What should a quality remodeling project cost in Fairfield County?
The following information is provided to assist all homeowners in evaluating and choosing a professional remodeling contractor in Fairfield County. It is based on all of the experience we have gained in the 40+ years that Regency Construction has been in business.
- We provide home remodeling services in Fairfield County with a focus on whole house renovations, new home construction, kitchen remodeling and bathroom remodeling.
- Franco DiDemetrio has over 50,000 hours of experience with the company his dad started. The company has successfully completed over 200 significant design build and renovation projects and many smaller projects during Franco’s time with the company. We hope that you find the information helpful so your project doesn’t turn into a nightmare.
- The State of Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection website has important information that can help protect you from unethical contractors.
If you are like most of our clients you are considering your first major renovation project and you want an answer to this question: “How much does a quality remodeling project cost in Fairfield County?”
Unfortunately, unscrupulous contractors operating in Connecticut know this and will take advantage of unsuspecting homeowners.
Many remodeling contractors will offer an “attractive” bid with broad generalizations and minimal details. This is one of the key ways they use to add costs during the project for items you thought were included.
Professional contractors provide extensive details on materials and installation methods. At Regency Construction, as soon as your design and the scope of work is finalized and agreed to we will provide you with a fixed price contract.
You many have read some “advice” that says you should never tell a contractor your budget. The reality is that the homeowner makes more decisions that affect the final project cost than the contractor.
There is a bewildering array of choices today for most materials. This can be a challenge for even the most organized homeowner. Even worse it is easy to choose materials that are significantly higher in price but won’t give you any measurable increase in fit or functionality.
- For example: there are dozens of cabinet styles and designs to choose from. You can spend $10,000 or $50,000 to provide the same amount of storage in your kitchen. The same can be said for virtually every major component in a remodeling project. That is why some kitchen remodeling projects are $30,000 and some are $80,000 for the same space.
- Franco takes the time to listen to your needs and desires and then he can make recommendations that satisfy your design and keep you within budget. He will help you stay within your budget or help you make changes if you do decide to spend more on some products than you planned.
Most of our competitors are too busy or find it too frustrating to take the time to help homeowners complete all the selections they need. They just want to install the project because they get paid the same amount to install even if you go way over budget.
Price is certainly a factor, but if it is the primary factor you are likely to make a decision you will regret.
Please don’t accept a price that is 15% below other design build or remodeling contractors because they won’t be using the same materials, installation methods or offering a similar warranty.
In the remodeling industry, a 10% profit is a solid target to shoot for. Any bid that is 10% or more below another bid means the contractor is working for free or substituting inferior materials to make up the difference. At Regency Construction we won’t lower our quality or standards just to land your job because we know you won’t be happy in the end.
If you are seriously considering hiring any construction company, we recommend that you do your homework. If a contractor gives vague answers, uses broad generalizations or is reluctant to put things in writing you should eliminate them from consideration. Each project is unique. Look for a contractor with a proven track record of success. Ask for at least 10 references and speak to all of them.
Typical Results You Can Expect If You Choose the Low Bidder
You have probably spoken to a friend or relative that “got a great deal” on a renovation project. Listen closely and you are likely to hear many more stories about homeowners that were fooled by a “great price” and ended up firing the contractor or enduring a nightmare project with cost overruns and quality shortcomings.
Everyone is in business to make money and if you accept the lowest, you will either end up with quality issues or paying more than the original quote. Either way you end up losing.
Many low bidders will complete plumbing and electrical work themselves or use unlicensed people to complete the work. At Regency Construction, we only use licensed plumbers and electricians to complete our work.
Cabinets – As we pointed out above you can spend $10,000 or $50,000 on cabinets for the same storage. The biggest disadvantage of cheaper cabinets is the inner construction – doors warp or won’t close properly, drawers fall apart or can’t support the weight of heavier items, tracks and hinges come loose. Proper measuring is crucial for cabinets and it can take years to master how to properly do this. If the measurements aren’t correct, the installer will have to “make” them fit or the project will be delayed for weeks while replacement cabinets are ordered.
The lowest bidder can make a small fortune by substituting cheap “knock offs”. This is like buying a “designer watch” on the street for $10 – it might look good for a while but in the end you get what you pay for.
Granite, Marble and Stone Surfaces – This is another area where the final fit depends on the ability of the template maker. If the template isn’t created correctly it won’t fit. Even experienced installers can’t make this work. Seams will show and get bigger over time. Every time you look at your counters it will make you angry.
Windows – There is a huge difference between the $99 window and a well-made window. Cheap windows will not be custom fit for your home and the installer will have to plug the gaps with fillers. In the end your home will be cold and drafty in the winter and hot in the summer. This is another area where the low bidder can make a lot of money.
Doors – Low cost doors are available at all the big box retailers. Most are manufactured to fit with 4-9/16″ jambs. Many older homes in Fairfield County have different wall thicknesses that can range from 4-3/4″ to 6-9/16″ walls.
This means the installation will be a lot more complicated and can include jamb extensions to properly fit the doors. This is another example of trying to make a square peg fit in a round hole and they won’t look right even to the untrained eye.
Sheetrock and Drywall – You probably have noticed nail pops, seams and uneven sanding in other homes. These issues typically show up when the seasons change. These issues occur when the sheetrock installer is in a hurry because the low bidder has squeezed him for a super low price. Most of these are almost impossible to fix without starting over. One more thing – sheetrock from China can have some very serious health consequences – you can Google this.
Paint – Painting can put the finishing touch on a great project or it can make it look ordinary. Applying the proper number of coats of paint and using quality paint can make a big difference in the final look of a paint job. Proper surface preparation is essential otherwise the defects will show through.
Framing – Walls have to be plumb otherwise they will cause continuing problems with the drywall, moldings, casements and other trim work. For example: it will be almost impossible to make the cabinets fit flush with the wall or ceiling. The gaps will just look awful.
Plumbing – Many low bidders will do the work themselves or use unlicensed “plumbers”. Cheap plumbing components can be very hard to spot but they can cause major problems in the years ahead. Leaks will cause long term damage to floors, walls and ceilings. Mold is another very costly issue caused by leaks and it can cause health problems. Mold problems are very expensive to fix and can result in insurability risks. If the mold problems are severe enough you may not be able to sell your home.
Electrical – This is one area where you don’t want to save money. Do a quick search on You Tube on this and you will be in for a shock. You certainly don’t want that kind of work done in your home. Make sure all of the work is done by a licensed electrician. You should also check out the electrician’s reputation before they start.
HVAC – This is an area that you really need to have a professional design and installation. Poor design or the wrong size system will result in a wide range of temperature from room to room. This will also increase your utility costs as you constantly have to change the thermostat. One thing you can pretty much count on is that utility will keep going up. This is another area where the unscrupulous contractor can cut his costs at your expense by installing an inadequate or second rate system.
All of this information may leave you wondering if there are any ethical contractors. The good news is that there are reputable home remodeling companies that have the experience to turn your dream into reality.
We dot the “I’s” and cross the “T’s” before the plan documents are considered ready to firmly price the project. Whether your dream is to add a master bedroom suite, complete a multi room renovation project, or build a new home we have the experience to complete your project on time and on budget.
If you are considering a major renovation project, all I ask is the opportunity to demonstrate our ability. You can reach me at (203) 845-8745 and if I am unavailable, I pledge to return your call within 2 hours.