DEAL OF THE MONTH
Tub and Shower Re-caulk
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Get rid of that moldy and ugly caulk around the tub or shower. Clear or White caulk included. All other colors must be provided by the homeowner. $150 for the first bathroom and $75 for each additional bathroom. Saturdays & Sundays only

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Archive for the ‘Bathroom Renovations’ Category

I have been a remodeling contractor in Austin, Texas for 14 years now.  The experience that comes with the time and commitment invested in my small business over those years has come with some priceless lessons.  I have worked hard to build a brand that I believe is a true reflection of me and my values.  That is especially true with my style of selling myself and my services to potential clients. 

My laid back, low pressure sales style is no accident.  Over the years, while striving for business success, I read every sales book ever written.  Most of them coach the reader on how to present the potential customer with a highly polished sales pitch, immediately followed by a high pressure deal closing tactic.  I have a few problems with this popular strategy.  First of all, I care about my customers.  For me, I care more about the work and building my brand and my legacy, not my bank account.  I love remodeling construction and I believe it shows in my work. Secondly, a major remodel on one or more bathrooms is a big decision, something not easily decided on the spot.  There are budgets and materials to consider along with a multitude of design and style options.  There is no way I can take in all of that information and make an immediate decision and I don’t expect my clients to either.  Lastly, pressuring someone to sign on the dotted line with threats and arguments seems desperate to me.  I may have lost some sales by refusing to go down that path but staying true to my morals has kept us very busy and brought success to our company.

I recently heard a story about one of my competitors.  A client stated that the competing bathroom remodeling company took the required measurements for their bathroom remodel and proceeded to make the necessary calculations while there in their home.  He was able to give them an immediate quote.  This is completely normal and I like to give on the spot estimates with the simpler remodeling projects as well.  The only difference is that I leave them with the estimate to discuss and think through their options for a couple of days.  After providing the estimate the competitor’s salesman pulled out a contract and offered a discount to sign it immediately.  That is a red flag in my book as it smells of desperation.  The visit didn’t stop there.  The salesman stayed in those poor people’s home for three hours arguing with them about signing the contract for the bathroom remodel on the spot.  Not letting the customers think through their options before making such a big and important decision is another red flag.  Why is this company afraid to let the homeowners make an informed and confident decision?  I will let you draw your own conclusion as to why they couldn’t afford to give their customers time to think it through.

I allow at least a day or two for potential customer to review the estimate before following up.  For a large number of clients, the estimate is just a starting point or stepping stone in the decision process for their remodeling project.  There are material and fixture choices to go over, layout and design aspects of the project, as well as product comparison to make sure that the remodeling decision has been well thought out before proceeding.  Some people need to get other bids on their project before proceeding in confidence.  I encourage other bids.  I want the client to make an informed decision and to know what they are paying for.  I am confident that potential clients will be able to see the craftsmanship of my work and the value that comes with it.  I rely on my work and reputation sell themselves.

First and foremost, I believe that my job is to inform people about their project.  My goal when I speak to a potential client is to offer my problem solving skills and technical expertise to build a custom bathroom that exceeds their expectations.  My laid back demeanor allows that conversation to happen while the high pressured approach puts the potential client on the defense and important nuances of the client’s wants and needs get overlooked.  Selling your services is easy if you are passionate about what you do, honest with your clients, and have the talent and experience to perform the work beautifully.

Chad Walker

We are provided every year with an average cost of of a bathroom remodel from various sources. We are also given the percentage of the cost we recoup compared to the value it added to your home.  We must remember these are only averages.  By using some cost saving strategies, we can not only save money but increase the value of the home by 100% or even 110% rather than the latest national average 74.6%.  The following is a list of cost saving ideas on the most popular bathroom upgrades.

