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  • Writer's pictureTommy Albrecht

Allowances Are Not Your Friend

Updated: Apr 2

Imagine the perfect remodeling project: ahead of schedule, under budget, and everything you asked for. The appliances were delivered 2 weeks ahead of schedule, windows and doors arrived undamaged, even the mason stayed on schedule. Sounds like alot of fun right? But doesn't sound like the real world, does it?


90% of the time, allowances and delayed selections are the cause for any budget and scheduling issues. When clients have less time to make a decision on finishes, they have less time to look around at different options and economize, or allow the project manager time to schedule a timely delivery.





For the majority of remodeling projects being performed by general contractors, there are a couple of ways the pre-sale process may work. At best, the contractor comes out to take a look, submits a rough budget and a pre-construction proposal, and we're off to the races. This pre-construction proposal allows the contractor to spend the time needed to assemble a complete proposal, and try to spec out as many details as possible. There are many selections left to be determined, and still many assumptions made on the part of the contractor. They may or may not require clients to work with a designer, sometimes leaving the client to make all of the decisions themselves.


At worst, a contractor submits a proposal to a client, in a bidding war against other contractors, on a set of drawings. After just one site visit and spending just 45 minutes with their potential client, the contractor must now return to the office and spend many hours of unpaid time to produce a proposal that will likely be compared to several others. They must also assume the client's caliber of selections: are we installing $25/SF tile or $10/SF tile? Typically, the assumption is wrong, and the client ends up paying the price in "overages". Not to mention the many details or logistics that the contractor may have left out in their scope of work due to many undetermined details (beware of change orders).


We've taken this many steps forward, putting an end to this during the COVID-19 crisis, due to the scheduling constraints that we saw coming with lead times. We knew we had to have our things sorted out before we continued on into the pre-construction phase. Window and door lead times went from 12 weeks to 16 or even 24 weeks. So we developed a thorough design phase that addresses every finish, location, and logistic that will show up during construction.


Using our own standardized sets of drawings and selection sheets, our trades and employees know where to find the information they need during construction. Our demo plans are detailed, and our elevations show as much detail as we can. No more trying to decipher what one interior designer's specifications look like versus another. We simply require that our own designer, as well as any interior designer's that the client may like to include, are a part of every project. Not to mention, our clients get a thorough image of what their home will look like after their project is complete.


It really is a win-win for everyone, and simply a no-brainer. If you would like to get started on your design, click the link below and let us know about your dream remodel. We look forward to speaking with you.










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