If you’re like most homeowners, budget is of utmost concern as you enter into your remodeling project. However, cutting corners here and there is not always a good idea. While you may certainly find ways to save, such as doing some demolition work yourself, painting on your own, and shopping around for appliances and hardware outside your contractor’s costs, pairing down in many areas can really hurt you in the long run. Most often, cutting costs means cutting quality.
You get what you pay for, in all areas of life. As you’re shopping around and interviewing contractors for your home remodeling job, you may discover quite the price discrepancy. While it may be tempting, it’s important NOT to choose the lowest bid for the job. Often companies who are offering less expensive price tags are also offering much less experience, with greater liability to you. If the contractor is unsure or negligent in pulling the correct permits, using lower quality materials, skipping plumbing or electrical inspections, or balancing too many jobs and extending your renovation timeline, you’re really going to suffer in the end. Items that may seem unimportant and easy ways to make the numbers go down, really need some extra consideration before you dive into the bargain bin.
Appliances: Shopping around is a great idea. Higher end appliance stores often carry a much higher price tag on products than larger big-box retailers. However, purchasing the lowest end and cheapest stove, fridge, or microwave now, most likely means greater costs later. Less expensive things break easily, carry virtually no warranty or guarantee, often don’t include delivery and setup, and simply don’t function as well. Do you really want a broken fridge in a year or two or a dishwasher that sounds like a freight train every time it runs? Think middle of the road in terms of appliances, if you’re on a tight budget.
Cabinetry: Cabinetry in the kitchen and bath often carry one of the greatest expenses in home renovation projects – for good reason. Quality cabinetry is a must! You may not need to go all-out with soft close drawers, pull-out bottoms, lazy susans, or vertical pantry access, but you’ll be much happier in the long run if you choose true hardwood, high quality hinges, and full-height upper cupboards. Not only does this look a whole lot classier, but quality will always last longer. There is no need to be replacing your thermofoil cabinets in two years when your selection of hickory or cherry may last you a lifetime.
Labor: It may seem like a great idea to hire an individual or a group of new kids on the block, but experience and craftsmanship matter. Great contractors take pride in their work, as well in their relationships with their customers. Companies who simply want to get the job done, obtain the paycheck, and move on to the next job will leave you feeling unappreciated, unimportant, and dissatisfied in the end. It may carry a higher price tag, but choosing a contractor who truly cares about you, your needs, and your budget, and who is willing to work with you to meet all your needs, is a much smarter investment for your pocket and for your peace of mind.