Renovating a home is a pricey venture. Even when you’re trying to keep costs down, unexpected expenses often creep up and quickly eat up funds. For this reason, it’s best to prepare in advance of a renovation. Not only is creating a home renovation budget the best way to get a good grasp on the money you’re prepared to put into your renovation, but it’ll give you an idea of how you want it allocated.
While things likely won’t go exactly as planned, having a budget in place is a great starting point. Many people have gotten in way over their heads because they failed to properly plan before starting home renovations. If you have your money saved up and designated ahead of time it’s easier to do some juggling if the situation requires it. Although there is no one way to budget for a home renovation, there are plenty of handy tips out there. Here are some ideas for keeping your remodel on track.
Add Some Pad
When you sit down to work out how much your home renovation is going to cost in total, it’s a good idea to factor in a little extra. Many homeowners make the mistake of planning for the exact amount they’ve worked out ahead of time. They have a number in mind, check prices, ask for quotes, and do everything they’re supposed to do, and then something goes wrong. As much as we don’t like to hear it, unexpected costs almost always arise in home remodels. Many experts recommend adding between 10 and 20%to the total cost of your project. This buffer will help cover unexpected costs, like unforeseen structural issues or ground works. Referred to as a contingency, every good renovator should have some extra budget to fall back on.
While your home renovation may have been inspired by a glossy advertisement in a magazine or a style you’ve always admired in your friend’s home, it’s a good idea to be open to a range of possibilities. Sometimes a look you’ve been coveting is beyond your means. This is not to say that a similar look cannot be achieved, you just have to be open to other options. Shop around for products to find the best deals and get several quotes from contractors before making any final decisions. That said, going with the lowest price is not always the best choice, but you want to make an informed decision and explore all your possibilities to be sure.
Stay the Course
Once you start shopping around for ideas, you’re likely to get lured in by new options. While single additions here and there may fit into your budget, if you start saying “yes” to practically everything you see you’ll soon exceed your budget. Try to stick with your original plans. If you do want to add something here and there, just be absolutely sure that you’re not going overboard. Or, better yet, replace an original idea with something new.
Reorganize Rather Than Rip Down
Removing walls and completely overhauling rooms is expensive. If you can find ways to make a room more efficient instead of larger, it will probably cost you a lot less money. The kitchen is one area where some organization can go a long way to making the space workable. If you can reorganize and equip your kitchen for maximum utility, you won’t need to knock down walls to gain square footage. Start by replacing bulky shelves with cabinet-height pullout drawers, containing racks for canned goods and other items.
Use Your Resources
If you’re hiring a contractor to do your renovation, consider doing some of the easier parts of the job yourself. You can get some friends together to take out cabinets ahead of the project or to paint walls at the end. Bring in your contractor for suggestions on cutting costs; think of him or her as an ally in helping you stick to your budget. Even better, use your contractor’s resources to get better deals on product. People in the industry typically get better pricing on home finishings than your average person gets shopping at the home improvement store themselves. Be sure to ask about discounts before you pick up everything yourself.
Staying on budget during a renovation can be tough. However, if you have a plan set in place ahead of time and stay focused along the way, you have a much better chance of getting close to your estimated costs. You never know; you may just surprise yourself and come in under your original estimate.