When considering a home remodel, one of the first and most important decisions a homeowner has to make is how much to budget for their remodel. Without knowing the numbers, it is difficult for any remodeling firm to provide even a close estimate of what a remodeling job might cost. At Blackline Renovations, we created our unique Budget Development Program to help you determine a realistic budget for your remodeling project, before designing your project.
Choose a Remodeler Based on Value Not Price
Most homeowners look for bids from several remodeling contractors before making their final decision. But it may be difficult to compare these bids, as the information they are basing their figures on will vary widely. The bids may be inaccurate, incomplete or even un-realistic. In addition, the prices they quote tell you nothing about what they are like as a remodeling contractor, or about the value they offer.
How important is it that you have a contractor who communicates with you in regularly scheduled meetings with 24/7 access to a dedicated project manager? How important is it to you that you have reliable, good quality subs laying your tile or completing your millwork? Is the crew personable and pleasant to have in your home? Will they clean up the jobsite before leaving each night? Do they go out of their way to protect your pets and valuables?
When you factor in costs, make sure you consider every aspect of the remodel, not just the raw materials and labor. Choosing a remodeling contractor based on price alone is never the best option.
Know the Difference Between Design-Bid-Build vs. Design-Build
Design-build is a project delivery method that provides homeowners with a single contract and one point of contact throughout all phases of design and construction. Instead of the homeowner identifying and working with a designer and contractor separately (in a tradition design-bid-build scenario), a design-build firm takes on the contractual obligation to complete the remodel from design through construction.
Should you hire an architect or designer separately, without any input from the contractor, you may incur the risk of “scope creep.” This is when design revisions and delays can add significant costs to your project. Once you choose your contractor, they must build according to these specific designs, which may not be the best avenue for building feasibility or cost efficiency.
Know which project delivery method is right for you when you start your research, and make sure you weigh the risks, and the value, accordingly.
Blackline’s Budget Development Program
Blackline Renovations’ Budget Development Program is a way for clients to gather and develop a realistic cost base for their ideal remodeling project prior to creating the initial design. It reflects the true value of a design-build firm as it creates a guide to take clients through the design and construction process keeping within a fixed budget.
“Cost has always been the #1 reason for not moving forward with a remodeling project,” said Chris Black, president & owner of Blackline Renovations. “If we can’t come to an agreement on the numbers, the project won’t happen, no matter how much they like and trust our remodeling firm. That’s why we need to address the numbers honestly. You don’t want to go all the way through the design process first only to find out that you’ve fallen in love with it, but can’t afford what has been designed. It makes sense to do the budget development first.”
When working with Blackline Renovations, the Budget Development Program will help set a realistic budget range from the start, based upon a defined scope of work, quality of work, and your material selections. Here’s how it works:
- We meet with you for an initial project meeting in your home to discuss what you have in mind for your remodeling project and to determine whether our Budget Development Program is right for you. If it is, we continue with the next steps.
- To begin the process, we ask you to identify and prioritize a list of your critical project objectives, ranking them from highest to lowest priority. The top priority items “need” to happen to achieve success; the bottom priorities may be sacrificed to maintain the budget.
- We’ll ask you about the quality of materials you’d like, and about your financial availability or constraints. We want to understand everything in order to provide a more accurate project valuation.
- We’ll use this information to prepare a project valuation along with a rough budget outline. We’ll also provide you with your future home’s value, the break-even point, and available loan options, breaking out monthly payments into principal, interest, taxes and insurance.
- Once this is completed, we’ll meet in our office to review the budget and project valuation together in order to determine whether the scope and budget are in line with each other. If not, we make modifications to bring the two together.
“We discovered that if you’re asking for budget numbers from most contractors, you’ll get numbers all over the place because they haven’t specified anything—including everything you want in the project and the level of quality. I feel that after 20 years of doing this that this is the proper way to begin. Like you wouldn’t go shopping for a car without a budget in mind, you need to know what you have available and the potential costs for the ‘desired make and model’ of your remodel. I won’t have happy clients who want to use us again if we’re not honest up front.”
“It takes us a lot of time and expertise to put this together—expertise that has taken us decades to establish and learn,” Black said. “Those who are serious about remodeling see the value in it.”
Budget Development Establishes Trust Up Front
“We find that our Budget Development Program initiates trust, and that is the most important thing we need to establish at the beginning of every job,” Black continued.
“We do this a little bit differently than other remodeling companies, and that may mean that not every prospect is a good fit. It is just as important for us to feel comfortable working with a client as it is for them to feel comfortable working with us. And that’s where that mutual trust comes in. Without that synergy and commonality of purpose, the project won’t be a success. We’d rather get it right up front.”
High Quality Remodeling Begins with Blackline Renovations
Our clients are busy and they want to hire a remodeling company that can handle the entire process from beginning to end and provide a high-quality product. The true value of a design-build remodeling firm is that clients have a one-stop resource for their entire remodeling journey. Everything from budget-setting, to design, to construction can be handled by one expert team. (Learn more about our Design-Build Process.)
When considering remodeling or renovating your home in the Dallas region, talk to Blackline Renovations. You can rely on our design-build expertise and reputation in the region for providing a realistic budget when quality craftsmanship, open communication and project efficiency are important.