Have you got questions about the classic car restoration process? Want to know how much it’ll cost? Then our restoration FAQs are just what you need!
Restoring a car is an extremely rewarding experience, whether you complete the transformation yourself or watch the process unfold as a quality restoration garage carry out the work for you.
With the large amount of car restoration shows currently on TV, the interest in classic cars has grown, with many people considering restoring a vehicle of their own. Whether you’ve got a retro or modern classic car sitting unloved in a garage somewhere or you’re planning to buy a project vehicle, check out our restoration FAQs to learn more about the process.
Where Do I Start?
Before you embark on a restoration project, it’s essential to bear two things in mind; your budget and your plan.
Here at AM Restorations, we can help you to plan and complete your project, but you must have a budget in mind before you come to us. You will need to be realistic when setting your budget, as it will need to cover the cost of parts (Which can be costly depending on the marque) and labour. Restoration is a time-consuming process, so the majority of the costs involved will be apportioned to cover labour. If you’re a hands-on can-do person, you may be able to make savings by carrying out some elements of the work yourself.
Organisation is key in order to keep the project running smoothly and to help us understand what the priority tasks are in relation to your budget. For example, we encourage our customers to decide on their number 1 priorities (Such as engine rebuilding or bodywork), secondary priorities (Respraying for example) and then works that they’d like if the budget allows (Such as re-trimming the interior or replacing chrome work). This system helps our clients keep on track with their budgets and establish what their priorities are. We encourage our clients to invest their money wisely and to address mechanical aspects, bodywork and paintwork first, before considering elements such as leather interiors or new carpeting.
How Much Will It Cost?
We’re often asked for a ‘ballpark’ restoration figure, which simply isn’t possible! As each vehicle is as unique as their owner, the work required varies in accordance to the owner’s final ‘vision’ for the project.
For example, the costs involved in freshening up paintwork will differ greatly to the cost of a full nut and bolt restoration to concourse condition, so it’s very difficult to deliver an average, ‘one-size-fits-all’ price.
However, we’re happy to try to deliver an extremely rough estimate, based upon good quality and detailed photos in addition to a ‘wish list’ of work to be carried out. There’s only one way to truly estimate for the required work and that’s by bringing your vehicle into our workshop for an assessment. Here, the car can be given a thorough going over and raised on a ramp to access as many areas as possible to try to eliminated unforeseen works.
This initial investment is worth its weight in gold to help a client decide how to proceed with the project and plan a contingency. After the initial assessment, we can build an estimate, discuss the work required and establish the budget, with the client often being able to suggest alternative ways of completing the work to remain within budget.
What Happens If The Unexpected Happens?
Even after an assessment, once work begins, the removal of mechanical items, body panels, paint and engine stripping can reveal hidden areas in need of work.
You should always have a contingency fund added to your budget, to allow for the unexpected. For example, this contingency fund will help to fund panel prices increasing during long term restorations, areas requiring further work than once thought or the costs of sourcing rare or hard to find parts. In these cases, we’ll always contact you (And where appropriate/requested, provide photos of the issues) to discuss the issue with you and help you to make informed choices on how to proceed.
What Do I Do Next?
Assessments are charged at our hourly rate and typically take between 2-3 hours to complete. Should you choose to restore your vehicle with us, this cost is fully refundable.
Once all parties have agreed on the project, we ask for a security deposit, which is held by us and deducted from the final bill. As the project progresses, we will provide invoices for interim payments, which will outline the work carried out during that period.
Upon completion of the project, we provide clients with a detailed invoice for their records, breaking down the labour carried out and a list of all parts. In addition, we supply a CD with a copy of all the photos taken during the process.
Please note, transportation to our workshop is at your own cost. We do regularly use a transportation company in the area and are happy to provide an estimate on their services for you.