“How much will my _______ remodel cost?”

Understand the pitfalls with “Ballpark Figures” in remodeling.

by Matt Blank

Curiosity led to some of the greatest discoveries mankind has known… and it also killed the beloved cat. Many Lancaster, PA homeowners have thought about remodeling projects for their home, finishing the basement, kitchen renovations, adding a bathroom or family room; but they rarely have any idea what the price tag will be. This isn’t a bad thing. Someone without construction experience rarely understands the remodeling process puzzle, and more importantly, how the pieces fit together: design, selections, demolition, framing, drywall, electrical, plumbing, inspections, etc, etc etc.

This leads to the inevitable question: “How much will my bathroom remodel cost?”. If not their bathroom, then remodeling their kitchen, finishing their basement, adding a room addition…

The difficulty with ballpark figures is the idea that a remodeling project is an item like a car or computer – one product sold by many vendors. Carpentry is a custom art, not just a skilled trade. A company may sell a new bathroom “system”, but that isn’t a custom renovation project.

Custom: No two projects or remodeling companies are the same. The design you choose and the selections you make will determine the cost of your project.

A general contractor may be able to give you an average price for similar jobs; unfortunately “average price” for all of their kitchens, etc, does not mean the same thing as the “ballpark figure” for your specific project. A price range is a reasonable request, just understand what those numbers mean.

Understanding “Ballpark Figure” Ranges:

-Low Price –  You think this price is great! However, keep in min this is the bare bones, everything goes right price. Until we actually get in there and see what’s going on, we never really know what work will be involved. Beware when the actual proposal comes back and you are shocked to find the price higher than this.

Or worse, the contractor gives you a lowball “estimate” just to get the job, then you steadily watch the price rise. Learn the warning signs of these Horror Stories.

-High Price – This is usually for a higher end, more expensive selections and design. Beward that you are not scared off from the project before you even discuss what can be done within your budget.

Where to start:

Cost vs. Value for Harrisburg/Lancaster/York. This guide will help you begin to understand the average cost of several different project categories and how much you can expect to recoup in home value on your remodeling investment.

Click here for tips on how to find and interview experienced contractors.

About: Matt & Mike Blank of MBC Building & Remodeling, LLC have been making homes happy since 1999. We have hundreds of satisfied remodeling clients across Ephrata, Lititz, Landsiville, Millersville and everywhere else in Lancaster County.

Meet Mike Blank, CGR CAPS, President of MBC


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