What Drives Cost Pt. 2 & Who to Hire | Episode 10 | Carmel Builders Sidelight Series

May 22, 2020

In episode 10 of our Sidelight Series Vlog, Carmel Builders President & Owner Louis Weiher shares some great insights into who to hire to manage a remodel project, and the differences in timeframe, quality, and control that come with the decision.


Welcome back to another sidelights series. And this is an onsite sidelight series, a little different. No one is in our office right now due to Covid-19, so thought we would do one out on project site. I wanted to talk about something going back to an earlier video that we did about what drives cost. And one thing that I thought about, and talked with a number of people about over the last couple of weeks is kind of three different levels of how you can hire someone to do the work for you. And that drives costs. So I want to talk about those. From the real high level, from the most expensive, to the least expensive. But also from probably, in my opinion, highest quality to lowest quality, quickest timeframe to longest time frame. Those three things are as follows.

The first one is hire a company like ourselves, full remodeling firm. A company that basically brings all the professionals together. So we’re going to bring in professional electricians, plumbers, flooring, masons, drywall, tile setters, you name it. We’re going to bring in pros. We’re going to put them all together. We’re gonna make sure you have specialists working on everything. We’re going to put in high quality product. We’re going to have people who stand behind their work. We’re going to offer a much better warranty. We’re going to be around.

We’re in our 41st year of business. We’re going to be here next year, five years down the road to take care of it. As will our partners that we’re bringing in. But the truth is, you’re paying a premium for that level of service. The reality is the things that we purchase are getting marked up. They’re getting marked up by our providers are getting marked up to you. So you are going to pay the most when you hire a company like us. But I believe you’re gonna get the best quality and probably the fastest timeframe, because we can bring everybody together to work as a cohesive unit.

Second step, down would then be to hire more of a one man shop, someone who self performs most of the work. And a lot of these guys are really good at what they do. I don’t want to diminish the skill set, but the truth is, if you have one guy who does all the demolition and framing, and does the drywall, and installs the floor, and the tile, and does the painting, and installs fixtures and installs cabinets. The truth of the matter is you can’t be an expert at everything. So that person well might be skilled and might be a good overall craftsman, probably doesn’t have the same specific skill set as the team that we put together or companies like ourselves are going to put together.

Also, that’s only one person. Or maybe he or she has a helper or two. But that’s a small number of people doing the work. So it’s going to take longer. So going to take longer, probably not going to have the same level of quality control that you get with a company who’s putting in the whole package together. But you’re going to spend a little bit less. Generally speaking, what I’m finding is maybe fifteen percent less than what project would cost to have us do it. So a little bit less money, but more time, probably a little less control and quality.

And then the third way that you can do a project like this, if you’re going to be hiring someone to do the work is for you, the homeowner, to be your own general contractor. Guys, that’s an acceptable way to do things. It’s okay if you’re looking for a smaller scale project or if it’s not something that’s really that important to you. But then in that case, you’re seeking out a carpenter and a plumber, an electrician, and you certainly have a lot less control over the time because frankly, you don’t have the relationships built up, most likely with those people. You have a lot less control over quality because as a homeowner, you probably haven’t seen the same things that we have. But the prices Then are going to be less, probably about 10 to 15 percent below that cost that you’re getting from self performing guys. So it’s just kind of three different ways that you could approach a project.

I do think when you get into a big, complicated project, standing in a whole house right now that we’re doing, this is outside what most people are going to want in general. But maybe you’ve got a small basement bathroom that you want to attack on your own. That’s OK. But just know what you’re getting and what you’re really giving up in the form of time and quality. That’s what the price is driving.

So if you’re looking for that full service, you are looking at a company like Carmel Builders or any of our peers who are out there, we’re going to provide a different level of service, quality and timeframe than those other options. So hopefully that answers some questions for you. Looking forward to doing more of these videos back in our office at some point in time. Hope everything’s safe and healthy out there. And we’ll see you down the road.