As a remodeling contractor on Cape Cod for nearly 20 years, we have seen many changes in the remodeling industry. As with many industries that have embraced the information age, the Internet, and new technologies, we believe the the home remodeling industry has improved significantly. However, it's also been our experience that homeowners don't necessarily see how the industry has changed for the better, and thus some of them do not fully appreciate the value of a professional remodeling contractor in 2015.
The Good Ol' Days?
Back in the 1990s, and unfortunately this still exists today, homeowners didn't have very high expectations of home improvement contractors. Maybe you would talk with a couple local contractors, have them in for a walk-around and measurements, and they would give you either a verbal estimate or something scribbled on a yellow legal pad.
Over the next few weeks, they would show up intermittently in a beat up old truck and do their work. They never really seemed to have a schedule or defined way of doing things. You were never quite sure when they were coming and going and when your project would be completed.
But maybe you didn't care about the project timeline or how perfect everything was in the end, because the remodel likely didn't cost you a whole lot of money.
Home Remodeling Today
It's an understatement to say that many things have changed in 20 years. One of the key aspects of consumer behavior today is that consumers are more discerning than ever. With a world of information at our fingertips, we demand more from the companies that provide us with products and services.
Homeowners today want to be involved in the process as much as possible. They want to research different remodelers, they want to look at websites and Houzz profiles, they want to see reviews and testimonials, and when it comes time to design their kitchen or bathroom, they want to pick out the finishes, products, and materials.
They also demand a higher level of professionalism. They demand timelines and payment schedules. They demand cleaned work areas at the end of the day. They demand perfection when it comes to their home renovations.
And rightfully so.
You work hard for your money, and when you're spending a sizable chunk of it on a remodeling project, you want a professional experience and a first class end result.
Today's Professional Remodeler
A professional remodeler who is going to provide you with a best in class experience and remodeling project is different from the remodeler you hired in 1996.
- The proper insurance
- A valid contractor's license
- Increased accountability
- Higher safety and cleanliness standards
- Better tools
- Better and more products to choose from
- Laws and regulations they must comply with
- Multiple reliable work crews and subcontractors
- Thorough written contracts
- Multi-year warranties
- Project timelines and payment schedules
All of those things translate into an overall better remodeling project for you and your family.
But all of those things also may translate into a higher price point than you were conditioned to paying 20 years ago.
Let's use the metaphor of the auto industry. That industry has vastly improved over the past couple decades - higher safety standards, more efficient cars, more luxury items included at base price, etc.
The difference is that you purchase a new car every few years and you're generally aware of the prices of cars.
When it comes to home remodeling, that's something you may only do once or twice in your lifetime. So you're not generally aware of what things cost. In order for a professional remodeling company to communicate the value that they bring to the table, they need to spend more time educating homeowners about processes, prices, expectations, and the lifetime value of a newly remodeled home.
Homeowners who hire a remodeling company strictly based on price, without doing much research or allowing themselves to be educated about the process, run the risk of getting a sub-standard project in the end. As with most things in life, you rarely get a high quality outcome from the cheapest price.
A home remodeling project is a big deal, so you want to make sure you spend the proper time and money to do it right the first time.
At @designREMODEL, our tagline is Elevating the Cape Cod Remodeling Experience. We have developed the systems and the workmanship to not only provide a beautiful new room or whole house remodel, but also as much of a stress-free experience for our clients as possible.
The Bottom Line
If you're researching different options and receive multiple quotes or estimates from Cape Cod remodeling contractors, you're going to see numbers all over the place. Some contractors are still operating like its the 1990s and their prices may be lower. But you should expect a more complicated homeowner-remodeler relationship and a lower quality end result.
Some companies, like us, will present estimates that provide us with the resources to deliver to you an excellent product with the experience that you deserve.
Price is what you pay. Value is what you get. ~ Warren Buffett
The remodeling market is very robust these days. Homeowners with higher standards are choosing to invest in their homes. When thinking about your next Cape Cod kitchen or bathroom remodel, we recommend that you take a little more time up front in the research and decision-making phase to ensure that you're getting the best possible value for your budget. Although you may be tight on time, allow yourself to be educated on your different options available to you and the outcomes you can expect from those different options.
"Working with John Clark was a complete pleasure. From the very first time we met John we felt very comfortable trusting him and his team to guide us with design selection to update our 35 year old bathroom. Everything John prepared us for before the work started was 100% accurate. During the demolition process we were amazed at how neat, clean, and professional everyone was. Communication was very open and there were no surprises. The finished product exceeded our expectations and we plan on working with @designRemodel for future projects. We highly recommend working with John Clark and his team of professionals!" ~ Hillary DiFilippo, Cape Cod MA