Trust and proven expertise should be the most important factors when choosing professionals to work in your home– and if you are facing a major remodel project finding the right general contractor can make all the difference.
Taking on a “Fixer Upper”
When my husband and I purchased a house on an acreage, about 50 minutes from Boise, Idaho, we knew there was a reason we got a great price: It needed to be fully renovated before we could call it home.
At the time we were living in Taiwan and preparing to move back to the US the next year. I immediately started doing my homework to figure out how much this was going to cost– and hoping I would manage to find the right people to do everything that needed to be done. One of my first moves was to price out kitchen cabinets and countertops at Ikea. (That’s a chain store you can find all over the world!) I was in the process of trying to get prices on installation when I decided to send Trudy Mallon, with Mallon Homes, a message asking about the average price of a kitchen installation in the Boise real estate market. Her estimate for the entire project was similar to what I had calculated materials alone would cost. We scheduled a meeting to go over the house to discuss our needs and wants during our next trip to the US.
Expertise Makes a Difference
We jumped at the chance to have Tim and Trudy Mallon take a look at our home for two reasons: 1) We’d met them through church years ago and know they are passionate about their work. 2) We’d enjoyed touring their homes during the annual “Parade of Homes” in the Boise area. What we didn’t realize is how quickly an expert could tell us what needed to happen– and what it would cost.
The house came with a 1,200 square foot attached garage– with a wooden floor. Because of the construction method used we weren’t convinced cars could safely drive into the garage. In his first walk through the house, Tim was able to tell us how that space could be turned into a master suite, laundry room, office, and oversized two-car garage with a cement floor.
We immediately saw the value in having a plan to make the house fit our needs (and wants), add value by improving the layout, and avoid having to build a separate garage.
Making Smart Customization Choices
When it was time to pick out interior finishing materials for our home, we took advantage of our builders’ expertise while selecting options that appealed to us. We started by looking at the standard finishes used by the builder and then picked a few special items we wanted to upgrade– and found other areas where we could select a less expensive option so we could stay on budget.
Shopping in December allowed us to get a deal on some materials– like travertine tiles for our master bathroom. We chose a granite our builder was able to get at a steep discount. We also cut costs with some of our lighting choices and splurged on decorative tile for backsplashes.
In the end we spent the same amount we expected originally (when we had intended to do some of the work ourselves) but got a home with nicer finishes than we originally expected.
Do you live in the Boise area or plan to move here soon? If so, be sure to check out the Boise Parade of Homes. And no matter where you live, please comment below let me know where you find your inspiration!