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Factors that Drive Up Home Remodeling Cost

Factors that Drive Up Home Remodeling Cost

Home remodeling projects come in various scopes and sizes, from simple paint jobs to comprehensive home makeovers. Understanding the factors influencing home remodeling costs is an important aspect for any homeowner planning a renovation. At Hochuli Design & Remodeling Team, we believe in empowering homeowners with knowledge about these cost-influencing factors. This way, you can confidently take on your remodeling project, armed with the insights to make smart decisions.

Home Remodeling Cost Factors

The cost of home remodeling can fluctuate greatly, influenced by several key factors. Let's look at each one and provide the solution for each.

Material Upgrades

Opting for high-end, luxury materials can significantly drive up home renovation costs. For example, choosing exotic hardwood for flooring, marble for countertops or custom-made cabinets can exponentially impact your budget. It's essential to understand that while these choices may add to your home's aesthetic appeal and durability, they come with a heftier price tag than more affordable yet equally functional alternatives.

Solution: Make Selections During Design

We are a design-build firm, meaning we design your renovation first, and then once the scope is determined, we build it. We always remind our clients that the early selection of materials during the design phase is essential for effective budget management and to avoid overspending.

This approach is also quite fun as you explore various options (with the help of Lorrie, our designer) that align with your aesthetic preferences while staying within your renovation budget. Delaying these choices may lead to rushed decisions later which compromises the quality and risks budget overruns.

Home Remodeling Cost Factors (4)

Scope Creep

"Scope creep," also known as "while you're at it" syndrome, is another common factor that can inflate your home remodeling budget. This happens when the scale of the project increases beyond the initial plans. For example, you might decide to remodel your kitchen and, while at it, think it would be a good idea to upgrade the appliances, add an island and maybe even knock out a wall to create an open-plan living area. While these additions may enhance your home's functionality and appeal, they will inflate the renovation cost, especially if this wasn't planned during design. This approach turns into change orders.

Solution: Be Clear About Your Project Scope

To prevent scope creep, it's important to clearly define the project's boundaries before starting. To do this, work with a design-build remodeling firm that will ask you questions to help you define your full project scope before construction ever begins. Some questions we'll ask include:

What are the specific areas of your home that you wish to remodel?

This question helps to determine the areas that the home renovation will include, whether it is one room or the whole house.  Regardless, before construction begins, have a clear scope of work to prevent scope creep.

What is your primary goal for this remodeling project?

We take great care in taking the necessary time to understand your main objective for undertaking a remodeling project. Why? Because it helps guide us with the overall project scope and vision for your home (both for today and down the road).

Do you have any other areas of the house you plan to remodel?

To go along with the above point, this question aids in future planning, as it might be more cost-effective to tackle a multi-room renovation or plan for a phased remodel. Knowing your long-term plans can help us strategize the best approach to your remodel to avoid redundant work and unexpected costs down the line.

What is your anticipated budget for the project?

We don't ask this question to be nosey. We ask because knowing the budget upfront helps us define realistic expectations of what can be achieved for you and prevent overspending.

What is your desired timeline for the completion of the project?

Knowing the timeline can influence the project's scope, especially if you have a tight deadline.  If your timeframe is flexible, we can usually do more with the budget than if you have a shorter deadline.

Code Compliance Improvements

Cities and towns often require items in a home to be brought up to current codes when you start a new project.  These code compliance improvements can range from minor updates, such as adding GFCI outlets in the kitchen or bathroom, to more significant changes such as updating your electrical or plumbing systems. These upgrades are typically not optional and can add considerable costs to your remodel.

Solution: Research Code Requirements

Before starting your home remodel project, take the time to investigate any potential code compliance requirements in your area. This will not only give you a better understanding of what to expect but also allow you to factor these costs into your budget. Working with a reputable design-build firm, like us, can also help. We have experience navigating the local codes and can advise on the necessary improvements and associated costs.

Material and Labor Costs

High-quality labor and materials are integral to a successful home remodel. It's important to remember that the labor costs can vary widely based on your location, the complexity of the job and the expertise required. Similarly, the cost of materials can fluctuate based on market trends, quality, and availability. Too many homeowners (when acting as their own general contractor) opt for lower labor rates or cheaper materials because the savings seem attractive. Still, in our experience, it often leads to disappointments, additional repairs, or maintenance down the line.

Solution: Balance Quality and Affordability

We believe that when budgeting for a remodeling project, it's important to balance quality workmanship and affordability. This is why our firm vets our skilled labor to ensure that we work with only the best in the field and select high-quality materials that ensure a durable and beautiful finish. As your chosen remodeling company, we do the research for you. This includes assessing the best materials that fit within your budget, sourcing them from reliable vendors, and liaising with trustworthy contractors and subcontractors.

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It's important to understand that the same project will cost you more in some regions of the country, but oftentimes, this works out well for our homeowners in the Phoenix metro area.

For example, the cost of an upscale bathroom remodel in Phoenix is nearly $20,000 less than in Seattle, according to the 2023 Cost vs. Value Report.

Additionally, different factors can contribute to the cost depending on what city you are remodeling in within the Valley.  For example, a remodel in Scottsdale may require materials or labor rates different from those in Mesa.

Solution: Choose a Local Remodeling Firm

Regarding your budget, working with a remodeling firm with experience in your town has many advantages. Phoenix is the fifth-largest city in the United States, with more than 1.4 million residents (and growing) and 517 square miles. However, the Phoenix Metropolitan area consists of Maricopa and Pinal counties and totals about 14,600 square miles! That's a lot of ground. (Source: Wikipedia)

Hochuli Service Area MapWhen you choose to work with a remodeling firm with experience in specific neighborhoods, they can offer insights into cost variances related to location. Additionally, they will have established relationships with local vendors and subcontractors. We serve the east side of Phoenix: Gilbert, Mesa, Tempe, Scottsdale, Chandler, Ahwatukee and Paradise Valley.

Choosing the right remodeling firm is a pivotal step in the remodeling process. With the right firm, homeowners can feel comfortable and confident in their decision to transform their living spaces. Such firms provide guidance, expertise, and reassurance, ensuring that the journey of remodeling is as smooth and satisfying as the end result.

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