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Remodel or Move

When folks are considering remodeling, the question that often arises is should we stay and remodel, or should we find what we want and move.

Lets assume your home is a 3 bed, 3 bath, 2,100 square foot home.  You would like to add another bedroom and bathroom because one of your bedrooms is small and is being used as an office.  The size of this addition would be about 200 – 250 square feet (bedroom, closet, bath).

Several factors to consider:

  • Costs of moving, inconveniences, neighbors.

Costs:

  • Listing and commission costs.  Showing your home.  Moving costs.  Fix up prior to selling.  Buying new furniture for new home.  Typically 6% of the home’s price.
  • Surprises – you know what you have now, but what are you getting?  Even a good inspection will miss something, we see often (see this post about shower).
  • Packing and moving costs: we called Chris Borchers who is the manager of Crosstown Movers (many of our clients have used and have great things to say), and he states that a 2,000 square foot home will cost about $1,560 plus materials estimated in the $400 range.  This includes packing up the contents, loading onto truck, and unloading at new home – but not unpacking (you get to do that…);
  • Larger house, more property taxes.
  • Larger house, more operating costs – insurance, gas, electrical, landscaping, etc…
  • Other fees – closing costs, change in address,
  • Fixing up existing home for resale, estimate $2,000 (can vary widely);
  • New furniture/appliances, blinds, etc.  for new home, estimate $2,000.
  • Neighbors, school district.  One level home.
  • Depending on situation, home equity may be eaten up in new purchase.
President, Bob Mundy
Inside Strite

For most of us, it goes without saying that the more experience we have with doing something, the better we get at doing it. While this may be true for individuals, however, it isn’t necessarily the case with organizations — especially in an industry where every job is a “custom build.”  Where the rubber meets the road is in how an organization builds “repeatability” into its processes — and how it in turn inculcates those processes (think “standard operating procedures,” if you will) in its staff and associates.

For STRITE, this “repeatability” resides in large part in our project database — a rich data history of how we approached a project, the costs associated with that approach, the challenges that arose, and most important, how we managed those challenges.  The benefit of capturing the experience that comes with having done nearly 400 kitchen remodels, for example, is the ability to predict problems before they arise in our next kitchen remodel, and to offer options that add value and/or reduce costs (knowing that a truss can be successfully used in place of a beam, for example, can save a thousand dollars alone).  Although our clients sometimes perceive this ability as some form of “x-ray vision” on our part, the apparent magic of seeing beyond what is in front of you comes from the hindsight of having seen something similar before — many, many times before — from the perspectives of both design and production.

Beyond the ability of our systems to replicate success, however, there is a more fundamental level of experience that our staff brings to every project. STRITE’s president, Bob Mundy, has spent 50 years in the construction business in both residential and commercial markets, while our founder, Jim Strite (now retired), travels the country helping other remodeling businesses improve their practices by sharing the knowledge we’ve gained over nearly four decades.  After all, experience counts for little if it can’t be shared.

 

Award

When you consider the number of businesses that participate, in some form or fashion, in the remodeling industry (well over half a million nationwide), it might come as some surprise that a company headquartered in Boise, Idaho could be among the top 500.  Once again, however, two leading trade magazines, Qualified Remodeler and Remodeling, have included STRITE in their respective lists of the top companies in the remodeling market for 2013.

In the case of Qualified Remodeler, whose Top 500 list encompasses all remodelers, irrespective of category, STRITE was ranked number 437 — the only Idaho-based, full-service remodeling company to earn this distinction.  STRITE moved up nearly 40 slots from last year’s ranking, propelled by revenue of approximately $1.6 million, earned from 51 remodeling jobs in 2012.

Remodeling magazine’s list of the top 550 remodelers drills down into categories that include the niche that STRITE occupies: full-service remodelers.  According to the magazine, “These companies offer the range of services, in-house or subcontracted, that allow them to build the additions and alterations (think kitchen and bath renovations, master suites) that substantially change the look, feel, or square footage of a home. Many specialize in a particular type of renovation—kitchens and baths, for instance, or historical restoration—but big custom projects, either designed by the company or built off an architect’s plans, are what their business is about.”

That has certainly been what our business has been about for nearly 40 years now, and based on Remodeling’s ranking, STRITE is currently the 194th largest full-service remodeling company in that business.  Both Qualified Remodeler and Remodeling have estimated STRITE’s 2013 revenue to reach $2 million — a year-to-year increase of around 20 percent.  Interestingly, we should note that according to Remodeling, “America’s biggest remodelers expect to see a 19.9% increase in revenue from 2012” — which pretty much puts our performance on par with the national average.

Remodeling magazine’s article on the top 550 remodeling companies goes on to make another observation about the remodeling market that echoes our own experience here in the Treasure Valley.  “When the recession put the housing market on hold a few years back, full-service remodelers were especially vulnerable and many downsized, voluntarily or otherwise. Now, after a few years of uncertainty, many see business gaining, with more and larger projects in the pipeline. Many full-service remodelers on this list project modest revenue increases this year.”

STRITE’s president, Bob Mundy, made a similar observation in a recently issued press release announcing our Qualified Remodeler ranking: “One of the trends we’re seeing for our business is an increasing average cost per project.  We believe this reflects a deeper impulse by homeowners to invest in making their homes more desirable places to live for the longer term.  Remodeling has become much more of a lifestyle consideration — which also makes it a much more sustainable business environment for a company like ours, as well as a lagging but important indicator of gradual improvement in our local economy.”

Here’s to good times ahead — and a heartfelt thank you to the customers who have sustained us through good times…not so good times.  No matter the vagaries of our economy, we have strived to add value to the projects you’ve entrusted to us, and our success is less about bragging rights than it is a confirmation that we’ve redeemed that trust.