By Renée Biery

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Add-on’s, renovations, and new construction homes can seem intimidating to take on. How do you even get started? How do you find and manage contractors? What surprises should you anticipate coming up? How long do these things take?

In this podcast, you will learn all that and so much more!

How to Determine a Projects Value






Each project poses its own threat of issues and highs and lows, and it’s a puzzle that needs to be put together.

It is super important to evaluate your project on many different levels. And today, I want to talk about evaluating what the project will bring to you, your business, and your future pipeline of work. 

The first thing to do is switch your mindset from “This client wants to work with me” to “Do I want to work with this client?”

The parameters I want you to think about are, firstly, the size of the project.

Is this project slightly bigger? Or something I would call a stretch.

That may be exciting! We all want to grow in our businesses. 

What if it is a really big leap for you? Let’s say you’ve been doing kitchens and baths, and someone wants to hire you to do a new build. I’m not saying you turn it down, but you have to recognize that this is a leap. What does that mean to you and your business?

It could be the perfect time to take this leap! 

So that is the first step – look at the size.

Next, where is this project?

Location does matter. It can matter in different ways. When my children were little, I didn’t want projects that were a 45-minute to an hour drive each way. I put a heavy travel fee on all of my contracts that were outside of a 20-minute radius of my office. 

This allowed me to put that parameter in place.

Keep in mind if you’re new to doing construction work and you’ve been just doing decorating work, it is a very different load in your schedule. You’re going to have weekly meetings and site visit drop-ins. All of those have to be taken into consideration in your calendar when you say yes to a project that’s an hour away. 

It really is important to evaluate these specific details of a project and reconcile that back with your calendar. 

This next one may seem obvious, but I always want you to evaluate the budget of a project. 

If a client has a tight budget (even though they don’t always admit to it), that needs to be evaluated. 

Maybe you can get the job done within that budget. But maybe it is so tight that you’re worried you won’t meet that dollar limit, and that could cause a lot of issues for you and the client. 

Also, keep in mind when someone says they have a tight budget, you are constantly thinking about the time you’re spending, and you may even be spending more time specifying the selections to try and get the lowest price you can for the highest quality product you want to install. 

Maybe they have a flexible budget, and that is what I often hear. That is something you can evaluate. Can I do this project within this estimate? Have I done this project in the past in that estimate? Can I use the same team of guys and the same vendors that I normally do? This will save you time and likely be a more efficient project because you have relationships established. 

I’m always talking about best practices in vetting a client.

This involves listening for answers they’re trying not to tell you, body language, and how they’re interacting with a partner, spouse, etc.  Most of the time, these aren’t red flags, but they’re pink, and they need to be evaluated before moving forward with any client. Because there’s nothing worse than a job with nightmarish clients to manage. If you can avoid them, that should be your goal. 

Portfolio work

I hear people telling me they want to take on a project for their portfolio work. I get that. We all want that. We want to showcase a wide breadth of work that we’re capable of doing. But again, if you think that any of these other issues might come into play, there is a possibility that you won’t get to the portfolio stage. 

Evaluate the team you will be working with.

It’s possible you won’t know the exact players in the first or second phone call, but you’ll know if they have anyone in place. If they’ve hired the architect or been in contact with the builder. That level of detail is enough for you to make the evaluation. Or they may say they have no one. Do you have a team you can recommend?

If they say they have no one, then yes, of course, I have a team I can recommend. The thing is, that team already is referring me to clients, so that is not going to add or subtract to my pipeline because it’s already predictable. 

If they say they are working with an architect but don’t have a team, OK, so now I know I’m comfortable with the team because I’m going to refer mine and assume since they’re asking for recommendations, they’ll move forward with my team.

But now I’m being introduced to a new architect. I go online. I looked that architect up. Is that someone I’d want to work with in the future, or is it some one-off, or a brother or uncle, that they’re getting to do the work on the cheap? There’s a point of evaluation. 

There are so many different ways to evaluate a project. This is an opportunity to use best practices in choosing the projects that work for you right now!

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