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Case Study: Joe’s Remodeling Story

My Story

The topic of remodeling during the pandemic hits close to home. And that’s because it actually hit my home. With clients frequently asking about remodeling projects, I thought I’d share my own experience in dealing with them during these turbulent times. 

Back in 2019, Jessica and I bought a more ideal house than the small 2 bedroom 1 bath we  had in West Seattle. The new house had a sizable basement,  but it was completely unfinished. Even the realtor’s listing said it, “…waits for your creative ideas.” I know a few people in construction, so I asked an architect friend of mine to help evaluate the scope of the remodeling needed. In addition to the basement, it was made apparent that the kitchen was also overdue for an upgrade. 

But the more pressing project was the basement – so that’s where Jess and I decided to focus. 

The architect indicated that the basement was going to be a relatively straightforward project that could add a lot of value to the house. This was 2019 (pre-pandemic) as well, so this next part is in no way a complaint about him at all. But he gave a quick, hold-your-chin-and-think kind of cost estimate so I could gauge a budget for the project. He said to expect about $150,000 for BOTH the basement and kitchen projects. 

Let’s just say, I wish I could’ve signed a contract at that price right then and there…  

By the time Jess and I were “ready” to get serious and hire a contractor; and after the architect drew up the plans for the basement, the initial budget range I was provided on 9/28/2020 by the contractor was between $167,120.00 – $192,188.00. And as time went on, both the project’s length and costs started rising.  

Here’s a breakdown of the changes I saw:

  • On 3/29/2021 I was given a cost breakdown with a grand total of $210,033.42
  • On 4/9/2021 I was given a cost breakdown with a grand total of $226,066.52
  • On 5/17/2021 I was given a cost breakdown with a grand total of $208,498.74
  • On 5/28/2021 I was given a cost breakdown with a grand total of $205,301.49

    • Construction began on July 5th, 2021

Thankfully costs have started to fall with these later estimates mostly due to Jess and I scaling down some of our selections (e.g. going with Ikea cabinets for the laundry room instead of something more expensive), but presently it’s still over $13,000 higher than the high-end of the initial estimate. And fluctuations of nearly $20,000 were happening in time frames of less than a month. It’s also worth noting that we are still in the middle of paying for the project as it is not yet complete (today is 12/13/2021). Nearly a year after my initial estimate, our remodeling is still underway and subject to increases in cost. 

Crafted Finance’s Solution

As the head of Crafted Finance I help put together plans for my clients to tackle their remodeling projects. And this time I got to humbly experience it firsthand, which I must say was invaluable. And so was the support provided by my wife. Jess was instrumental in keeping me grounded emotionally when making these big decisions. 

Even as an experienced professional, a budget can get away from you if you let it. The day-to-day juggling of all the moving parts before, and during a project is quite the roller-coaster. But thankfully there are still core principles to root yourself in regardless of your own unique situation. 

Firstly, you’ll need a very clear picture of your present financial situation and where you’re headed. Without a clearly defined understanding of your aims, money coming in, and money going out, you can’t properly approach milestones. At Crafted Finance we help you put all this together. Specifics like living expenses, college funding, and retirement need to be accounted for first before remodeling should be taken on

With things like retirement, living expenses, and our child’s college being taken care of, I knew we could approach a remodeling project. And I knew how much money we could approach it with. Additionally, Crafted Finance has given me years of experience and expertise on what to expect. Going through this process with other clients showed me how to budget for increases and project delays before I even got started. 

Furthermore, being up-to-date with market trends around real estate, lending options, skilled-labor, and homebuilding also allowed me to anticipate delays and costs and adjust our budget appropriately. Lastly, my network of professionals in the real estate and contracting industries were able to provide me with great estimations as well as people for the job.

Getting You Help

If you’re thinking about remodeling your home or are in the process of doing so, you’re not alone. The pandemic has made it difficult to plan. If you’re unsure of how to get started or feel stuck where you are, Crafted Finance is here to help. 

Feel free to reach out to us at (650) 336-0598 with any questions, or fill out a contact card here, and we’ll reach out to you.

Also, feel free to read more on the remodeling process on our blog. A general guide is available, and so is a more in-depth look at the pandemic’s impact on remodeling

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Kristin Harad

Marketing Coach

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Jon Fogg

Content Creator

Jon Fogg is a dynamic and innovative content creator who has been making waves in the digital realm. With a passion for creativity and a flair for storytelling, Jon has captivated the financial world through his engaging and diverse content.

