Denise Mitchell-Hills

Denise Mitchell-Hills added 1 photo to ideabook: baby
   Comment   July 15, 2014
Denise Mitchell-Hills added 1 photo to ideabook: baby
   Comment   June 30, 2014
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Contractor Fees, Demystified

Learn what a contractor’s markups cover — and why they’re worth it Full Story
     Comment   June 28, 2014
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Michelle Portesi
@mylilremodelproject - That is a GORGEOUS staircase. And it's one I wouldn't have attempted to design construction wise myself. That's why God created architects! Or even better, the craftsmen who specialize in building staircases. Having truly knowledgeable and skilled tradesmen are invaluable to construction companies, designers and homeowners alike. I have certainly relied on a master staircase builder on a few projects.
July 8, 2014 at 9:32am     
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Michelle Portesi Thanks for the input. I am very aware of what products cost and am great at choosing just the right thing to buy that is the best value (for me at least what that means is it looks good and is good quality, but I'm not paying extra for bells and whistles or for status.) And you are right that when you're talking about a high end house, nobody can get it through their heads that I don't want a $5000 commercial stove plus $5000 double wall ovens when I've used 2 ovens at once only a handful of times in my life.

One reason I would go with a higher end contractor is to get high quality work. Do lower end contractors have as good of subs? Or do the better subs work on the more expensive projects? I suspect the latter, and I do like attention to detail as we're talking about a $2m home. But also, there are numerous large picture windows that need to be replaced, large beams which are needed to make longer spans, etc. Seems like the higher end guys probably have more experience with that type of thing. But maybe you're onto something, and I should look for at least a mid-range contractor rather than a high end contractor. Maybe cost-wise I don't want someone who also works on $5M homes.

But I'm surprised to hear you say labor is cheap, because what I learned in my bathroom remodel is the opposite. What I came away with is to spend any amount of money you can on materials to make the job easier for the contractors, because at $55 an hour (or whatever your labor cost is), it adds up quickly. For example, solid surface shower wall panels seem expensive, but they are so quick to put up compared with tiling, it ends up way cheaper than tile. And spending more on rectified tiles (which are perfectly flat) is worth it compared to cheaper ones which are not perfectly flat. You quickly make up for the extra cost with less labor.

Lastly, the 10% figure is interesting but leaves a lot to be desired. In some areas $2m is considered a lower end home, for example when it's in a desirable location and the land itself might be $1m or more. That would imply an average $200,000 kitchen; I don't think so. 10% of construction costs would be more realistic for an average. Maybe that's what you meant?
July 13, 2014 at 6:43pm   
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