Overcoming the Fear of Remodeling Unknowns

Custom Kitchen Remodels by Rufty Homes

Imagine this…

You’ve been dreaming of remodeling your kitchen for some time now, and after doing your due diligence, you’ve picked a contractor, settled on a budget and timeline, and the construction process begins. 

On the first day, your cabinets are removed and a wall is taken down so you can have the open-concept space you’ve been wanting for years. Unfortunately, severe mold damage is discovered and now you’ll not only have to pay for the remediation, but your new kitchen won’t be completed for several weeks after the initial estimated timeline. 

How could this happen? Well, in the world of home remodeling, it’s a story we’ve heard more than a few times. 

The fear of the unknown is what makes homeowners – and contractors – nervous about starting a project with limited information. Every home has walls, but what lies beyond those walls is a mystery. Even detailed home inspections can only show so much. Unfortunately, there are issues you might never discover without opening a wall.

Over the past three decades, Rufty Homes has developed processes to help predict and manage these unknowns, helping to give homeowners peace of mind before diving into a remodel. 

How do these unknowns impact a remodel?

Fear of the unknown is common in just about any aspect of life, but when it comes to a home remodel, unexpected issues can lead to headaches for everyone involved. 


It should come as no surprise that finding something like the mold damage listed above will impact your overall remodeling budget. You’ll need to cover the costs for remediation and additional subcontractors may be needed to complete the job. 


Remodeling timelines can be impacted even based on the slightest adjustment, so the discovery of an unknown issue may push your project completion back by weeks or more. Beyond just the extra time needed to correct the issue, you may need to order new products or delay progress if the weather becomes an issue. Unfortunately, the discovery of one unknown can often lead to more. 


All home remodels can be emotional; after all, what’s more personal to you than your home? Discovering unexpected water damage or a termite issue can leave you feeling frustrated, stressed, and defeated. Working with the right contractor can make all the difference in how unexpected issues – and your emotions – are handled.

How does Rufty Homes prevent and manage remodeling unknowns?

We know that no amount of preparation can prevent every unexpected remodeling problem, but here at Rufty Homes, we do everything we can to predict issues, plan for them, and manage them if they arise. How do we do this?

We use a Professional Service Agreement (PSA)

We try to give estimates that are as accurate as possible, so our clients are not surprised by unexpected costs. But, in order to accurately estimate how much a remodel will cost, we try to think through every possible issue. We’ve found that entering into a PSA with our clients gives us the best opportunity for accuracy. 

We use this time to go beyond just giving a “ballpark figure” by bringing in subcontractors to evaluate, crawling into attics and crawl spaces, and more. We’ve found that going this extra step allows us to have more insight into the full picture of a project and our estimates end up being very close to reality as a result. 

Of course, it takes time and effort to do such a thorough evaluation process, so our clients pay a small deposit for the PSA, which we then apply toward the amount of the final project. This mutual commitment helps both parties feel like their time is being used in the best interest of the project.

While other builders may focus on quoting a number that is most likely to sell, we instead offer transparent and honest quotes to our clients, even if it means they ultimately decide to go with another contractor. It’s just part of the Rufty Difference

Transparency and communication

We’ve noticed that sometimes, clients fear naming a specific desired budget for their project because they’re worried that a contractor will hit that number, even if the project actually comes in lower. 

We understand the thought process behind that, but working with Rufty Homes is a different experience. We believe in complete transparency, even if what we have to say isn’t a fun conversation to have with our clients. 

For example, during one recent kitchen remodel, we removed the cabinets and trim only to discover that when the house was originally built, the trim carpenter drove a nail through a water pipe when hanging the cabinet. For 12 years, the nail had been plugging the hole with no issues, but we knew we couldn’t leave it as it was. 

This is a perfect example of an unknown issue that no one – not even a home inspector – could have anticipated. Instead of covering up the problem, we had an honest conversation with the homeowners about why it needed to be fixed, how we planned to accomplish it, and the impact it would have on budget and timeline. 

We hold ourselves to the highest standard and we’ll never recommend anything just for the sake of making more money. At the same time, everything we do will adhere to building codes and we’ll never move forward on a project if we feel it would put our employees, subcontractors, or the homeowners in any kind of danger. 

Sometimes, that means homeowners will choose another contractor over us, but we’re ok with that because safety is always our highest priority.  

Why choose Rufty Homes to help you manage your fears of the unknown?

Homeowners might initially come to inquire about our services because they like our portfolio, but they soon discover that what we do is much more than just surface level. We work behind the scenes to make the whole process go smoothly, developing meaningful relationships with both homeowners and subcontractors, and working to anticipate problems before they arise. 

Of course, even with the greatest amount of preparation, odds are that we’ll still encounter a surprise or two every now and then. If that does happen, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that we’ll communicate with you honestly and have your best interests in mind at every turn. 

Ready to build something special? Contact us today. 

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© 2024 Rufty Homes Inc. All rights reserved