College Station, Texas, July 25, 2017, Unnamed sources have claimed that Stearns Design Build is expensive. In business in the Brazos Valley for almost twenty-five years, this company has the reputation of being the best remodeling company in the area but expensive. When asked about these allegations, owner, Hugh Stearns said, “it is just not true.” When pressed he said, “Well, it is half true. We do great work. But one must take a pretty simplistic view to think that we are expensive. In fact, we save our clients a lot of money.”
We needed to solve this riddle of how a consumer could save money by increasing what they spend on remodeling. We found that a family continues to pay for a remodeling project long after it is finished, even if they do not take out financing. This comes in the form of utility bills, maintenance and repairs. Those considering remodeling, may want to look deeper into the equation for value in remodeling.
We dug, looking at the equation for value in home buying. The consistent benchmark for value in home buying is cost per square foot. This is a very easy ratio to understand. It answers the question, “how much is a buyer going to pay per square foot to buy a home?” Experts say this is a near perfect equation for low value. They point out that the best way to decrease the cost per square foot is to decrease quality. It should be noted that in Texas, this equation is further aggravated by lax warranty regulations that allow for very low-quality products to be used in building a home.
On the street, it is understood that “builder grade” means low-price and low-quality. This is not unlike planned obsolescence in the auto industry.
For remodelers, this built-in obsolescence is a bonus. It is not uncommon for remodeling companies to be called out to homes that are less than ten years old to provide repairs and upgrades.
Stearns indicates that by encouraging clients to spend a little more upfront, they can save them money for a long time to come. For example, on most projects Stearns Design Build provides an energy audit. This allows them to pin point possible issues in the areas they work and other areas where simple repairs can lower utility bills with a quick return on investment.
In addition to saving money, many clients also want to improve comfort. An efficient AC reduces monthly utility bills and improves comfort. The same is true of quality windows, doors, lighting, appliances and hundreds of other items in a house where quality may have been compromised to keep the upfront cost down at the expense of utility bills and replacement costs.
We set out to prove the rumors that Stearns Design Build is expensive but in the end this proved to be fake news. Stearns Design Build saves their clients thousands of dollars.