How much should I compromise on my remodeling project?

How much should I compromise on my remodeling project?

As a homeowner, you’re likely looking for ways to save money during your remodeling project. It’s certainly true that no one want to be the chump who pays too much for their remodel. However, you also don't want to be the chump who pays too little and ends up with nothing, or a project gone bad.

You may have a remodeling contractor in your area that you have heard great things about, but you are concerned that they are just too expensive for you and your home. This may not necessarily be the case.

Finding the deals

You can get "deals" from high-class establishments, but there is a price for it. First, educate yourself by going to websites of well-known brands and see if they are having any promotions.

Next, negotiating for a rock bottom remodel begins with asking these questions to your remodeler:

  • Do you have any manufacturers that are currently offering incentives?
  • Do you have anything in stock that you are looking to move on?
  • My budget is only "x," but I need a new "y". Can you help me?

There is always at least one manufacturer represented by the store that is having an incentive program. If you have done your online homework, then you will be better able to ask detailed questions like, "If I order a Corian counter made from one of the 12 promotional colors, do I still qualify for the free sink? If not, which is the better deal for me? Is there a product that I should be looking at that could give me a better price point?"

Consider what’s already in stock

Remodeling companies do sometimes have things in stock. We try hard not to, but it happens. Tile, in particular, has a way of hanging around in back rooms. Returning tile can be expensive and you have a short window to get it back to the warehouse. Non-returnable custom orders sit in corners because someone made a mistake on the color or size.

Countertop shops always have remnant pieces hanging around. If you are looking for stone tops, tell your remodeler that you are not interested in going to the stone dealer warehouse and that you want to go to the fabricator's shop to see their off-fall (this usually only works for small tops). These are the few unfortunate cases where the client disappeared and never paid for the order.

Communication is key with your designer, remodeler, showroom salesperson or contractor. If you share with them at the very start what your financial needs are, they can point you in the right direction.

Knowing when to compromise

So what is the catch? You may lose some control in your project. Perhaps you envisioned your new bathroom in blue and cream with a large double bowl cherry vanity. The designer at your local remodeling company recommends two white pedestal sinks that have been discontinued and are being sold at 60 percent of the original cost. For storage, they have a chocolate-colored linen cabinet in the back that was ordered for another client who changed their mind at the last-minute.

You have a talented designer and you know that the new design would work well and look good, but it is not your dream room. However, this could save you hundreds, maybe even thousands of dollars. When considering these compromises, you have to decide what is more important – the vision or the money.

About this Angie’s List Expert: Stephanie Bullwinkel represents Imperial Kitchens and Baths, providing remodeling services in Chicago. Since 1966, Imperial Kitchens and Baths has specialized in kitchen and bath remodeling, ceramic tile, cabinets, lighting, countertops, closets and more.

As of February 12, 2014, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.


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