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Avoiding Remodeling Regrets in Your Rochester-Area Home

Posted by John Graziose on Mon, Mar 4, 2019 @ 09:03 AM

Avoiding Remodeling Regrets in Your Rochester-Area HomeHow you think about remodeling your home depends a lot on your perspective. If you’re looking forward to the process, it can be fun and exciting (and even a bit overwhelming).  If you’re looking back on the process, you can either be delighted with the outcome—or you can have a case of buyer’s remorse because it didn’t turn out the way you planned.  Here’s a look at avoiding remodeling regrets in your Rochester-area home so that you’ll be happy with the outcome for years to come.

What Remodeling Veterans (Homeowners) Have to Say

A couple of years ago, did a survey of homeowners asking them to identify their biggest remodeling regrets. You can read all of the comments here, but let’s look at a few comments that are representative of the challenges many homeowners experienced.

  • Finding honest, reliable and talented contractors (which is more challenging than most people assume it will be)
  • Doing EXACTLY what you want when everything's torn apart, which is almost ALWAYS more cost effective on the front end than trying to do it later. It might cost you a few extra bucks, but spend it now to avoid regretting it later (and it will be more expensive if you can't live with it and want to change it in a year or two)
  • Not expecting it to come in on-time and on-budget. Expect it to be finished later than you thought and cost more than you thought.
  • The biggest mistake I made in the past was "settling" for something when I didn’t want to spend the extra money to get what I really wanted. So I purchased the less expensive item only to redo it later down the road because it was not really what I wanted and then I wasted even more money. [It’s better to] wait until you can buy what you really want, it will be so less expensive in the end.

Let’s look at those key issues in a bit more detail.

Who You Work With Matters

Finding honest, reliable and talented contractors.

So how do you go about selecting the “right” remodeler? Whether you’re remodeling or building a new home, it’s essential that you find a builder who is worthy of your trust. But how can you establish that? One good way is to talk to past clients and ask about their experience.
View More Client Tesimonials

Know What You Really Want (What’s Really Important)

Doing EXACTLY what you want

It’s important to have a clear idea about what you want your remodeling project to accomplish. You need to know exactly what you want and communicate it clearly to your remodeling contractor. And your remodeling company needs to make sure he or she listens carefully and understands exactly what you want. That’s why t’s so critical to work with a remodeler who listens to you.

Download the 2019 Cost Vs Value Report

The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI)  provides some Remodeling 101 suggestions. Organizing your ideas and plans is important for sure, plus part of the process involves prioritizing what’s most important to YOU. That helps you and your contractor creating the perfect plan for your remodeling project.

Set Realistic (and Flexible) Expectations

Not expecting it to come in on-time and on-budget

First of all, budgets and schedules are important. A reputable remodeling company should be able to provide you with a realistic budget for your project and should also be able to tell you (within reason) when your remodeling project will be completed. There are, however, a number of factors that can influence both your budget and your schedule.

Material prices can fluctuate. The popularity of certain items can cause prices to go up. So can scarcity. Custom-orders can impact both prices and schedules. Weather can sometimes cause delays.  Changes you make to the design or the materials can cause slowdowns as well. Sometimes you'll get something in your home (such as tile for a backsplash) that looked great in the showroom but just doesn't look right in your house. You're not going to want to settle for that (see below), but it can affect both the price and the schedule. You may have to be a little flexible. The same goes for your builder. While you don't want a project to go on for months beyond your projected completion date, it's generally worth it if things take a few days longer—in order to get them the way you want them.

One thing that makes setting realistic expectations difficult is that our emotions often get involved. That’s not a bad thing! As builders/remodelers, we want you to be excited about your home. Knowing what to expect and how to handle the process can make things a lot less stressful for you.

Don’t “Settle.” A Budget is a Tool, Not a Goal

The biggest mistake I made in the past was "settling" for something

Quite often, the reason homeowners “settle” for less than they want is because of the cost. Naturally, you want to be smart about how you spend your money. Setting a realistic budget is important. But keep in mind that your budget is a tool—it’s not your main goal. There are times when it’s worth spending a little bit more to get what you really want.

At Gerber Homes, we’ve been building and remodeling homes in the Greater Rochester area for almost 40 years. In all that time, I don’t recall a single incident in which a homeowner said, “I wish I hadn’t spent so much.”  On the other hand, we’ve heard plenty folks comment they wished they had spent “just a little more” to get what they really wanted. Chances are very good that you’ll live with your remodeling project for many years. Make sure you get what you really want. 


Topics: Cost vs Value Report 2019, Remodeling Costs Rochester NY, Remodeling Contractor NY

Cost Versus Value for Your Rochester Remodeling Project

Posted by John Graziose on Sun, Feb 17, 2019 @ 20:02 PM

Cost Versus Value for Your Rochester Remodeling ProjectIf you’ve decided it’s time to remodel your Rochester-area home there are a couple of major questions you’ll want to answer before you get too far into the process. The first question is so obvious that a lot of homeowners actually overlook it. What exactly do you want to accomplish with your remodeling project? Here’s a post that digs into that topic a bit.  The second big question you’ll face is what the project is going to cost you (and what kind of value will it bring)? Let’s take a closer look at cost versus value for your Rochester remodeling project.

Cost and Value Vary With the Project

Naturally, your specific costs will vary depending on the size and scope of your project. Let’s take a look at some of the more popular remodeling projects homeowners take on to improve their homes. The figures we’ll mention were compiled for the Remodeling 2019 Cost vs. Value Report ( for the Rochester, NY area.

