Tips and Tricks for Sticking to Your Renovation Budget
Sticking to Your Renovation Budget Doesn’t Have to be an Issue
One of the hardest parts of a home renovation – aside from dealing with and living through the renovation work itself – is sticking to a strict renovation budget. Sometimes, unexpected issues crop up that will add to the costs. Or, you may be tempted to splurge on new furniture or features that are more expensive than you originally planned. Adhering to a renovation budget is no easy task, but the tips below will help you stick to your budget and still love the results.
Plan It Out
Planning out your project is probably the single most important way that you can keep costs down. Typically, when renovations break the bank, it’s because there was no plan and homeowners have no choice but to spend their way out of an unexpected snag. Before you even call a contractor, spend time planning out exactly what you want to accomplish with the renovation. Also, list out anything you don’t want to change. The more you plan, the less likely it is that you will run into unexpected costs.
Decide Where to Splurge and Where to Save
Part of planning out the project is also knowing what your priorities are. For example, if you want custom cabinets in your kitchen, that will cost more. But, maybe you’re okay with using a basic tile for the backsplash. Or, you want a top-of-the-line range, but you may decide that a quartz countertop isn’t necessary. Knowing what’s important to you up front will ensure that you’re thrilled with the results without overspending.
Pick the Right People
When it comes to home renovation, choosing the right contractors is everything. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for a residential contractor to begin a project without finishing it – which will ultimately cost you more when you have to hire a second contractor to finish the job. That’s why you don’t want to just go with the contractor who offers the lowest bid. Get recommendations from friends and family who were satisfied with the work they had done on their homes. Your local hardware store may also have some good recommendations. Paying more for quality and dependability will save you money in the long run.
Don’t Rush the Bidding Process
Once you have the names of a few reliable contractors, you’ll start asking them for bids. Again, patience pays off here. Collect at least three bids for your project. Then, carefully consider the costs. Make sure every aspect of the project including parts and labor is clearly itemized. If you have a contractor you already know you’d like to work with, then show him the least expensive bid and ask if he can match or beat the price.
Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.
Over-communication is essential to keeping your renovation budget in check. This is especially important if you’re working with an architect. Make sure you tell him or her exactly what you want and what your budget constraints are – several times if necessary. This will help keep your architect from suggesting super-expensive modifications, and help your contractors as they pick out lumber, plumbing, and other supplies.
Don’t Knock DIY
Anything you can do yourself will definitely save you money. For example, it’s easy enough to give your walls a fresh coat of paint or put up shelving. You could also do some basic tilework or re-stain your hardwood floors yourself. Another option is to take care of some minor repairs, like holes in walls or loose floorboards, before the contractors come in. They’ll charge you if they have to do any repair work. Only you know how handy you are. Of course, if you’re not at least somewhat experienced with DIY renovations then it’s best to leave it to the pros. While your DIY labor is technically free, your lack of know-how can be costly.
Pad Your Renovation Budget
For any large renovation, you have to plan for the unexpected. You could open a wall and find electrical work needs to be done. You could find that your chosen tile is on back order and your second choice comes at a higher cost. Experts recommend adding 10% to 25% to your anticipated budget to help cover any unexpected costs.
Keep these 7 tips in mind to help you stay within your renovation budget on your next home project. Of course, if custom kitchen or bathroom cabinetry is part of your dream home, then contact Special Additions today. We’ve been serving homeowners in the New York/New Jersey area since 1978.