that a contractor told them they can design the project and start construction in the next 3 to 5 days. Holy cow!  First of all, if that’s really true then no good design has taken place.  I don’t care if you’re Bob Vila, there is no way someone can provide a well thought out and functional design, and do material buy-out, and schedule the key players to build the project in less than a week.  Consider it a red flag if this is what you’re promised.

bob vila working

Proper planning is a must, and helps set realistic expectations. A good remodeling company will not skimp on any part of the process; instead, they create a realistic schedule that delivers quality design and construction.

Don’t Risk the Safety of Your Family and Home

Let’s be honest: the number one item dearest to you is your family, and that family is in a home that is – typically – your biggest asset. Why roll the dice and gamble these items on a dream project with a company that could become a nightmare?  People performing work in your home should actually work for a reputable company, not just some random hire on Craigslist. A company with licensed and certified professionals can be trusted with your family in the home, and your home, itself.

Remodeling is invasive, and these people will be in your personal space.  Be sure to hire a company with people you actually want to be around, someone that will brighten your day and truly loves what they do! Those kind of remodeling companies are out there – I work with one of them!

Think long and hard about the company you choose to remodel your home.  Remodeling can be stressful and, yes, expensive.  But you ultimately save money and reduce stress by going with a premium company because you get what you pay for.

Or another way to look at it is this classic quote: “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.”  I love that one because no truer words have been said about remodeling.

To work with Jake Spurgeon on your next remodeling project, call Mosby Building Arts at 314.909.1800 or contact him here.