Download the 2019 Cost Vs Value Report

A Midrange Minor Kitchen Remodel

Let’s assume you want to remodel your kitchen and you’re not looking to make huge changes. You’re really after a minor upgrade to make the kitchen brighter, more welcoming, and more enjoyable to use. In such a case the report assumes you have a functional but dated 200-square-foot kitchen with 30 linear feet of cabinetry and countertops. You’ll leave the cabinet boxes in place but replace fronts with new shaker-style wood panels and drawer fronts, and new hardware. This project calls for replacing your existing cooktop or oven range and slide-in refrigerator with new energy-efficient models. You’ll replace your laminate countertops and install a mid-priced sink and faucet. To that, you’ll add new resilient flooring. Then you’ll finish by painting the walls, trim, and ceiling.  On average, this type of project will cost $22,352 in the Rochester area. And if/when you sell your home you’ll recoup 67.6% of what you spent.

A Midrange Major Kitchen Remodel

Maybe you want to do a little more to your kitchen when you remodel and you’re looking at a major kitchen remodel. You’re not looking for luxury, so it’s still a midrange project—but there’s more involved. Once again, the report assumes you have a functional but outmoded 200-square-foot kitchen. But instead of resurfacing the cabinets, you want to install 30 linear feet of semi-custom wood cabinets, including 3x5-foot Kitchen Island. You’ll install new laminate countertops and standard double-tub stainless- steel sink with standard single-lever faucet. The project will include an energy- efficient range with vented range hood, a built-in microwave, a dishwasher, garbage disposal, and custom lighting. You’ll also install new resilient flooring. Then you'll paint all the walls, trim, and ceiling. The average cost for this type of project around Rochester is $65,521. You’ll end up recouping 52.5% of your investment.

An Upscale Major Kitchen Remodel

Sometimes, what you really want to accomplish in your kitchen requires a major remodeling of the kitchen and the addition of upscale materials. In this kind of situation, the report assumes you’re starting with an outmoded 200-square-foot kitchen. This time, however, you’d replace the cabinets with 30 linear feet of top-of-the-line custom white cabinets that include built-in sliding shelves and other interior accessories. Instead of laminate countertops, you might opt for stone countertops with an imported ceramic- or glass-tile backsplash. Instead of a slide-in refrigerator, you’d select a built-in refrigerator. For cooking, you’d opt for a commercial-grade cooktop and vent hood, a wall oven, and a built-in microwave unit. You’d also install a high-end under-mount sink with designer faucets and a water filtration system. The plan calls for adding new general and task lighting, including low-voltage under-cabinet lights. For flooring, you'd install tile or similar flooring that looks like wood. This kind of project averages  $130,513 in the Rochester area. Your return on this investment would average 51.0%.

What About Putting On an Addition?

There may be times when you simply can't make the improvements you want within the parameters of your existing space. If that's the case, you’re looking at an addition to your home. Master Bathrooms are one of the more popular additions we do in Rochester. Let’s look at a couple of different approaches.

A Midrange Bathroom Addition

For a midrange bathroom addition, the Remodeling 2019 Cost vs. Value Report assumes you’ll add a 6x8-foot bathroom over crawlspace with poured concrete walls. It also assumes installing a cultured-stone vanity top with molded sink and standard chrome faucets. For this project, the report uses a 30x60-inch white fiberglass tub/shower with ceramic tile surround, and a single-lever temperature and pressure-balanced faucet. The commode would be a white low-profile toilet. The project includes general and spot lighting, electrical wiring to code, a mirrored medicine cabinet, plus a linen storage closet or cabinet. It also includes the installation of a ceramic tile floor, as well as painting of all trim. The average cost for this project is $47,397 and it generates a 46.6% return on investment.

An Upscale Bathroom Addition

More luxurious, comfortable spa-like Master Bathrooms are also very popular. For this kind of project, the report assumes adding a new 100-square-foot master bath to an existing master bedroom over a crawlspace. This will include a 42x42-inch neo-angle shower with ceramic tile walls. That comes with an accent strip, recessed shower caddy, body-spray fixtures, and a frameless glass enclosure. It also assumes installing a freestanding soaker tub with high-end faucets, a stone countertop with two sinks, and two mirrored medicine cabinets with lighting. For this project, you'd also include a compartmentalized commode area with one-piece toilet and a humidistat-controlled exhaust fan. Flooring consists of larger matching ceramic tiles—laid on diagonal with ceramic tile base molding. A nice addition is electric in-floor heating. General and spot lighting and a waterproof shower fixture are also included. Your bathroom cabinetry would have a custom drawer base and wall cabinets. The plan assumes extending HVAC to the new room.  The average cost for this type of project in Rochester is $87,740 and it should provide a 45.7% return on investment.

Your Exact Costs Will Vary

The figures provided here make a certain number of assumptions. Your exact costs will depend on the size (square footage) of the project, the complexity of what you want to do, and on the specific materials you choose for finishes. Still, these figures provide a starting point for thinking through your budget. And speaking of budgets: Here’s a post that offers help for setting a realistic budget for your Rochester home—whether you’re building or remodeling.

There Is More To Cost and Value Than Just Financial ROI

Even though it’s helpful to look at average costs and projected return on investment for potential remodeling projects, it’s important to keep in mind that there is more to evaluating the value of your remodeling project that just the financial returns. The real reason to remodel has more to do with creating a home you love—one that adds comfort and convenience—and one that allows you to enjoy your particular lifestyle. Here’s a look at some of those “added values” that may be hard to measure in terms of dollars and cents.

© 2019 Hanley Wood Media Inc. Complete data from the Remodeling 2019 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at


Topics: Home Remodeling Rochester NY, Cost vs Value Report 2019, Remodeling Costs Rochester NY

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