Can you? Yes. Should you? No. Unless you work in the construction industry and are familiar with contracts and coordination, the perceived savings of going it alone tend to evaporate quickly. While an optimistic "do-it-yourself" attitude is admirable, be mindful that these professions exist out of necessity. Take a quick test and see if you can answer 'yes' to the following questions:
1. Do I have 10-20 hours a week to dedicate to meeting with sub-contractors on site?
2. Am I tenacious enough to communicate effectively with professionals when we disagree?
3. Can I make decisions quickly and confidently?
4. Am I a good planner who remains organized from the beginning to the end of a project?
If you scored a 100, welcome to the world of construction management!
If not, a contractor could help you to save money, even though you are paying him/her 15%-20% on top of construction costs, and also consider that the contractor is saving you an immense, lengthy headache. Financially it’s generally a wash, and mentally, you are saving your sanity, which certainly has value as well!
Clients often ask me: "Can I purchase all the materials to help save on overall costs?" The answer is also yes, but let me add my two cents here. You will save on overall costs because your purchase of materials will reduce the percentage that the contractor tacks on material and labor. However, the contractor can purchase material with his/her trade discount. So where you may spend $5,000 on hardwood flooring flying solo, the contractor may pay $4200, and charge ...let's say... $840 in overhead, for a total of $5040, so you have saved yourself $40. Is it worth it to have to measure and estimate square footage and overage, coordinate the delivery, open the boxes to acclimate the wood to the moisture content of the house, and make any other preparations recommended by the manufacturer? I think most people would answer "not really". If you would do these tasks for $40 because you enjoy it, it could be time for a career switch, and again, welcome to the world of construction management!
BUT! There are some materials we do encourage our clients to purchase on their own, but be sure to review the contract with suppliers and opt for warranties. Some of those items are:
- decorative light fixtures
- plumbing fixtures
If you need help selecting these, our interiors studio can assist with selections and pricing.For more information about my company, Studio BKA, and the many ways we can help you with your project, please check out: www.studioBKA.com! If you have any questions you'd like to see answered in this series, send me an email at kim@studioBKA.com.
A friend recently sent me a picture of this niche (shown below) and asked how the edges are generally resolved. I thought our conversation would make for a great blog post series called "Detail Hacks" since not everyone building their dream home has years of experience as an architect or builder.
The shower niche is a great detail when executed properly but unless you are a designer, architect or builder, you may overlook a couple of small things that could change the overall appearance. I will give you a few solutions and you can decide which one looks appropriate in your house!
Solution 1: the Schluter strip
The addition of metal gives the bathroom a contemporary vibe. The Schluter strip is essentially a transition strip that captures the raw edge of the tile.
Solution 2: Finished edge or bullnose edge
Some tile offer finished or bullnose edges that give the niche a clean look. This detail is great for traditional or modern residential projects.
Solution 3: Marble
Let's pretend you selected a subway tile that doesn't offer finished or bullnose edges, what do you do now? One solution is to use marble or quartz as the inset material. It adds a nice contrast and its likely you have this material left over from the counter top fabrication.
There you have it! Three solution to finishing out your shower niche! Good Luck and don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more architecture inspiration!
Here's a flythrough rendering of a project we're currently working on in Mid-City, coordinating with structural, MEP and food service equipment consultants to create an information model that coordinated equipment in tight spaces, produced construction drawings and provided the zoomy experience you see here!