When you go the store to buy something, like a pair of shoes or a bunch of bananas, there is usually a price tag that clearly states how much you’ll owe when you get to the cash register. Not so in the world of home remodeling and renovation. Due to varying rates among various contractors, differences in the prices of materials, and a range of other factors, there’s no cut-and-dried way to know how much you’re going to be quoted for a residential construction job.
One of the things you can do to understand this industry better, though, is to learn the language. Just like any other field, such as medicine or technology, remodeling has a unique set of jargon. As you read the rest of this guide, you’ll discover some of the lingo you ought to memorize before signing a contract.
Estimates – Estimates are quotes that typically feature information about a contractor’s hourly rate and a line item list of tools and materials, including expected costs, for any given home renovation job. If you receive an estimate from a contractor, it is just that; you will not know what your final bill actually is until the project is done and everything has been tabulated.
Bids – Bids are quotes that state what work a contractor is willing to do on your house for a given price. Maybe, for example, you’re interested in opening up some walls and adding a new staircase. A bid for this job would list everything involved in the project, including removing the walls and constructing the new stairs, for a single price, like $7,500. Unless your design plans dramatically change, the cost listed on a bid is the price is you will pay.
Floor plan – A floor plan is an aerial look at how your remodeled space will look. Most blueprints are designed to give an overview of an area, including the lengths and widths of various walls, window frames, and door frames, but do not include a great deal of detail. Some homeowners choose to let their contractors create their floor plans, while others have them drawn-up by designers or architects and simply pass the documents along to their contractors after work begins.
Rough order of magnitude (ROM) – A rough order of magnitude is usually provided to homeowners as part of an estimate. It is a time of line item list that includes items that haven’t yet been chosen, with rough estimates of how much they will ultimately cost. If, for example, you’ll be investing in tile for a master bathroom renovation, but it hasn’t been selected yet, an average price will be used as a placeholder, of sorts. Your actual cost may be less or more than this median depending on the type of tile you pick.
At Hatch Homes, we work hard to help our clients from Virginia to South Carolina to understand everything that is happening during their remodels. If you have questions any step of the way, we want you to feel free to talk to us. Our goal is to consistently provide you and your family with clear, honest direction from the first day of your project to the last.