21Jun
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Overhead Variations: New Homes vs. Remodeling

In the fast-paced world of construction business management, it’s easy to lose sight of the fundamentals. Yet, neglecting these basics can have significant repercussions on your bottom line. As we delve into the intricacies of pricing construction projects, let’s shine a spotlight on one fundamental aspect: markup. Specifically, let’s explore how markup differs between new home construction and remodeling ventures.

Understanding Overhead Disparities

The New Home Construction Advantage

New home builders typically operate with a lower percentage of overhead compared to their remodeling counterparts. Why? Well, consider the dynamics of building a new home. Meetings with potential clients to discuss project details are streamlined, and solutions to any arising issues are usually reached swiftly and amicably.

The Remodeling Conundrum

On the flip side, remodeling projects demand a far greater investment of time and resources. Imagine multiplying the time spent with a new home buyer by four or five. Remodeling clients grapple with major decisions as they integrate new designs into existing living spaces, navigating through a maze of choices and considerations.

Moreover, the owner’s involvement in remodeling projects tends to be more intensive, leading to increased delays and unforeseen challenges. The confined scope of remodeling work often exacerbates scheduling conflicts with subcontractors and logistical issues with materials, especially when clients continue to inhabit the construction site.

Tailoring Markup to Fit

Given these divergent dynamics, it’s imperative for construction businesses engaged in both new home construction and remodeling to adopt a tailored approach to markup calculation. New home builders typically require a lower markup compared to remodeling contractors to ensure profitability and sustainability.

Other Overhead Considerations

Beyond markup, there are additional overhead disparities between new home construction and remodeling ventures. Remodeling contractors often allocate higher budgets for marketing and advertising efforts, given the need to secure a higher volume of projects annually. Similarly, sales commissions for remodeling salespersons tend to be higher than those for new home salespersons, further impacting overhead as a percentage of revenue.

The Pitfall of Uniform Markup

Despite these distinctions, many contractors fall into the trap of applying a uniform markup across all types of construction work. This oversight often leads to underpricing in the remodeling sector, jeopardizing business viability in the long run.

The Bottom Line: Separate Yet Unified

In essence, new home construction and remodeling projects necessitate distinct business approaches, each requiring its own markup calculation. While they may not warrant separate legal entities, maintaining separate financial records enables clearer analysis of profitability and informs strategic decision-making.

By recognizing and embracing the inherent differences between these construction endeavors, contractors can optimize their pricing strategies, safeguard profitability, and ensure long-term business success.


To learn more about how Beyond Books Solutions can help you with construction accounting or to schedule a call, get in touch here.

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