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Comparing Financial Costs for 3 Home Remodeling Options in Lansing, MI

February 24th, 2023 | 5 min read

By Michael Flory

Young couple DIYing their own home remodel

Are you planning a home remodeling project and wondering what’s the most cost-effective option? Deciding between doing it yourself, self-managing the work, or hiring a design-build company can be complicated. 

As expert home remodelers, Custom Built has 15+ years of experience helping homeowners navigate this decision. Our goal is to not only deliver beautifully remodeled spaces to the people of Mid-Michigan, but also to educate you on everything related to home remodeling as well.

We understand that our company and process may not be the right fit for every project. Regardless, it is our mission to provide clear and accurate information in this article about the costs associated with home remodeling so you will be happy with the choice you make.

In this article, you’ll get an explanation of the costs and the pros and cons associated with three popular remodeling options.

Option 1. Do it yourself (DIY) home remodel 

With a DIY home remodel, you have full control over the design and construction of your project. You may choose this option with the goal of keeping costs low by completing the work yourself instead of hiring outside contractors. 

You may also choose this option if you enjoy doing remodeling work and have the skills to design and build on your own.

Financial costs associated with a DIY home remodel 

There are several costs to consider while planning a DIY home remodel. 

These include:

  • Permits & inspections

  • Building materials (lumber, drywall, flooring, paint, etc.)

  • Specialized equipment (dumpsters, heavy machinery, etc.)

  • Power tools (drills, sanders, nail guns, skill saws, an air compressor, etc.)

It is important to carefully research and budget for these costs before beginning a DIY project, as unexpected expenses add up quickly and will significantly impact the overall cost of your project.

Pros of a DIY home remodel

The main benefit of DIY home remodeling is the amount of money you may save. 

The DIY approach can be the most affordable, because you will not have to pay for the labor costs associated with hiring a contractor or other professionals to oversee and complete the work.

Another benefit of DIY home remodeling is the ability to set your own timeline for your project. You will get to create your timeline and schedule your remodeling hours around your schedule and commitments. 

Cons of a DIY home remodel 

When remodeling your own home, it is important to consider mistakes and unforeseen issues that may arise. Expect to purchase additional materials to repair mistakes and handle unexpected issues. 

Unforeseen issues can quickly and significantly add to your costs and cause your original remodeling budget to exceed what you had planned. To avoid this, it is helpful to include such expenses in your budget, and carefully plan your project before beginning work.

DIY home remodeling is time and labor intensive. All the learning, designing, and building will be on your time. You will exchange your time for your money with this remodeling option.

Option 2. Self-managed home remodel

A self-managed home remodel involves hiring, scheduling, and managing subcontractors to perform work on your behalf. While not engaging in as much physical labor as you would with DIY, you will still be very actively involved in the progress of your remodel.

Financial costs associated with a self-managed home remodel 

Self-managing a home remodel is generally more affordable than hiring a design-build remodeler, but more expensive than doing the work yourself.

With a self-managed project, you’ll have the labor costs of subcontractors necessary to complete your construction project. You will be involved with researching potential contractors, negotiating prices, and managing the job schedules and subcontractors throughout the building process.

Depending on the scope of the project and the subcontractors you hire, you may be responsible for purchasing all or some of the building materials. It is important to carefully discuss and clarify these responsibilities with each subcontractor before hiring them.

In addition to subcontractors, you may also want to consider hiring a designer or architect to create the layout and plans for your remodel. While this will add costs to your self-managed project, these professionals will make sure your design is thorough and that your construction plans follow building codes.

Pros of a self-managed home remodel

By managing the project yourself, you can potentially save money by negotiating directly with subcontractors and suppliers and shopping around for the best prices on materials.

Another advantage to managing your own project is that you have control over the work you want to perform yourself vs what you want subcontractors to perform. This can help you manage the overall costs of your project.

If you feel comfortable performing some tasks, such as painting, you can do that. If you want to hire a professional electrician to install wiring throughout your remodel, you can do that as well.

Cons of a self-managed home remodel 

A significant time commitment is required for a self-managed home remodel. As the project manager, you will be responsible for coordinating and hiring subcontractors, ordering materials, and ensuring that the work is completed to building codes as well as to your satisfaction.

While you may not be performing all of the physical work required to complete your project, you will be contacting, hiring, scheduling, managing, and paying subcontractors.
While self-managing may appear easy initially you will be very involved in practice.

Be aware that as mistakes occur during a self-managed home remodel, you may not be able to fix them on your own. You may need to reschedule subcontractors to come back out to your home, requiring additional time and money.

Option 3. Design-build home remodel

A design-build remodeler provides design, construction, and project management services for home remodeling projects.

The design-build company is responsible for every aspect of the project, from planning and designing through construction. They handle every step of the process on your behalf.

Financial costs associated with a design-build home remodel

The design-build model is generally the most expensive option simply because you are paying someone else to take responsibility for all aspects of your project.

A design-build company will provide an accurate quote for your project because they are involved in both the design and construction phases. They have a detailed understanding of the materials and labor required to complete the work.

One of the major price factors in a design-build quote is their project management services. Because they are responsible for managing every aspect of your project, their costs will be higher. In addition to managing details, they solve problems as they arise and maintain good communication during both the design and construction phases.

An experienced design-build company takes steps to prevent unnecessary problems and solve those that do come up. This ability to handle issues for you is a factor that accounts for a higher price.

Pros of a design-build home remodel 

Working with a design-build company has unique advantages. One of the biggest is that experienced professionals are handling every aspect of your project, ensuring that you get the highest quality finished product.

Another benefit of the design-build option is that you will know upfront what your total cost is. Unless you make changes along the way, the price to complete the project will remain the same as your initial quote.

Cons of a design-build home remodel

A drawback of this option is that it is generally more expensive than the other two. While the design-build model offers convenience and a streamlined process, it will likely be the most expensive option for most projects.

Next steps for planning your home remodel in Lansing, MI

Choosing whether to do it yourself, self-manage, or hire a design-build company to remodel your home can be complicated if you don't know the costs, pros, and cons associated with each option. 

By understanding the financial costs associated with each of these remodeling options, you’ll have a better idea of which is the best choice for you. 

While we know that the design-build option isn’t for everyone, we want you to be able to achieve your dream home remodel. Whether you choose to DIY, self-manage, or hire a contractor for your remodeling project, we are here to advise you with valuable information.

If you would like to find out if Custom Built is the right home remodeler for you, book a consultation with our experts. We’d be happy to have the opportunity to discuss your project with you!

To learn more or plan for a home remodel, you might be interested in reading the following:

Image Source attributed to Freepik

Michael Flory

Michael brings over 2 decades of building and remodeling experience to his position as the Owner and Visionary of Custom Built. Michael’s passion to make an impact on the home building industry has led him to serve for over ten years at the local and state Home Builders Association, culminating as President of the HBA of Michigan in 2020.