Transparent Estimating

Once we both determine if the services we offer are going to meet your needs, it is time to thoroughly investigate your existing site conditions and dig deeper into what you are picturing for your project. We will schedule a site survey for your property where an estimator will come out to meet with you for roughly an hour. All parties who are invested in the project’s decision-making are encouraged to meet us at this survey, so we can gather everyone’s opinion and share information easily. Our team will snap photos of the project location, sketch a rough map of the site, and take measurements to assist in the design process.

Here is where we’re a little different from other contractors – we will bring all this information back to our office to build you an itemized breakdown of the potential costs that we anticipate could go into your project and provide you with a transparent estimate. While we won’t know exact costs at this phase, we want you to iron that out with the design and production team, our estimate should get within a +/- 10% budgetary range. To move forward with R.L. Rider Remodeling, we will ask you to sign a Project Development Agreement (PDA) and make a small retainer fee to secure your spot on our calendar. Our team is committed to zero-pressure sales, so you will never be pressured into making quick, rash decisions about your investment.

  • On-Site Meeting with Client and Estimator
  • Site Survey and Investigation
  • Deep Dive Wants/Needs Analysis
  • Sign Project Development Agreement

What is a Transparent Estimate?

The traditional model of estimating for a Design/Build remodeler involved providing the homeowner with a budgetary range their project might fall within, with little details of what is included in that cost. With the rise of material and labor costs, over the past decade, we decided we have nothing to hide, so we are laying all our cards on the table. Our Transparent Estimates break down what the anticipated material costs, labor cost, project management costs, admin costs, and overhead your project will take so you can step into the design phase with confidence in our team. Even with the transparent estimate, we won’t be able to get down to the exact cent yet, our transparent estimating system is meant to provide you the knowledge needed to help influence your budget. Our design team will work alongside you to bridge the gap between dreams and reality, with your transparent estimate as the guide.

How Much Will My Remodel Cost?

Remodeling is one of the most difficult as well as the most rewarding types of construction. Existing quirks and conditions must be planned for and integrated or removed altogether. Demolition needs to be selective, so no damage is done to areas that are to remain. The new must seamlessly blend with the old without clashing or causing issues. There is no way around it – the more heavily you modify an existing structure, the more money (and time) you can expect to spend.

A wide range of projects and unknown conditions make it nearly impossible to estimate what a job could cost without inspecting it on site. We don’t want to leave you hanging either, if you are in the beginning stages of your project and need help with a realistic budget, give us a call at 517-487-3713 or fill out our contact form, a team member will reach out to you with details/ballparks from projects we have done similar to yours. It’s a 5 or 10-minute initial conversation and you’ll instantly receive a budgetary number from one of our skilled estimators and a realistic picture of what your remodel will take.

Get a Ballpark Estimate

How Can Sample Estimates Help?

While no two projects are exactly the same, when it comes to many common projects, like kitchens & bathrooms, no matter what material you select there are similarities among all the projects. We know it may sound crazy, we just said no two projects are the same, let’s talk about what we mean!

Bathrooms are a great example, a standard full bathroom in many homes is approximately 5’ x 9’ with a tub/shower, toilet, and vanity. While there is some slight variation, you may say “My bathroom is only 5’ x 8’” or “My bathroom has a pedestal sink not a vanity” we can use these common features to help dial in potential costs even if your bathroom is slightly smaller, slightly larger, or slightly varying in features. From day 1 our team knows you need a sink, a faucet, a toilet, a tub, tub/shower fixtures, flooring, etc. We also know that the most exciting part of our process for homeowners is working with the design team to select their color palate and materials, then watching their vision come to life on the renderings. Our estimating process allows you to communicate your desires up front with our estimator so during design the team has a map of your goals/budget without being limited to only one or two selection options. Our sample estimates find commonalities between all jobs, including common price points for materials so you have reference to what price point most homeowners are finding materials they love. We never start by pricing out the highest cost item, we want to include common items in our estimates, unless you have specific desires outside of the norm. The most used example is a porcelain toilet, that you can get for $500, compared to the gold-plated toilet you can get for $5,000. Most people aren’t in the market to have a gold-plated toilet installed in their home.

Types of Contractors and Builders

There is a broad spectrum of contractors that all specialize in their own niche. From the large general contracting firms that take part in building skyscrapers, to the one-man shops crafting custom furniture and everything in between, there is a contractor to suit every need. In the residential building market, the two main types you’ll likely be considering are general contractors like R.L. Rider Remodeling vs. smaller shops that you might call handymen or carpenters. Not all builders and contractors are design/build firms like R.L. Rider Remodeling so keep that in mind during your search if that is an important service to you.

Design/Build vs. Design-Bid-Build

What Goes into a Successful Remodel?

In addition to the work itself, there are countless details that must be taken care of behind the scenes. Proper insurance for staff and subcontractors, testing & licensing for the business, locating skilled labor to perform the work, hiring & training, subcontractor organization, material ordering, continuing education, the list goes on. And all of that takes place before the construction even begins. One of the areas where remodelers really earn their paycheck is problem resolution on site because even with the best planning, there are always details that crop up. Large or small, these details require the correct solution in a timely manner since every delay one trade experiences, can cascade and affect the entire project timeline. Mistakes tend to compound so accurate resolution is essential to an on-time, on-budget remodel.

This is not to say that a homeowner with little to no industry experience can’t manage or perform their own remodeling project. With the wealth of information on the internet and numerous review sites to compare contractors it is entirely possible to do this. Managing a project can quickly become a full-time job however, and without understanding the entire process and having excellent subcontractors, it can be overwhelming.

Good Reasons to Remodel

While it requires investment in both time and money, remodeling your home is one of the most satisfying experiences if done correctly. You get to select exactly what you want in every aspect from layout to finishes. Any annoyances or pain points can be permanently removed and transitioned into new favorites. Remodeling is like tailoring your best suit while you are still in it to get as precise a fit as possible – totally bespoke.

A good rule of thumb when considering a remodel is to look ahead 5 years – if you’re going to be in the same house at that time then you will get a lot of enjoyment out of the improvements to your home. If you think that family, career, or any other obligations will pull you out of your current home soon, maybe hold off on the major projects and plan on them for your new house. If you forsee that you will be in your home for life, then the sooner you remodel, the longer you get to enjoy everything we’ve completed for you! If you really don’t mind your home’s looks or function, then why remodel? This should be a fun process for your enjoyment – if it is a hassle to you then don’t do it, simple as that.

Once you determine the length of stay in your home will be worth the investment, there are literally hundreds of reasons to remodel. You might have inherited a family home that you’d like to keep around for generations to come. Maybe you love your neighborhood or area so much that you would never consider moving but want a home to fit your lifestyle. Why you want to remodel is a personal question that has as many unique answers as there are people.

Whatever your reasons, once you decide to move forward with a remodel you have a right to expect the best for your investment. Do not settle for sub-standard service or refurbished products. You should be able to feel confident in consulting with experts, not belittled for not knowing every in and out of the construction industry.

R. L. Rider Remodeling is Lansing’s premier full-service, design/build remodeler since 1924 which means that we are a better fit for large, complex residential improvements. While we handle design/build projects, we can also build from plans that you already have. If you have a very small project, we are probably not the best fit, but we will refer you to one of our skilled trade partners and get you taken care of. If you are ready for personalized service or just a builder who will pick up the phone for you, please call R. L. Rider Remodeling today at 517-487-3713 or fill out the contact form below. Thank you!