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Kevin Ahern

By: Kevin Ahern on January 10th, 2024

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Cost vs. Quality: Understanding cost and quality when selecting materials and finishes for renovations in Connecticut

Residential | Residential Remodeling

Finishes can make up as much as 20% of the cost of a home remodel. Saving money on finishes is tempting, but is it worth it? 

It can be, but saving money on a home remodel should always be done strategically. Cutting corners on the wrong things can lead to problems down the road. Remember that quality and durability are often linked. Investing in quality finishes can make your remodel an investment that pays off for years to come. Buying lower-tier finishes to save money can prompt you to remodel faster than you might otherwise, which could ultimately cost you more money than if you had invested in quality materials from the start. 

Hiring the right contractor for the job and selecting lasting materials and finishes for renovations can make your project a success. If you're a homeowner trying to plan an upcoming remodel, this is what you should know about selecting materials and finishes for renovations. 

How to Tell Quality Materials

Finding quality materials can be challenging if you're not used to shopping for finishes. Here's how to tell when a finish, fixture or material is high quality:

  • Reputable brand. Some brands have a reputation to uphold. They don't compromise quality to save money. Even their basic models are made to last. 
  • Structure and design. Sometimes you can tell when a material is high quality simply by comparing its structure and design to a lower quality material. Higher quality finishes might have thicker, sturdier parts, no loose components and even better packaging. 
  • Appearance. When a product manufacturer goes to the trouble of creating a product that people want to buy, they invest in every aspect of that material, including its appearance. Better products often have a sleeker appearance and more attractive design. High quality finishes are often on the cutting edge of home improvement trends, with lower quality materials following behind. 

Your contractor will help you identify high quality products for your renovation. General contractors have connections to material suppliers that only stock the best quality products for construction and remodeling professionals. Standard home improvement stores often carry lower tier fixtures of varying quality. Your contractor can point you in the direction of a store that sells products of the caliber that you want to buy. Most important, your contractor can help you identify good quality materials that fall within your budget.

Why Buy Quality Materials?

There's more than one reason to buy quality materials for your home remodel. Here's what to consider:

  • Better functionality. Quality materials are designed to work properly. Manufacturers create innovative designs to solve common problems that homeowners experience when using the material or fixture in mind. High quality can mean easier to clean, easier to turn on or off, better water resistance and more.  
  • Longer lasting. Some materials are just made to last. High quality fixtures are designed to take wear and tear in stride and last for years longer than lower tier products.
  • More attractive. In addition to working better and lasting longer, high quality finishes maintain their beauty over the years. They may need maintenance just like any other fixture, but that maintenance pays off.
  • Support good home value. Low quality materials and fixtures can devalue your home over time. Investing in higher quality products can help maintain your home's value. Should you decide to sell, home buyers will be paying attention to details like the quality and functionality of the fixtures in your home. 

When to Buy Quality Materials

It's important to buy quality materials when you're investing in a major remodel. Kitchen remodels, bathroom remodels - these projects are high value, costly home improvements that are worth doing right.

Look at it this way: most people only remodel their kitchen about every 25 years. If you're going to conduct a home improvement project that won't happen again for a quarter century, you want it to last.

When to Save Money

Some home remodels are made to be temporary. A good example of this is a child's nursery or play room. These rooms are only around as long as the child needs the room, and then they're changed into something else. Investing in high quality finishes for this type of space just doesn't make a lot of sense.

You'll soon be replacing the room with something else, and your child will be hard on the space in the time it's being used. Carpeting will become stained, hard surfaces will become scratched, and hand prints and crayon marks may eventually cover the walls. For these remodels, lower quality flooring and other finishes are a sensible purchase.

Invest In a Reputable Contractor

One thing is for certain, you should never cut corners on the contractor that you're hiring. A reputable contractor will help you conduct a home improvement project that meets building standards for safe and functional construction. 

Hiring a Connecticut contractor can be a daunting process. There are lots of choices, and not all contractors are created equal. Vetting contractors, checking references and meeting with potential contractors in person are all methods for finding the right contractor for your needs. Want help finding the right professional for your project? Take a look at the Litchfield Builders guide to selecting a home remodeling contractor for help on selecting a Connecticut contractor.

How to Choose a Professional Home Remodeling Contractor

About Kevin Ahern

Kevin is the Co-Founder of Litchfield Builders, an award-winning, industry leader with a reputation for managing projects others shy away from. They are known for their high-quality work, customer service, and reliability and though still relatively small in size, Litchfield Builders now competes with some of the areas largest firms in both the residential and commercial arenas.