A true story about using inferior products to meet a client’s predetermined budget.
Mr. and Mrs. Jones had worked with our design team for over a year on a plan to renovate their home and build an addition. One day near the end of the process, they came in with a very specific budget, much lower than the previous design had specified.
“How realistic would it be to renovate our kitchen, master bathroom, and guest bathroom for this specific budget?” Mr. Jones asked.
He had spent a lot of time thinking about how to achieve a lower cost on the project, and one way he suggested was to use less expensive products in one area of the home that’s not as important, like the guest bathroom.
Two decades of experience told me that the budget was too small. I said so, and recommended the Joneses spend their budget on using higher quality products, as specified in the design, on just the master bathroom and the kitchen project at this time. I asked him to consider doing the guest bathroom at a later date when the proper budget was available.
But Mr. and Mrs. Jones were convinced they could do the second bath on a much smaller budget, if we would agree to use Delta plumbing products as opposed to our recommendation. We have never used Delta products and really did not know how the products would perform short term or long term. However, we decided that if they were willing to take a chance, well, we would assist them.
Phase I of the project was to renovate the kitchen and the guest bathroom, while Phase II was to renovate the master bathroom while the Jones family used the newly renovated guest bath.
The guest bathroom seemed to have performed well and the family was very happy. That is, until they moved back into their newly renovated master bathroom. Shortly after the master bathroom had been completed, I get a phone call from Mrs. Jones—she was amazed at how the master bathroom had turned out, how the shower experience was so fantastic that they no longer wanted to travel, even to the most expensive hotels. Other showers just could not stack up.
On the other hand, issues with the guest bathroom had begun to pop up, and they were very upset with their plumbing choices.
The Delta acrylic oval tub flexed every time the shower used hot water. The hot water caused the acrylic tub to change shape, and the flexing caused the grout to come out. They were tired of adding grout to the base of the shower wall where it met the tub. Additionally, the sink faucet oversprayed when it was turned on, and water splattered everywhere. They insisted the installation or products were defective; the truth is that low prices come at high costs.
Because of experiences like this one, we have chosen to never compromise quality over cost. If your budget is lower than recommended, we highly suggest you do less—and wait until you have the proper budget to do things right.