  • Granite counter-tops are a must have, but if you stick with an inexpensive granite, it could cost half of that beautiful marble yoou saw in the showroom.  Here’s an additional tip.  Vanities are typically small areas to cover, so head over to your local granite counter top company and ask if they will give you a deal on a remnant left over from a previous job.
  • Under-mount sinks may be expensive in kitchens but you can pick them up for about $100 each for vanities. 
  • Vanity faucets are also inexpensive.  Just buy a nice satin nickel 4″ spread faucet with a simple sleek design.
  • Want the look of a double mirror over the vanity?  You can pick up two 24″x36″ mirrors with beveled edges for about $25 each.
  • There are some ugly vanity cabinets out there.  Replacing them with new ones could cost thousands.  Instead, find a good painter that is experienced in painting cabinets and you will save a bundle giving them a new finish.
  • Don’t forget the cabinet door knobs.  The big box home improvement stores sells them in packs of 10 at a huge discount instead of paying double for buying them individually.
  • Adding all new matching plumbing fixtures from the tub drain, spout, control valve, to the shower head can be pricey, but how about installing  just the rain shower head.  If your handy, it’s a fairly simple DIY project.
  • If the shower is dirty and moldy but the tiles aren’t falling off , spruce them up with re-grouting and re-caulking and it will look like a new shower.
  • Glass doors are a big investment and there is little advice available in that catagory besides stay away of the more expensive frameles glass. Frameless glass is actually a nice upgrade that clearly changes the look and feel of the space and worth the extra money.
  • Inexpensive and stylish vanity lights are a must if you have upgraded the entire vanity area.  That is a great DIY project which will save you a good chunk of money.  Just be sure to put tape over the switches in the off position so nobody walks in and flicks the switch while you are up on a ladder with the bare wires in your hand.
  • And I saved the most important for last, paint!  If the tub and shower are white and you choose to paint your cabinets a light color, it will completely transform the room painting the walls a warm and inviting darker tone.  A gallon of the right color paint will be the best investment toward your bathroom remodeling project.

Chad Walker – Texas Shower Company

Remodeling a bathroom is one of the best home improvement investments you can make.  It not only presents a high return on investment compared to other areas in your home, but can considerably increase your quality of life.

We have all seen the home improvement shows or heard Realtors talk about the most important and valuable two investments in your house, kitchens and baths.  When selling a home they will prove to be the most important deciding factor among prospective buyers, and in turn offer the best return on your investment.  More importantly, when you decide to live in your home for a long time, the return on investment can be worth much more than the original cost.

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that roughly $9 billion was spent on bathroom remodels last year.  That’s a huge number, but lets take a look at what that means for home owners.  The national average cost for a bathroom remodel in the U.S. is $15,899.  This investment increases the resale of the house by $11,857, recouping 74.6% of the total cost of the bathroom remodel.  Some regions fair better than others when figuring the return on your remodeling dollars.  The West-South-Central region (Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana) averages 83.4% of your remodeling dollars recouped in the increased value of your home.  When looking at individual cities such as Austin, Texas, the average job cost is $13,871 which results in an increase of home value by $12,090 for a total recoup of 87.2% on your bathroom remodeling investment.  The bathroom remodel cost of $13,871 minus the increased home value of $12,090 leaves you with a true cost of $1781.  

For the home seller’s perspective in Austin, the $1781 difference in cost versus the increase in home value is an investment that could transform your outdated home into a beautifully updated showcase that would distinguish it from the sea of homes currently on the market.  In my experience, prospective home buyers are looking for a house that is move-in ready with no work needed.  They do not have the vision or the desire to buy a home that needs updating or renovating.  Home sellers should consult their Realtors to discuss whether updating the bathroom would be the right investment to lead to a quick and profitable sale.

The home owners who plan to stay in their house for a few years gain much more than just an increase in the value of their home.  For them the cost of the bathroom remodel can be a long term investment that pays off significantly by increasing the quality of life for years.  It could mean getting that double sink vanity you’ve been wanting, eliminating having to share a single sink and mirror.  Never use the huge garden tub that takes up half the bathroom?  Take it out and build that huge dream shower with all of the body sprays and the rain shower head mounted from the ceiling.  Your moldy, leaky shower with the gold trim could be transformed into an inviting shower with warm stone tile, beautiful glass mosaics, and a frame-less shower door.  All of the plain white cultured marble on the tub, shower, and vanity counter top that was popular in the 1980’s could be replaced with vibrant colors, gorgeous tile, brushed nickel faucets and towel bars, and a sleek granite vanity counter top with under-mounted sinks.  Tired of looking at those boring old oak vanity cabinets?  Replace them with modern cherry or maple cabinet with clean lines with vessel sinks on top that you’ve seen in the home improvement and design magazines.  The $1781 difference between the remodeling costs and added value to your home will bring functionality, beauty, and comfort to you and your family for years.  And when you do get ready to eventually sell your home, you will be ahead of the game.

Chad Walker – Texas Shower Company

“© 2008 Hanley Wood, LLC. Reproduced by permission. Complete regional and city data from the Remodeling 2008 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded for free at www.costvsvalue.com.”