Sometimes homeowners are reluctant to talk about costs with their builder when they’re in the middle of a home remodeling project. And while discussing money can sometimes be a bit awkward, not bringing up costs is a luxury that most homeowners just can’t afford.
There are two times in the remodeling process when it’s essential to talk about costs. The first is up front, when you’re trying to determine the budget and scope of your project. It’s extremely important to be honest and open with your builder about what your realistic budget is before you have someone draw up plans (By the way, click here for some information that can help you set a realistic budget for what you want to accomplish).
The other time that it’s essential to talk to your remodeler about cost is during the construction phase, when you have changes to your original plan. If you ask your builder to make adjustments, you need to have a conversation about what those changes are going to cost.
Of course there’s a right way to talk to your remodeler about costs on your project. It begins with having the right expectations. If you have unrealistic expectations, your conversations about costs won’t be productive. It’s not right to expect a $50,000 job for $10,000. The right approach is to present your plans and wishes for your builder. If what you want can’t be accomplished within the budget you’ve set, you might need to compromise. You may have to scale back your plans, or you may want to ask your builder to come up with an alternative plan that accomplishes what you want in a different way. Your remodeler may come up with a different design, or may suggest different, less expensive materials that will work just as well.
It’s important to remember that your goal isn’t to remodel your home as cheaply as possible. It’s to get the most value out of the remodeling process for the money you spend. And if you’re dealing with a quality builder, that’s his or her goal as well—to deliver maximum value. That’s important to keep in mind, both in setting your budget and creating your plans at the beginning, and for making changes to those original plans as you get into the project.
Talking about costs with your builder doesn’t have to be awkward. Just remember that you share a common goal.