Wednesday, April 26, 2017

How Peer Pressure Affects Cost vs Value

I am going to make you nervous with a personal question, okay? Do your friends and family influence your decisions? Are your decisions weakened by peer pressure? I know, you are an adult, not a teenager. We adults think we are long past peer pressure! I hope that is correct. Peer pressure can cause you to make decisions that cost more and satisfy your dream less. This is very important! Be careful and be confident. Trust yourselves, trust your taste, your gut. This is your home!
Perhaps, if we are truly honest all of us are impacted by another persons opinion. Sometimes asking for people to share their ideas and opinion can help. Sometimes it is a bad idea that can rob us of the confidence we need in our own preferences. If you are seeking feedback for a remodeling project, it can backfire. We are not talking a pair of shoes or a dress here.
We ladies get very excited about our homes. We love to get our girlfriends input. What we have discovered is most women begin to doubt their ability to make good selections when they ask others for ideas and opinions. Be careful. You are going to find the selection process stress filled when you see all the possibilities there are just in the style you personally lean to. When a friend implants a thought or suggestion confusion can exponentially explode. Delays happen based solely on an inability to narrow down what to select from.
From a functional perspective and practical considerations, hesitation or constantly changing your mind can cause a couple to lose their place in the install/build phase . Final decisions and signing the contract put you on the Build Phase calendar. Even if the design phase happened before another clients project, hesitations can derail you until your final selections are complete. Yes, we prioritize on a first come first served basis. However, if another family that was originally scheduled after your project has made all their choices , and you are still not sure, you may have to be rescheduled. Nothing can move forward without final selections, decisions, and a signed contract.
We are discussing a change to our most important purchase, your home. It is your home, your money, and your living space for a very long time. Be careful about asking your friends and family what they would do.Let's face it, you can dream about what you “think” you want for years. You have probably considered every possibility. Until the finances actually show up allowing you to get serious, there is no real pressure. Now, that you can move forward and turn your dream in to reality, the fear of making a mistake may tempt you to doubt your taste and ideas. If that happens people get frozen in fear. They find themselves unable to decide exactly which selections are best.
There are a few misconceptions homeowners may possess. This is an emotional endeavor. Often remodeling professionals must wear multiple hats. Men and women have very different preferences regarding design, function, and especially the door style and finish of cabinets. Oops, time to go get the marriage councilor or psychologist hat!
This is just one more reason we encourage creating your Dream Design Folder. It is critically important. The most important step of remodeling for the homeowners is honestly communicating their wants, needs, ideas, and concerns before they take the plunge. Who is the Chef of the family. The kitchen will be their domain. I suggest if you enjoy eating and having your spouse prepare your meals, deferring to their ideas will make you happy. They will be spending the majority of the time in the space preparing food you love. Just a tip, a wise one!
We can help and would love to guide your through the perilous waters of creating your dream project. You are going to love it!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Basic Cost vs Value Considerations

What is cost versus value, anyway?
Unless you were fortunate enough and financially set to design and build your home exactly the way you would wanted it, there are still things you would add to your dream home. We love our nests and each of us, even each member of a family has their own definition of the perfect home.

Most of us find a new or resale home as close as possible to our wish list within our price range. What an exciting time it is to find, purchase, and settle into our homes. The reality is we soon discover the house needs improvement. It may need repairs or be overdue for updating. Eventually most home-owners begin “dreaming” about remodeling.

Why is Cost versus Value critically important?
There are many answers to that question. Some are obvious. Most of us are aware updating kitchens, baths and master suites make a big impact! It is a wise choice, if you are planning on selling your home in the next year or two.

Perhaps you are not planning to remodel but plan to build a new home. Building a new home is a thrill, especially when you are personally involved designing it and watching the Contractor build it. It is a wonderful experience I hope all of you enjoy in your lifetime. If you do, it will be a few years before you would want to remodel. However, if you purchased a resale house, making it your home is a natural progression. The remodeling arm of construction was born from this desire and need.

Most people dreaming of remodeling or adding an addition come into our showroom with absolutely no idea what their idea will cost. That is always the first thing on our minds, as it should be. After all, budgets and cost dictate how much of our dream we can actually bring to life. We will explore that deeper in a moment. However, I want to help you understand some equally important considerations first. It is a practical truth most do not think about until their home is close to having the demolition phase begin. What am I talking about? Well, who is going to be in your home for the duration of your project? What do you know about them? I think you can see how important those questions are. They do tie in to cost versus value.

These reasons are more abstract but equally important. Construction has many expressions. Cost versus value is also key as you consider who to award your project to. Let me explain.

Everyone wants to get the best value for the least investment. After all, your home is probably the biggest investment in your portfolio. When you are ready to get serious about remodeling you have probably talked to many friends and family members asking them for referrals. You may have visited many showrooms, big box store kitchen bath departments, and spent a fair amount of time on Pinterest, Houzz, or Angie's List. When you've done your due diligence you may be more confused regarding cost versus value than when your began your quest. It can feel like a part time job!

At some point, it will be time to interview and select the contractor you trust to award your project to.
Yes, I am skipping way past all the "stuff" the physical products you need to wade through in the selection process. I know, that is what is most important, right? Well, maybe not! Slow down a minute and consider this view of cost versus value.

It is always tempting to find the best price, WARNING: Best price does not necessarily equate to the best choice. I agree there are numerous possibilities and options. There are many firms, construction companies, handymen, and carpenters to possibly work with. Each of them have strengths, weaknesses, and a reputation. Referrals are the life blood of remodeling companies. Talking to everyone you know about what they had remodeled, who did the work, and what they like and do not like about the results is very important. There are so many scary stories out there regarding home owners paying a deposit and being abandoned with only a part of the promised work begun, That happens too often. We do not have time or space in this post to cover all the negative possibilities.

Who you award your contract to will be working with you for months. They will be in your home along with subcontractors, carpenters, counter top and cabinet installers. Some are trustworthy, some may not be. In this context, cost versus value must be assessed with clear consideration of the following facts:
Here are very "valuable "considerations.
  • References are key.
  • Did they welcome and respectfully answer your questions and concerns?
  • How many projects are they doing at the same time as yours?
  • Do they have highly trained professionals working with them?
  • Does the general contractor control their crew, requiring they be non smoking, speak respectfully and monitor the type of music or media they may tune into while working on your home?
  • Are they mindful and careful to protect the interior of your home?
  • Do they set up dust barriers?
  • Do they straighten up each night before leaving?
  • Do you feel comfortable having your children and pets around these people?
  • Are they insured?
  • What is their reputation?
  • Have they been verified as not having any criminal record?
  • Are they honorable safe individuals?

No matter how little money your project cost you, value can be destroyed making the wrong choice of who to trust in and remodeling your home. Be safe, be wise! We hope you will check on our reputation. We are competitively priced! Most of our projects are referrals or return business based on the trust our clients have in us. We would love to make your project beautiful and as pleasant as possible in the construction phase.