When he’s is not working on an SEO blog or case study, you’ll find him enjoying local art galleries or a phenomenal read. Friends and colleagues often commend him for his clear enthusiasm and dedication, which is evident in every project he undertakes. 

Kingston Hollman MBA


Meet Kingston Hollman, the compliance guru everyone’s been talking about. With a sharp mind for regulatory ins and outs, Kingston is all about keeping businesses on the straight and narrow. That’s why he’s a go-to in the compliance world!

Sporting an MBA under his belt, Kingston’s not just about book smarts. He knows the fine dance between business strategy and staying in line with the rules. And guess what? He’s mastered it. Ensuring companies sail smoothly through the often-stormy waters of compliance is his game.

From the get-go, Kingston’s been crafting top-tier compliance programs, tailored just right for all sorts of industries. It’s his eye for detail and that knack for spotting the little things that make him stand out. He doesn’t just set up a system; he fosters a whole vibe of staying compliant, making sure everyone’s on board.

Jessica Martineau

Client Operations Manager

Jessica is a seasoned professional with a diverse background, bringing a decade of expertise across multiple industries. A proud graduate of SPU, her journey in the professional world is marked by significant accomplishments.

With nearly eight years dedicated to managing projects in the graphics and built environment sectors, Jessica has honed her skills as a meticulous Project Manager. This tenure has instilled in her a knack for thriving within organized structures while fostering robust client relationships, a hallmark of her professional ethos.

Her experience in the Finance industry spans almost a decade, where she has held pivotal roles as Lead Client Operations Manager and Director of Operations. Notably, her FINRA SIE Certification stands as a testament to her commitment to excellence.

Jessica’s strengths lie in cultivating enduring client connections, fueled by her passion for delivering thorough solutions. She finds joy in understanding and engaging with her colleagues, nurturing a cohesive work culture.

As a Pacific Northwest native, Jessica enjoys hiking, camping, and skiing. She loves reading, attending live music, plays, and comedy shows. Always a foodie, she delights in discovering new restaurants and revisiting old favorites, especially if there is a water view.

Most importantly, Jessica’s world revolves around her family—her amazing husband, Lee, and their two great kids. They are her inspiration and the anchor to her life outside of work.

Dionne Kelly

Executive Assistant

Let’s dive into the world of Dionne Kelly! Born in St. Kitts and with her roots deep in Barbados, Dionne’s been globe-trotting from her island homes to Canada, the USA, and Belize. Got a love for tropical spots? So does Dionne. Her passport’s got stamps that tell tales of sun, sea, and a bunch of awesome adventures.

Now, when it comes to her profession, Dionne’s the real deal. Over 20 years in the game as an Executive Assistant, she’s been the secret ingredient for bigwig C-suite execs. Think of a challenge, and Dionne’s likely tackled it head-on with her unbeatable organizational skills and eagle eye for detail. 

Oh, and did we mention she’s a foodie? Dionne’s taste buds have danced across diverse culinary landscapes, adding a sprinkle of global flavor to her persona. In the world of executive support, she’s a powerhouse, always two steps ahead and ready to make things happen. 

Joe Wride CFP®

Founder & CEO

Meet Joe Wride, the president and founder of Crafted Finance. With a knack for pension and investment management, insurance, and financial planning, Joe’s all about offering top-notch services without breaking the bank. That’s why he started Crafted Finance!

A proud Finance major from Washington State University, Joe’s got the credentials to back it up as a Chartered Life Underwriter and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional. Since 2009, he’s been helping individuals, families, and pension plans make sense of their finances. Joe’s even on the board of the Financial Planning Association’s Puget Sound chapter. Check out his LinkedIn profile here.

Joe gets that everyone’s got their own money story. That’s why he’s crafted a unique process to help folks of all stripes manage their finances, whether they’re flying solo, raising a family, or running a company. He’s all about learning and growing to make sure his guidance is just the right fit for his clients.

When he’s not crunching numbers, you’ll find Joe enjoying the Seattle life. He’s into skateboarding at Alki beach, biking, golfing, snowboarding, hiking, and camping. Sports fan? You bet! Joe’s a die-hard supporter of the Cougars, Mariners, Seahawks, and Sonics. But what really matters to him is family time with his wife Jessica, daughter Ocean, and dog Kanga. Joe’s excited to welcome more kiddos into their home through foster care and adoption in the future.

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