The concept of value engineering may be new to you, but for any company that prides itself on customer service and stands behind its product, value engineering is a household word. It’s sewn into the fabric of the company. Value engineering is simply giving the customer the best value for his or her money every single time. It’s a conscious effort to be sure the customer is not only satisfied but has received the right product at a good price.
For example, in the custom building and remodeling market, you’ll find lots of great ideas out there. There are lots of bells and whistles. Builders will try to upgrade you on your kitchen remodeling project, your bathroom addition and your family room rework. That’s great, if it meets your lifestyle needs. If it doesn’t, you’re not getting the value they’re implying.
That jacuzzi tub looked awfully impressive when the designer showed it to you, right? How many times have you actually used it? If you’re more of a shower person than a bather, maybe an oversized stand-up shower with dual faucets is a better value for you.
Those industrial-sized appliances are the kind the chefs use on TV, but if you eat out half of the time, you’re not going to get any value from the investment. Go with the standard appliances and repurpose that extra cash into your master suite renovation with a new walk-in closet for the clothes you’ll wear when you go out to eat!
Value engineering is getting into your lifestyle and providing practical, workable solutions for you at the best possible price. It’s giving you more bang for your buck, and helping you to see the value in spending — or not spending — that money.
Three key tips to remember:
It all comes down to why you’re spending your hard-earned treasure — i.e. money — on a remodeling project. If you’re updating for resale and you don’t plan to live in your home for more than three more years, it doesn’t make sense to spend on higher-end products when you won’t even be the one enjoying them. On the other hand, if you’re updating because you want to stay in the home for 20 more years and age in place, then by all means, get as much as you can afford in upgrades. Choose the ones that you will enjoy the most.
If you’re putting an addition on your home and your current heating and air conditioning system is 18 years old, your builder will probably recommend an entire new system that will serve the whole house – old and new, rather than just putting in a new unit to handle the addition. However, if you are planning to stay in your home, the builder’s recommendation is likely the most practical, because most home HVAC systems are replaced and/or upgraded after 20 years. Doing it now will save you the headache of doing it in two years if it begins to fail. Wrapping it into the cost of your addition is more valuable to you, because you can plan for it, you won’t be in a possible emergency situation and have to choose a system under pressure, and you will likely experience savings and efficiencies with a new system for the entire home. That’s a value. It may cost you more now, but in the long run, it’s the better way to go.
Your builder should be willing to answer any questions you have about the value of the products or services he’s suggesting. If you feel like he is just trying to “make a buck” by telling you to replace all of your 1960s insulation during your renovation in 2018, ask him about the advantages. Ask what energy efficiencies there might be and what savings there will be due to his team already being on your job site. In some cases, more is actually better. You won’t know until you ask. Of course, your builder should also be asking YOU questions to learn why you are remodeling in the first place. The more he knows about your intentions and your expectations, the more accurate his recommendations will be for you, and the more bang you’ll get for your buck.
Now, that’s Value Engineering!