Anyone with a little know how of home improvement will agree that ready-made goods are more economical than unfinished or customized materials. Even though initial costs appear higher in case of ready-made goods, when you consider labor costs, they’re still the cheaper alternative. We at Home Loan Advisor personally prefer customized stuff, but this is not a mandatory rule for all projects. Sometimes ready-made options are hard to resist.
Let’s look at some common home improvements and the plus and minus points of using customized and ready-made materials.
Doors and Floors
Which is a better option – pre-finished or unfinished?
You can buy hardwood flooring in the form of ready-to-install, pre-finished planks or as planks which require sanding, staining, buffering, and coating. The second option is more expensive and the on-site finishing process may add a couple of weeks to the installation time. So the area being worked on stays out of bounds for a longer period. Pre-finished wood flooring wins hands-down if you’re looking for convenience and value.
Unfinished wood flooring finds favor with more moneyed homeowners who are willing to pay more for a better product. This option is also useful if you want a consistent finish across different areas. Homeowners sometimes go for less expensive types of wood to curtail costs.
When it comes to residential doors, the different parts of an installation can be purchased, assembled or partially assembled, custom-built, or knocked down. The more it is assembled, the easier it’ll be to install a door. A less assembled door can offer high quality and versatility. If you’re looking for something quite standard, get a pre-finished, pre-hung door and with some elementary carpentry skills, you’ll be able to install it on your own.
When you consider vinyl, you are faced with essentially the same decision during installation– ready-made or customized? Since vinyl sliding is a bad insulating material, a foam underlayment is required for a good quality siding action. The insulating layer can be added while manufacturing or at the time of installation. Generally homeowners looking for the benefits of insulation simply get the manufacturer to handle it.
However, if your insulation requirements are greater than the manufacturer is able to give you, you could go the customized way. Also, if you know of a trustworthy siding contractor who can install this insulation at cheaper rates than normal, you could go for it.
Should you opt for stock cabinets or semi-stock ones? Or would custom-built ones be better?
Cabinet manufacturers have applied mass production principles to cabinet making. This has allowed homeowners to get new cabinets at a fraction of the cost of high-end custom cabinets. Semi-custom or semi-stock cabinets allow you to modify the building specifications of standard cabinets as required.
Typically, these modifications are restricted to depth, height and width. Some manufacturers allow many types of modifications, but you need to pay extra for each modification.
Of course, when you opt for custom-built cabinets, they are translations of your dreams and the sky is the limit regarding what you can get. They are created by expert craftsmen and if you’re willing to spend, go for them!
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