Tag Archives: Remodeling Tips by Kayla Jeffries. Bookmark the permalink.

How to Compare Multiple Bids the Smart Way

You’ve surely heard the phrase “Comparing Apples with Oranges”.

If you change your design every time you interview a contractor and ask them to bid, then comparing their bids will be a worthless exercise.  Each contractor will be bidding on a different thing.

Avoiding this problem is obvious: have a clear detailed plan and give the same set of prints to each contractor you ask to bid.

However, even if you give ten contractors the same plans, when you receive the bids you must look further than their bottom line price.  You should not always go for low bid, assuming you will save money; or high bid, assuming you’ll get the best quality; or middle bid, assuming you’ll get the best of both worlds.  Smart comparison means reviewing exactly what you will get for your money.

For example, if one contractor takes responsibility for mistakes, and has a built-in 5% allowance for unexpected costs, their bid will naturally be higher and still be a better value.

Or a contractor might be high bid because the other contractors left out portions of the remodel on the bid, relying on charging for change orders to finish the project.

Or a contractor might be the lowest bid not because they are basing it on cheaper materials or omitting parts of the project, but because they have an original and unique solution no one else has thought of.

The thing is to be smart when you compare.  A good idea is to choose your bidding contractors by reputation and involve them in the budget.  A good contractor can help you make the correct decisions that will allow you to stay within your budget.

Basement Finishing: How Much Does it Cost?

Are you thinking about remodeling your basement space, but aren’t sure how much it will cost, how much value it will add to your home, and whether or not this is the right choice for you?  If so, I am writing this article just for you!

In the real estate world, basements (even walk-out basements) are not techincally allowed to be factored into the square footage of your home.

In the home pictured here, this is the case, even though the basement could be considered an entirely separate, 3,000 square foot apartment.

Basement remodels at Kopke range from $30-75 per square foot.  Add up the square footage of your basement (ignore the realtors, we all know finished basements “count”), and do a quick multiplication to figure out the range.  For example, a 1,000 square foot basement could cost $30,000 to $75,000 to finish, depending on the materials and layout selected.

Down the hall (and not pictured) is a large bedroom, a pool table room, a home gym, an office, a utility closet, a tool room, and a full bathroom with shower and walk-in tub.  To the left behind this wall is a storage room fit for an excessive collector / holiday enthusiast.

And what did it cost to finish this basement? $135,000.  At 3,000 square feet, this remodel came out on top of the price spectrum, at $45 per square foot.  This is because all top-of-the-line products were used, and very few items from the wishlist were overlooked.

I know what you are thinking: “Why spend $135,000 on a remodel that won’t add any value to my home?!!!??” That is where the debate comes in.  How can you deny the value of all the amenities I listed above?  And how about all the new friends you will make when people find out about the incredible bar in your basement?

All joking aside, every remodel increases the value of your home.  Each in a different way, relative to the wants and needs of the prospective buyer.  For example, if the buyer is handicapped, the walk-in-tub will be a tremendous value, and if the buyer is a chef, the wood-fired pizza oven* would fire him/her up, and the bathtub could be an unsightly nuisance.

If you plan to live in your home for a long time, update it to fit your lifestyle.  If you plan to sell soon, avoid trendy or niche products, and go towards something more universal. And I would say to be mindful of “technicalities”, but don’t get bogged down by them; each person has their own criteria for what is valuable.

Currently, we are finishing a basement in St. Clair Shores that is 1,000 square feet, and the price is about $27,000.  This one is at the bottom of the price spectrum, at $27 per square foot.  To keep costs low, we are salvaging as much as we can from the old basement to be reused, selecting “standard” products instead of “custom” as much as possible, all while still maintaining the Kopke standard for Quality.

To get started on turning your underused basement into extra living space, give us a call.  We can develop a customized plan to fit your needs, wishes and dreams!  www.kopkehome.com (586) 777-6633

*Unfortunately, the wood-fired pizza oven was one item on the wishlist that had to be forfeited.

Debunking the $4,000 Kitchen

Above are some ads from our local competitors.  There are also billboards around our area advertising complete Kitchen Remodels for less than $4,000!  Please do not be tricked into thinking that this is true.  Here at Kopke, we do not believe in “tricking our customers”, or advertising outrageously low prices and then raising the price later on. Our AVERAGE kitchen remodel ranges from $27,000 to $35,000.  Of course some are much less, and some much more, depending on the level of extravagance desired. Call us today for an accurate quote!  586-777-6633