Live By The Price, Die By The Price

The remodeling graveyard is full of well-meaning (And Some Not) contractors that were willing to give customers that great deal, a price nobody else could touch just to get the business. These navigate by the seat of the pants, hammer swinging fast moving contractors offering a great deal very quickly find themselves over their head and underwater financially, and they, unfortunately, take customers with them on the ride.

A typical home has more than 30,000 parts that make up the whole. What this essentially means is there a lot more that goes into building or renovating your home than you might think. Take a bathroom remodel for instance, the number of parts (cost points) that go into a bathroom remodel is extensive. A customer typically has the viewpoint that its just a little tile, countertops, fixtures and poof you have a new bathroom, hence they are surprised at the cost of the bathroom estimate when it is all put together by a reputable contractor. Below is a list of the items that go into a typical bathroom remodel.

Demolition, hauling, and dump fees
Framing material
Electrical and switches
Exhaust fan
Lighting (Can, fixture, and vanity)
Bathtub (Free standing or apron)
Shower valve
Pipe and fittings
Shower pan liner
Shower pan sand mix
Shower drain assembly
Vapor barrier
Hardie backer
Fiber tape
Moisture barrier coatings
Shower niches
Shower tile
Metal edging
Tile spacers
Grout sealer
Frameless glass
Floor tile
Accent tile
Joint tape
Joint mud
Cabinet hardware
Sink drains and water shutoffs
Water supply lines
Wood Trim (Base, cabinet and crown)
Paint coverings
Wall paint
Ceiling paint
Trim paint (Oil Based)
Bath accessories (Toilet Roll, Towel Bars, Hooks)
Door hardware
Medicine cabinets
Linen cabinets

This list is not exhaustive and does not include any of the skilled labor across many fields to put it all together and make it beautiful. What the low price contractor does not do is consider the cost in a complete way. What you (the customers) end up with is a bathroom where massive corners were cut, ultra-cheap labor that is not so skilled labor or worse a job half done and a missing contractor.

A contractor that plans to be in business for longer than 5 minutes has to take the time to consider all of the costs for the job (direct) and all of the costs of running the business (indirect). Indirect cost includes the daily overhead rate, taxes, insurance, licensing, travel, margin and markup (they are different things) and many other items not listed here.

Even when you account for all of these items and do your due diligence there are always surprises and sometimes things you did not account for. You learn from these oversights and make adjustments for the next job and you get more accurate over time.

The market is flooded with low price contractors that make the thorough contractor look overpriced and expensive. However, there is a silver lining for those that plan, price and deliver correctly and that is over time you develop a loyal customer following, generate massive referrals and build a solid reputation for quality and customer service. There is no doubt that taking the time to do things right is more expensive, time-consuming and tedious but it pays off in the long run in long-term growth, good reputation, and business longevity.

Never forget, in the building and remodeling world you definitely get what you pay for.
If you think it’s expensive to go through a remodel, try paying for it twice. Live by the price, Die by the price.

Xenia Tree Renovations is a full-service remodeling firm based in Plano Texas servicing the North Texas area. Look us up at

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