I didn’t know it would cost THAT much!

More often than not, people are surprised at the cost of their DREAM reMODELING project. When doing an initial consultation, I talk quite a bit about budgeting and costs.

I usually tell people the best tool they can have when considering a remodel is a check book.

With lots of money in it.

This usually is met with a laugh or at least a chuckle.

If that is met with a laugh or chuckle I may throw in,

“Or you can rob a bank.”

(and then I chuckle…)

Many people have no idea what it will cost. Or they have a skewed perception based on many things. I try to figure this out early on in the consultation process. Ultimately, I want to help them get their DREAM reMODELING project accomplished!

My job and purpose is to get their business and along the way, educate them. We all come from a different perspective and have different tastes.

We all have to keep in mind the budget.

I am a consultant of cost… 

Unfortunately, not everyone is my customer…but I hope I can help everyone I talk to see the reality of their DREAM reMODELING project a bit clearer.

One way to keep your budget in line is to buy your stuff at the Big Box Warehouse (BBW).

Today, I am going to discuss a big box reality, the loss leader pricing technique.

When you walk into a BBW there are always Loss Leaders. Items that are priced on low or no margin to lure you in to the store and get mired in the quicksand that is buying in these stores.

You need to understand the whole picture. I am not disparaging the the BBW. I shop there frequently. It is convenient. This convenience comes at a cost.

For example:

I walk in and see a Toilet for $69.00!  (plus tax about $72.00) Sounds good, Right? The toilet may also need a shut off valve (aka stop), water line (aka supply), and Wax Ring (aka donut), Flange Bolts, (aka flange bolts) and escutcheon (aka beauty ring).  You will probably need some pipe dope and some plumbers putty.   Depending on the flooring the toilet will go on you may also need a tube of silicone. (Extras total w/tax $35.00 +/-)

These added items are at full markup and while small in individual cost, are based on the unit volume of item sold. I came in to buy a 69.00 toilet, I left spending over $100.00.

Some of these items may not be needed, but I can tell you, when you replace the toilet it is money well spent in replacing the supply and the stop.

I will not warranty the install of the toilet with the used items, as they are wear items. Some of them are as old as the house the toilet is in. I tell customers that the price is inconsequential compared to a insurance deductible when they fail.

And it is that way for every thing in the bathroom. It is cost effective to replace a stop while the bathroom is being remodeled. A good remodeler includes these items in the cost the first time.

I hear things like, “My friend had a bathroom done for $2000.00”

Or some other ridiculously low dollar figure, that I can never compete with if I want to remain in business.

I ask them it was a full bath and if that included all new fixtures and flooring.

If they say yes, I ask them if the friend is happy with the finished product.

If they say yeas again, I know I have no chance to get this job.

Here is why.

The individual parts and pieces (based on recent remodels) BBW grade, in mid range quality:

Tub and shower surround $800.00

Faucet $200.00

Vanity $360.00

Vanity Top $300.00

Faucet $100.00

Toilet $100.00

Accessories $140.00

Purchased from a big box store, delivered  on site $65.00…

The total for fixtures/etc. is a bit over $2000.00…

Add in the removal of the old stuff or demolition, and the container to haul it away. Totally another cost all together.

I usually figure $1200.00

Unfortunately, nothing installs itself…if I could figure out how to make that happen, I would be a wealthy man!

Plumbing install and all the bells and whistles that make it work…

Add at least $1800.00

Carpentry, Drywall, minor Electrical/H-VAC and Paint?

Add at least $2000.00

And flooring? Well, then there is that, too.

Add at least $500.00…

Keep in mind, there are no wall moves, fixture moves or upgrades, this is a Pretty Plain Jane replacement…

And it costs $7500.00!

However, quality installs take a bit of coin.  Their are guys out there that can and will do it for a lot less than my price. Always compare Apples toApples!

The cheaper guys may not be around when and if there is an issue. Many good craftsmen are not good businessmen. Many are not good at figuring true cost.  If they felt they didn’t make enough, they may just ignore you. If the guy you chose cannot pay his phone bill, how will you get a hold of him to come out to fix a leak?

A warranty is only as good as the person offering it.

You do get what you pay for.

People have an idea based on a trip to the local Big Box Warehouse. Their reality is skewed by the loss leader pricing technique and the individual price of each part SEEMS so cheap…

When you walk into the big box store, you see all these low prices, and it makes it seem like it can be done for so little…

The big box reality is a bathroom is more than a $69.00 toilet.

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One comment on “I didn’t know it would cost THAT much!
  1. Mynx says:

    So very true. When renovating, we never go for the cheapest price or even the most expensive. We go for the one we an afford, by the guy we felt most comfortable with and so far we have had few disappointments.

    You really do get what you pay for

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