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Understanding Pricing for Home Improvements

Budgeting for Home Improvements

We all have budgets to abide by. No matter our income, we should have a budget & stick to that. It’s the same thing when we budget our cash flow for home improvements.

Anticipating Additional Costs

The first advice I would give is to allow for more than what the original proposal or contract is. Often costs arise that no one planned on. Here’s a simple example. You want a new patio or patio extension. The crew is in your backyard excavating, digging up the grass & maybe some dirt to get to proper heights. Suddenly, this round green plastic lid appears, right in the middle of where the new patio is to go, absolutely no one knew that it was there. It should be on the sprinkler schematic, but rarely does the homeowner have one of those. Under this green lid is a control valve, it’s very important to have access to that in case of an emergency with sprinklers, so now we have to move that valve. This valve is connected to your main waterline of the house, there’s also timing wires hooked to it, it’s not a real easy fix, my company can move them, that’s not a problem, the problem is, it’ll cost about $300 per valve to move it, sometimes there’s 2 or 3 valves in the same area, so you should have enough in an expenditure budget for this or many other things that can come up. They do all the time.

Importance of Quality Workmanship

We realize that everybody wants the best price possible, but not all contractors or so called contractors are the same. There are certain costs with materials, there’s nothing we can do about that, when we build a small retaining wall, or a stone planter, or even simple stone borders around your yard, all of this needs a reinforced concrete footing. We rebuild these all the time for new customers because somebody else put them in, gave them a super cheap price, and installed the planters on 1 inch of mortar and it lasted about six months. Not everyone does it right. Don’t assume they will. In North Texas, our soil moves, a lot, whatever is being built, must be built to last.

Considerations for Choosing a Contractor

When having a patio installed, the concrete must be 3000 psi strength, less than that and eventually the surface will begin to scallop, the top wears off. The concrete must be 4” thick minimum, you must have rebar in the concrete, running both ways, 18” apart. Anything less than all this and you’ll have an inferior product.

Doing Your Research

A reputable outdoor home improvement company has overhead costs, just like any other service company. It’s not cheap to run a company. There are many good, reputable companies to serve you, none of them will be very cheap, but they’ll get the job done right, that’s us at McFall Masonry & Construction. You can go cheaper, hire the 1 man outfit with a pick up truck, a few tools & a wheelbarrow, you might even get lucky and have a nice looking job that lasts a long time, but probably not. If you end up on that losing end, it may cost you far more than what your budget was to allow.

Do your homework before spending those hard earned dollars. Reviews are a big thing these days, we currently have 130, these are real reviews, they’ve taken years to acquire from work performed by us. Of course, you could hire that guy that’s been out there for a year and has 2 reviews. Experience matters & hiring someone who’s dirt cheap really matters.

Check us out, we’ll give the best price possible, but we won’t skimp on materials, we will build it right, we will build it using experienced tradesman that know what they are doing.