When I meet potential clients for the first time to discuss an upcoming renovation, I typically get asked about renovation costs. I get the following question:
“So what is this going to cost me?”
While I would love to just toss out a number, there are so many variables and factors that it simple isn’t as easy to just throw out a number. Could I give a rough estimate? Sure. Would it be accurate? Not even close.
So why am I unable to give a rough idea of what a project will cost? Due to all of the factors that are involved. Such factors are:
- the design of the space,
- the product being used in the design and,
- the labour involved.
I’m going to use a master bathroom as an example as I’ve just created this design for clients. Here is an example of a master bath design that I created using all of the existing locations of plumbing (as moving plumbing can add to the budget). Here is what the bathroom looked like prior to demolition. A very cramped water closet, a huge, dated, tiled sunken bath and a very large vanity. The shower was also very small and cramped feeling.
I created the first design using all of the existing plumbing locations (to save on the budget). Although I did scoot the vanity over a little bit, for the most part, all of the plumbing is in the same place. I also added in the walls and the door to give this couple the privacy from their master bedroom that they were hoping for.
This design utilizes full glass walls for the shower, a smaller vanity (as they request for something smaller than what was already in place). A stand alone bath was also requested and provided in this option.
After presenting this to my clients, they really didn’t care for the shower to sit behind the door. They wished to have the toilet and shower change locations. This of course, will add to the labour budget. Here is the rendering with their wishes. This option does provide a much larger shower (his/hers)
Once the design is finalized, the picking out the pretty can begin. Now you know how much flooring is needed, you know how many faucets are needed, lights, you know the size of the vanity that is needed, etc. Let’s take just the vanity as an example. What do you think the budget should be for a double vanity? $750? $1400? $3000? Here are 2 vanities that both have a double sink and both are from a big box stores. I chose a big box store for the example as that is readily available (for most people).
Vanity A retails for $1199 CDN but does not include the counter. Vanity B retails for $3287 CDN and includes the counter. If you would have had a budget for $750 you would have never been able to find a double vanity for that price. What does that mean? It means that you’ll be over budget in the end!
This one is typically a tough one for me to explain and to get the point across at how important this step is. While I always encourage people to get multiple quotes when they are looking after their own renovation, you should look at the quotes beyond the money. The cheapest trade may end up costing you in the long run. It may cost you time added to your project and it certainly will cost you money! When I run projects, I am getting fussier and fussier about using my own crew with my clients. Why? Because I have a team that I know and trust. They all know me, they know how I run things and we have common goal: to create the best damn space for our clients. I have been on projects where the client has said they’d like to use their own ‘guy’ for this and that and what always happens (and I can safely use the word ALWAYS) is that the construction timeline gets delayed. Why? There are deficiencies that need to be addressed that don’t pass my inspection. That causes delays which in turn, causes stress. For my property investors that I work with, this certainly causes them money as the project doesn’t get done on time.
Renovation Costs: Adding Things Up
When it comes time to your next renovation and you wish to get quotes, please do me a favour and know what you are getting quotes for. The design will dictate your product and labour costs. If you don’t start with a design, how can someone quote you for the work to get done?