September 26, 2018

Every project we’ve ever done begins with one or more conversations about the proposed project that address the size and scope, timeline and, at some point, the budget. When asked what they are comfortable spending on the project, investing in their home, etc. we always get one of three answers:

  1. “My budget is $XXX.” – Some people have done a fair amount of homework and know and share their actual budget.
  2. “I don’t know because I don’t know what a project like that costs.” – Totally fine, most people don’t know what remodeling projects cost. However, cost and budget are two related but different concepts. And a surprising amount of the time, when we share the approximate cost of a project, the homeowner reveals their budget … so we know you’ve probably got one!
  3. “I’d rather not say.” – At this point, we can share general costs for common projects and try to get to a point where the homeowner feels comfortable sharing their budget.

So why do we need to know your budget? Are we just nosy? Do we want to make sure we squeeze every last cent out of you? Or is it a really important part of the planning process? Turns out, the budget is a very important part of the planning process.

Saves Time – A the most basic level, knowing your budget saves us both a lot of time. Let’s say the average price of a bathroom remodel in the Des Moines area is around $20,000 (because it is, according to Remodeling magazine and based upon the many, many bathrooms we’ve remodeled), but your budget is $12,000 firm, you’re not spending a penny more. First of all, your budget is your budget and that’s completely fine. Your budget doesn’t mean you can’t afford more or that you’re cheap, etc. It’s just a number. You can increase your budget to $20,000 or you can decide to go some other route. The choice is yours and we’re both free to move on.

Better Advice – When we know your budget, we’re able to give you more specific, useful advice. Let’s continue with the above example and assume that when you found out the cost for us to do the project is $20,000, you decide that you can adjust your budget to $15,000. We can share with you what can be done for $15,000 (vs $12,000 or $20,000). And if your budget ends up being more than $20,000, we can expand the scope of the project, or we can stay firm at the budget you choose.

We’re Forming a Relationship – Every remodeling project is a relationship that involves spending a lot of time with each other and ultimately, we’ll be working in your home for weeks or months. We need to really trust each other. Usually if a homeowner doesn’t trust us with basic information, like budget, we’re not going to be a good fit.

So just remember, when we ask you about your budget, we’re asking so that we can provide you with the best information possible. Most people don’t know what remodeling costs, so a great resource is the Cost vs Value Report. You can also talk with others who have hired similar companies to do similar projects. Or just give us a call. We’ll be happy to share ballpark estimates with you so that you can begin the budgeting process.

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