Get the ‘bang,’ be wise with the bucks

“Bang for your buck” is a cliché, but “value engineering” is serious business when it comes to custom home improvements.

A new kitchen, a new bathroom, a major re-think of central living areas or even a minor “freshen up” of cabinets or flooring should never be a sole matter of “What does it cost?” The right way to approach any project is: “What will achieve maximum value?”

And three keys of value engineering are products, professionals and process.

Products: No matter how big or small the budget, going out and buying the most expensive or least expensive appliances, materials and fixtures is the worst way to achieve value. There are so many products available that it really takes an expert to know where the best values are in terms of features, benefits, pricing and sourcing. Major name brands and exotic building materials may not deliver the best value for your particular value proposition or goals.

Professionals: What surprises many people is that the very best skilled laborers and artisans in flooring, painting, installations, wall coverings, woodworking, and so forth, don’t advertise in public; they are professionals who greatly prefer working with other professionals. While it may be possible to hire one of these laborers individually, their time and skills are valuable. Their rates are nearly always lower when they are working for a professional, reputable home improvement company that provides an extra layer of job protection and management, allowing them to focus on their craft.

Process: Working with someone who understands the micro-world of a specific customer’s wants, needs, budget, goals and style preferences; possesses professional knowledge of the macro-marketplace; has years of experience properly orchestrating project elements in the correct order of completion; and who consistently and thoroughly communicates with the customer, results in three critical benefits:

It enhances final value, limits costs and minimizes waste.

Now that is serious bang for the buck.