The Real Cost of Your Remodel Project

Now that you’ve chosen the right designer [I'm not saying its Urbanata but its Urbanata] or the right service, now is the fun part of the connection- fine-tuning the details. Once both you & your designer have signed an agreement or put down an initial deposit for moving the project forward, you’ve officially become a client of your designer, and your plan is one step closer to becoming a reality! 


However, most find this stage of the process the most agonizing- costs are usually provided at an initial scope and fluctuates along the lifespan of the project until the finite numbers are either agreed upon, or the last material/ service is paid for. It’s sad to say that it is apart of the process with design, and sadly, most don’t fully understand that.


Designers have made industry connections that the average consumer would otherwise be unaware of; we’ve worked our way from beginning to end with project over project. Design and the services used to create that design are constantly evolving - new technology, new colors, new patterns, new materials… the world of design changes, and thus the cost to achieve design fluctuates with the market and accessibility. 

The design process throughout a remodel becomes precisely that, a gathering of professionals and experts in their own fields coming together to create your vision. While I wish I could estimate out the exact cost of specific services and materials on the spot, my knowledge is only what I have learned that day- but it does come with the price of being a designer. We are continually learning and pushing materials to new boundaries we’ve never expected, which is what makes this all a bit more fun, but difficult to just pull a number before quoting with a real contractor.


Once you’ve become our client, we get to hook you up with our network of professionals and experts to generate REAL costs for your project. The experts start to come into play and assess the situation and their involvement in it, the scope of work becomes much more concrete as we are all working together to understand the singular scope of work for the overall project. 

It dictates schedules for individual contractors and specific materials have to be installed before others, there are many layers to this process and YOU WILL MAKE IT THROUGH THEM. Don’t let the fear of unexpected overruns keep you from moving forward, it’s going to be a little hazy, but the key for you here is to listen, ask questions, and try to understand the process/ costs associated with the work. 

Now I am not saying nitpick every price point, but don’t be afraid to ask what goes into a particular step. This gives you clarity and can also, in a way, force transparency - I would hope your group of experts would not have an issue with more openness. 


It’s also essential that you make timely decisions with your project. A lot of times, once we have initiated this stage of the working relationship between designer and client, the design process is opened up to a lot more freedom & time to develop the style. Now, I do recommend spending some time with the materials, the design direction, and specific desires, but also realize that making revision after revision can be a negative thing. 

Sometimes, you can finally stumble your way along into a flushed-out design, but spinning your wheels on material selection and furnishings for a long time can be nerve-wracking for both you & your designer. Again, trust your designer’s input and keep your mind from running in too many directions. Often times, this is where the designer becomes a massive asset to clients because they get to narrow the choices for you.

So many times, when I see clients walk into our showroom even, the pure number of material offerings and their own unique twists on a product leaves them feeling more confused than when they initially walked into the showroom. Use your designer to help narrow down the selection after showing them what kind of space/ furnishings you are drawn to. 

In so many ways, I feel like my job is to recognize or research a unique style, creatively marry different styles, and curate a limited material palette to present to the client. Speak up and in detail about why you don’t like about an individual item - all of these details are SO important in building your home’s distinctive personality. 


Don’t expect a designer just to choose everything and just turn down what you don’t like. Tell us you don’t like too much business or movement in the backsplash, tell us you like a shaker dimension on the cabinets, tell us you want an organic movement in the countertop, and tell us WHY. Open up to your designer in a light-hearted way, and allow collaboration to blossom from your additional detail. It builds up the framework to your project which only allows us to help push your design into reality.


by: Jake Neidlinger