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Does Thinking Small Save Big?

By: Allison Millar, Contributing Writer
In: Product review
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You’re comparing remodeling bids and notice that the big remodeling firm costs a lot more. Is it because they have more overhead or charge higher hourly fees? Can you save money by going with a small remodeling firm?

Unfortunately, there are no hard and fast rules. While some large remodeling firms do have more overhead (salaries, insurance, vehicles), you also may be paying for a greater level of supervision. Think about how much expertise you need.

Comparing Remodeling Cost Estimates

When debating between small and large remodeling firms, consider some general guidelines. Here’s a look at common remodeling costs and bathroom remodeling price ranges to get you started.

Yes, small firms often can charge less because they don’t have all the overhead. You might pay $40 to $60 per hour for a carpenter versus $60 to $85. Think about the scope of your job and what you need.

If you have a complicated project that requires more advanced carpentry skills, plus someone to help you get zoning approval, you might need a bigger firm. Ask each company about their experience.

Understanding Those Remodeling Bids

As you review remodeling bids, break down what each bid includes. Look at:

  • Labor costs
  • Workers experience level
  • Licensing
  • Insurance

Some small remodeling companies carry limited insurance or none at all, which can be a big liability for you if something goes wrong.

Here’s a look at other common remodeling costs. Whether you use a small or large contracting firm, you have many of the same costs. Items such as permits, architectural drawings (for larger projects or structural changes) and construction materials vary by the size and scope of the job–not the size of the contractor.

In the final analysis…it all depends. Small or large remodeling company? You still have to do your homework.

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  1. One Response to “Does Thinking Small Save Big?”

  2. jamie
    Jan 19, 2011

    I’d hire a small company, or even a single handy man, for small projects, but if I was going to complete a full house remodel, then its nice to have the benefits of a big company…all workers/companies should have insurance.

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