How Much is my Construction Project Going to Cost?
It is easy to dream about your next remodeling project, that addition adding an extra bathroom to increase the value of your home, or a brand new building construction. However, at the end of the day, the same question must always be asked: How much will the construction cost? Big Street Construction considers the quote one of the most important steps in the entire construction process.
How we Create a Quote:
First, at Big Street Construction we LISTEN fully and attentively to the client’s dreams, expectations, and vision for the project. This is the first and most important step between the client and us. It is extremely beneficial to have the conversation at the location of the project to really understand what the client already has and envision what they are desiring. There is no understating that we have to hear what they have to say and what they want in order to deliver a product that matches their dreams.
Second, we ASK a lot of questions. Many clients do not start with a budget; they ask us “how much am I going to set aside or allot for this project”. These questions are where the pricing comes into play. We go through all their ideas to help narrow down a budget. Due to our experience, we can give realistic options based on what is available in our location and price ranges for all the different ideas discussed.
Next, we return to our office and start building the quote. Some contractors just give you a paragraph of work to be done with a total price. We, however, outline each item in the project individually, we call this line item budgeting and each line item has a price quoted, which we call an allowance. In the process of the work, there is flexibility in the allowances to move credits or overages based on any changes the client may make. For example, if we built the allowance for a $1000 refrigerator and the client picked up one on sale, they would have a credit for the difference. They could move the credit to the $500 range allowance and upgrade to the gas range they wanted. The Big Street difference is that initial evaluations, giving clients and idea of broad term cost are free of charge. We invest a lot of time in this part of the process and offer this to the client without a requirement to purchase. It is where our biggest competition lies with other companies. This is where we hope to be hired as the best choice for general contracting in the Interior of Alaska.
Factors that Affect Construction Cost:
Subcontracting vs. Carpenter
Some of the work that clients need to complete their project require the use of subcontractors. We use the same subcontractors for all of our jobs. The same electrician, plumber, heating technician, roofer, drywaller, etc. will be working on your project that we have used for several years. Unlike other construction companies, we do not send our homes out to bid in order to work with the cheapest subcontractors. We have developed an incredible team of subcontractors that enable us to consistently provide clients with the highest quality product possible. Our Carpenter hours are line itemized by estimated hours for a specific task in the project (demo, tiling, etc) and price per hour.
What the client ultimately selects will affect the estimated, quoted allowance.
The Quote Process Example:
My master bathroom needs to be remodeled. It is just so outdated. I’ve lived in my home for over fifteen years; I want this room to be a place of retreat rather than something I just have to live with. So I called up Big Street to come over and take a look to finally get this project completed! They came over and I showed them the bathroom. It is a large, square master bath with a standard, alcove bathtub and a separate, square shower stall next to it on the left side of the room. Opposite of those, on the right side of the room, there is a large vanity with a single sink, two medicine cabinets, and the toilet. The floor is laminate, and the fixtures are all dated. I told them I just want a space that is modernized. I am fine with the layout, but would like a double-sink vanity and a larger shower. They started with the tub and shower area, and they asked me questions about how I wanted to solve the larger shower dilemma. They asked me if I wanted the tub or is it not needed because there is another tub in the main bathroom? If I wanted tile (which I did), do I want to splurge on a custom tile, one that I really love regardless of the cost or popularity, or go with a mid-grade tile that’s durable, not as personal in taste, but also less expensive? Did I want to move the toilet to the spot where the shower was and enclose it or just have a half wall? Or, if I want that shower spot to become a built-in shelf rack.
For the next hour or so we talked a lot about many different options, ideas, possibilities, and I tailored those down based off the price range that I thought would be possible for me to afford. When I received my quote, instead of getting a single price, I had a price quoted for each individual thing we talked about. This was super helpful because I ended up with a smaller budget after an unexpected dryer replacement. I was able to see where I could make changes to the original plan to save money, like leaving the existing toilet since that doesn’t add anything to the room, but would save money. Other contractor quotes had a single price listed for all the work we discussed; I didn’t know how much I would even save by dropping something in the quote.
As a result, I hired Big Street Construction, and the work began. The timing was perfect, a home improvement store was having a sale, and I got all my fixtures and vanity at discounted prices. Since Big Street gave a quoted allowance for each item individually, and I ended up under those amounts, I had the flexibility to use the difference to moving the toilet anyway! This would have played out vastly different if I signed a contract elsewhere with a single quoted price for all the work. I could not have been happier with the work and am in love with my new bathroom!