How much should my home improvement project cost?

There are many variables that dictate the cost(materials used, site conditions, design, and craftsmanship). While it might be tempting to go with the lowest quoted number, I would worry unless you really know them.

Craftsmanship (labor)

Craftsmanship this is usually the big difference between one contractor to other. No they aren’t both the same, ideal we would think so, but there are a series of steps that must occur to complete a task. So what happens, they skips necessary steps. You might not notice them in that moment, but over time you will wonder why your having problems.

Example: Recently I visited a project were the floor was sinking. I kind of knew what was causing the problem, but wanted to confirm my suspicion. After crawling the crawl space (under the house) found that the previous contractor had built a load bearing wall without supporting it underneath. All we could do was add support to prevent it from caving in. We could have jacked it up (raised), but they had just finished the kitchen. Damage could have occurred if we raised it, so they would just have to live with that dip, but have peace of mind the floor wouldn’t fail in the near future.

Not prepping the materials correctly, undersized lumber, getting the correct material, and building correctly. It involves the contractor to be detailed oriented.


Designing a simple, functional space is ideal, but sometimes the site conditions don’t allow it. So we need to get creative and design something that will be functional with home current conditions. The more complex it gets the more it would cost.

The are so many different materials available today to meet the taste of pretty much anyone. It is not recommended to go with the cheapest materials available because for the most part it shows. Sometimes it’s even harder to work with.

As you can see every contractor quote number will be different because of the materials they like to use, the experience and knowledge they have. Now there are no guarantees just because they are the most expensive they would produce a great product. Research is your best friend. Find out as much information as you can. Are they licensed, carry general liability, workers compensation, are there any complaints against them.

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