How Much Will It Cost?
For most of us, that’s the single most important question. Whether buying a car or a cup of coffee, price is always an important issue. But a better question might be What am I getting for that price? While most people can detect differences between an economy car and a Rolls Royce, they may not understand differences that are not so obvious. Such is the case with home remodeling prices.
Hold On To Your Hat!
Building or remodeling a house is comparable to an emotional roller coaster. But the trick to bringing your ride to a successful conclusion is to try to even out the peaks and valleys. The journey typically starts out on a high note as you go through the preliminaries choosing design ideas. As you pick your options and figure out how much it will all cost, you plummet quickly from a feeling of excitement to shock or even anger. Some people even give up. But those who decide to keep going often find that the trip starts to level off as they sign the contract and obtain funding.
Cost vs. Value
The 2020 Cost vs Value Report from Remodeling Magazine is an excellent resource for average costs of popular remodeling projects. The data provided is updated annually and shows homeowners valuable budgeting information, and which home improvement projects return the best investment value for your home. See what average costs are by regions and city in more than 100 markets across the US.
Frequently Asked Questions
A General Building Contractor is a licensed individual who contracts with multiple skilled workers, and coordinates their efforts to complete a specific project. General Contractors usually have established business relationships with several subcontractors based upon track record (i.e. plumbers, electricians, etc.), and will stand behind the work done by those they hire. Therefore, they must be knowledgeable about many areas of construction work, including city building codes and regulations.
A General Contractor can be critical to the success of a home improvement project: from handling the time-consuming research to finding materials, labor, and prices, to guaranteeing the project conforms to building regulations. In addition, a GC can handle all of the legal and insurance requirements. General Contractors provide a single point of contact for coordinating the right people, and can protect you against costly delays or unscrupulous subcontractors. You can benefit from a contractor’s volume discounts, and ultimately be provided options to suit your preferences, needs, and budget.
Be wary of a contractor whose bid is significantly lower than his competitors. Some contractors may provide you with the lowest cost bid up front, just to obtain your business. In the end, you may actually pay more, due to items that were overlooked or omitted from the original price. Inaccurate bids are a source of much construction nightmares. Shortcuts taken to arrive at a low bid can come back to haunt you. Your bid or proposal should carefully outline what is included for the stated price, and what is excluded.
A detailed report is released annually on recouped costs of common construction projects in the San Diego area. Get the report here!
The law states that if you hire a person to do work at your home and they are injured on the job, you are ultimately liable. You need a professional buffer against this liability. A reputable General Contractor should carry insurance for both general liability and worker’s compensation. The subcontractors used should also be insured. Bonding and licensing are also a good idea.
Inferior work or fraud by contractors is the most common complaint by American consumers, according to the Better Business Bureau. Protect yourself:
- Seek the experience of a licensed General Contractor.
- Seek evidence of current licensing and insurance.
- Obtain a detailed written bid. Ask for a copy of the contract so that you may examine the “fine print” carefully before signing. The contract should include a guarantee for materials and workmanship.
- Select someone with a proven track record. Ask to see examples of a contractor’s work, and speak to past customers about not just the quality of work performed, but timely completion and any budget overages.