Understanding the True Cost of Your Home Project

Understanding the True Cost of Your Home Project

Our Instagram and HGTV-loving world has put dreaming of the perfect home renovation on the minds of many homeowners. The still climbing costs of real estate (and land!) and limited inventory in the Boston suburbs lend support to a booming market for home renovations, especially those that add value through updated expansive kitchens and baths and more square footage.

While made-for-marketing images (think professional lighting, staging and special lenses) of home renovations look stunning, the cost of what it takes to renovate a home (or simply a kitchen) is often more than a first-timer thinks.

And, more often than not, renovation sticker shock occurs when a homeowner has already gone too far in the planning process. Often thousands of dollars have been spent drawing and revising plans with an architect, only to discover building limitations on the property or design dreams are bigger than wallet.

How can homeowners get a clear sense of the cost of their home project as early as possible, thereby not wasting time and money planning for a renovation that exceeds budget?

Here are some ways homeowners can avoid sticker shock for renovation costs:

1.) Understand the true scope of the project. Is the goal more space, additional bedrooms or bathrooms, a new floorpan, an upgraded kitchen? Be very specific with needs vs. glamor. Most importantly, avoid thinking about the lipstick before considering the basics. While plumbing and insulation aren’t sexy, it’s better to invest in them before putting in a brand new kitchen, only to have to re-invest later when systems start to fail.

2.) Bring in an architect and builder simultaneously during early discussions. Drawings cost money and revisions get expensive. Don’t have an architect design a dream home without consulting a builder and defining costs. If both parties have a clear sense of goals and budget at the get-go, you can ensure there will be no surprises later on.

3.) If design and build costs exceed the current budget, consider a staged renovation vs. shopping for the cheapest quote. Skilled architects and builders can work together to create a master plan that can be executed over several years. Being super frugal doesn’t result in a proper renovation. Yes, there are ways you can save money and manage your budget, but in my experience, hiring the cheapest resource gets you what you pay for: cheap results.

Investing in a home renovation is a massive undertaking with many moving parts. Understanding the cadence of residential construction is a must for any homeowner. Contact me and I will give you the guidance you need on how to get started.


Blueprint Advisors helps homeowners hire the perfect skilled team from the start, guaranteeing a smoother building process and avoiding costly mistakes. Connect with us for a free consultation.

Planning a Renovation? Avoid These Common Mistakes

Planning a Renovation? Avoid These Common Mistakes

Limited inventory and skyrocketing real estate prices have helped fuel the market for home renovations. In towns just outside of the Boston city limits (Brookline, Newton, Needham, and more), one can drive merely a mile before coming across a home undergoing some sort of major upgrade.

While renovating an existing home can be an ideal way for a family to upgrade systems, home flow and function, and even add more living space, it can also open a massive can of worms if not researched and planned properly (and ahead of time). Here are some of the most common mistakes I’ve seen homeowners make in the renovation process:

Being Green. No, I don’t mean energy efficiency (though that *is* important, too). Most homeowners simply don’t understand the cadence of residential construction. They don’t know where to start and who to call at what point in the project, which leads to several steps forward, then backwards. And backwards again. Every step takes time and money. If you’re not clear where you’re headed, you’re wasting energy. Having a guide through the renovation process saves time, money, energy and most often: sanity.

Choosing the wrong type of contractor. Unless your friend or neighbor has the exact same home and same budget as you, taking referrals from a friend often leads homeowners to contractors who are simply not qualified or experienced for their particular job. Think about it: a luxury hi-rise condo in Boston is not the same as a Wellesley colonial. A custom build on the Cape isn’t the same as a new home in Weston. A renovation of a historical home is nowhere close to the same as a two family purchased as an investment property. Every contractor has a set of skills, but almost none of them are universally the same. Finding a contractor who fits your vision, needs, budget, home, and location is a very specific requirement and not one that should be determined without a significant amount of research.

Chasing the (Wrong) Number. Most homeowners have sticker shock when they realize the true cost of a quality home renovation. Unfortunately, many stick with their original number regardless, hoping to somehow find a contractor who is cheaper. This approach doesn’t work. Find a contractor who meets your project goals and can show a detailed, transparent pricing plan. If the budget is too high, scale back the goals or consider a staged renovation. Looking for a team who meets the budget but lacks project planning skills inevitably leads to a problem down the line.

Blueprint Advisors helps homeowners hire the perfect skilled team from the start, guaranteeing a smoother building process and avoiding costly mistakes. Connect with us for a free consultation.

My Next Act: Blueprint Advisors

My Next Act: Blueprint Advisors

I’ve spent my entire career in the residential construction business and I can confirm with resounding truth that, indeed, no two projects are the same.


Because no two homeowners, budgets, plots of land, towns (and all their regulations), architects or builders are the same. Every single home project, whether it’s a renovation or custom build, requires a personalized approach.

Time and time again – first in my years growing my families’ fourth-generation plumbing business, then in founding of an eco-friendly countertop business, and finally in my role at one of New England’s most respected luxury home builders – I witnessed so many homeowners struggling through the process of updating or building a home. And most of it was avoidable.

Blueprint Advisors aims to solve these issues. My in-depth knowledge of the complexities involved in building, renovating and managing luxury homes allows me to see a project’s big picture from the very beginning. I spend time getting to know each client. I focus on understanding their exact goals, needs, and intended outcome of a project. And from there, we work backward, establishing budgets, researching teams, managing bids and – finally – choosing a design and contractor team that meets every single objective.

A lot happens in between. My job is to prevent your project from stalling by making sure you’ve hired the most talented, reliable and ethical team available.

I want you to love your home, and I want the process of getting there to be as seamless and successful as it can be.

Connect and tell me what you’re looking to accomplish. I’d love to hear about it.