Benchmark is now Riverbirch Remodeling
4441 Six Forks Road, Ste 106-393, Raleigh, NC 27609
NC GC License# 82954

Why Do The Estimates For My Kitchen Remodel Vary So Widely?

Quite a few homeowners we meet with, tell us of confusion caused by widely varying estimates.

We’d like to take a moment and clear up some of that confusion and explain why our Design Budget Build process is the “Goldilocks” of the remodeling process.


Estimating A Remodel

The first thing you have to know about estimating remodeling costs is this: the answer to the question what does it cost? Is obtained by answering many other related questions. This takes a lot of time. Valuable time that a professional contractor can not give away free. So, regardless of the business model, the estimating process must be funded somehow.

Our extensive experience in the industry has taught us that there are only a few remodeling methods; two primary ones are the free estimate model and the design build model.

The Free Estimate Method & Why Be Aware

On the free estimate side, you have low ball type contractors and premium service SWAG type contractors. The low baller comes in at a low price. He is likable and seems experienced, but look out! That price will not stay low. And/or, the timeline will never line up with preliminary claims. Jobs may drag out months or years too long.

On the other end of the free estimate spectrum, you have the premium guys. They do perform great, they have a great reputation, and they have become quite adept at SWAG! Scientific wild a—guess. Yes, this is a real thing in the contract world. Many successful contractors are just good at guessing. And they provide good service and quality. The problem is that to be successful, a swag artist must always be high.

The math is simple for a skilled SWAG artist. Talk to enough homeowners, SWAG it high, and some will buy.

Our Design Build Method & Why It Works

On the design build side of the equation, you can find good service and quality at high, but reasonable for the service, rates. Design build is always the right way to go in remodeling. This way the contractor has the entire job in mind when writing the scope. The engineering can always be done at the permit stage or beyond, so an architect is not normally required for a remodeling project. If you have a design build contractor that you like and is affordable, you are on your way to a successful project.

Design Budget Build is our own invention. It uses a design first approach that is less costly and faster than a typical design build contractor. This is because we use the concept phase for costing and perfect the plans once we have a build contract.

As we work through the procurement and job setup phase, our team is involved with finish details, verifying your design, and producing the plans for the build. This helps us to hit the ground running once your job starts! And it leads to successful projects that:

  • Start and finish faster
  • Stay on budget
  • Turn out exactly how you imaged your remodeled home to be!

We hope this clears up some of your questions about widely varying estimates.


Your Raleigh Area Kitchen Design & Remodeling Contractor

The fun for us with remodels is that just as every client is different, so is each and every project. Through our remodeling process, we offer useful design advice for fixtures & tiles, lighting, flooring, storage solutions, and more. We love a good challenge to design a room that our clients have dreamed of and make it a reality.

If you live in the greater Raleigh, Cary, and Apex areas of central North Carolina, call or text us at 919-205-9550 to schedule a consultation with our remodel design expert. We look forward to meeting you and your goals!

Schedule an appointment with our experienced remodeling designer to get your remodeling project started.