When referring to remodeling mistakes, I don’t mean having too much cabinet fill in a corner or not getting the lighting right.
The type of remodeling mistakes I want to discuss are the ones regarding how you set up the business side of it so that you get paid what you’re worth.
Here’s the story I want to share with you about mistakes in a kitchen remodel:
You get a discovery call that goes well. The client wants a new kitchen and to take a wall out to open up the space, so it involves some construction and potentially some furniture to polish it off. So, overall, a good job opportunity.
You then set up a time to meet with them, and since you want to show up as a professional and prepared, you invite your favorite contractor to join you. (Mistake #1) Everything goes well. The contractor explains all the details of what needs to happen and provides an informal quote for $100k to complete the work. The client agrees to it, and you go home happy.
But what you don’t realize here is that you’ve set up the contractor to organize the job so that he owns it, not you.
Because of the way the job was presented to the client, the contractor comes off as the expert who is going to do the heavy lifting, and you’re just his helper who’s going to design it. Not the place you want to be if you want to bring income into your business.
Next, you go back to your studio and write the Letter of Agreement. You’re excited about the job, but you’re also cautious. You don’t want to blow the client away, so you come up with $3,500 as your design fee. It seems like a fair amount because you think that’s what they will pay, and you won’t get any pushback.
That’s your next mistake.
It’s going to take more time than $3,500 will buy and think about it, you have to figure in all the construction support, especially if the contractor runs into any problems.
The contractor has access to the profit from the whole job, and your design fee is only based on what you think the client will pay. That’s not a good thing!
You have a friend who’s a designer at the local kitchen and bath shop, and they only charge $2-3k or less to do a job. You end up thinking this is where you should be, which isn’t actually true. Why? Because K & B shops are in the business of selling their profitable cabinet lines. You have a different model, which is selling interior design services.
You also discover as you get deeper into the design, which you already haven’t charged enough for, that what the client actually wants turns out to be $180k!
Not only is that quite different in the amount of work you’re required to do, but it’s also an unhappy surprise to the client. They didn’t realize they were spending that much until they got into it.
The truth is – none of this had to happen.
You can set the job up very differently from the beginning by making the decision to own the job. Instead of it being the contractor’s $100k job, it’s now your $100k job. You’re assigning them the labor portions, and you can take care of everything else if you want to.
Of course, you don’t have to, but there’s an enormous amount of profit there that doesn’t have to be given away.
Your design fee for this remodeling job could have been anywhere between $10-14k based on the $100k budget. For the $180k job, it could have been $18-$20k, which is enough pay for you to manage the job. It doesn’t skew the numbers or make it too expensive for the client. It all works out the way it’s supposed to.
Instead of leaping into the job not knowing what you’re getting into, you could get paid to figure out where the design is going and what it will cost.
You can come up with a budget and scope of work that your client can agree upon. Then, you can use that to base your design fee on and get paid very well.
Watch the video above where I explain why this isn’t hard to do. The secret to doing this is how you set it up from the beginning.
I am really excited about my new FREE webinar training. You won’t want to miss it! It is called…
Own That Remodeling Job and Get Paid What You’re Worth
It’s filled with remodeling tips and strategies that you can apply to your next remodeling job.
If you haven’t done so already, be sure to register now.
Until next time, design something beautiful and get paid what you’re worth.