So you’ve decided to renovate. Maybe you’re feeling like your place is a bit dated, or you want to add an addition and get some more space. Maybe you’re interested in converting your basement, or just want to update your kitchen or bathrooms. Big projects or small, it’s easy to go over budget on a renovation, especially when you’re inexperienced. Most people who undertake a renovation find themselves over budget, often needing to wait months or even years before they finish a project. If you’re not ready for that kind of commitment, the tips in this article will help you stay on budget, no matter the size of your project.
- Plan Ahead
Planning is everything when taking on a project. That’s even truer when you’re talking about a renovation. Once you get started, it’s easy to get distracted by new ideas. Talk about what you want to do with your space. What are you looking for? How much are you willing to spend? Where can you cut corners? Good planning is the secret to a smooth renovation.
- Be Honest About DIY
Many people think that DIY is cheaper than hiring professionals. But it really isn’t. Learning on the job means making mistakes as you go. Mistakes can get expensive. It also means fitting your renovation in with your job, hobbies, friends, and family life. If you’ve got experience building or know someone who can help you with a project like the one you’re undertaking, you may decide that DIY is cheaper than paying for both labor and materials. But if you’re inexperienced, it’s usually better to hire an expert, who can get you exactly what you need in a fraction of the time it would take you to learn.
- Research Your Experts
Though it’s a good idea to hire a contractor to help with your renovations, not all contractors are alike. Do your research. Talk about your project to anyone you are considering. Ask if they’ve taken on similar projects, and get accurate estimates. Check their websites or other customer review sites. If you have friends or family who have used contractors, get recommendations. Finding the right people to help with your dream home means you get exactly what you want, and in good time, too.
- Be Specific – And Thorough
Plan out your project step by step. If it’s a whole room or even a whole house, take it in pieces. Make sure you’re accounting for even the smallest thing in your budget. When you approach contractors, you should have a clear idea of what you want.
This will help them give you accurate estimates for your cost and time. It’ll also mean no guesswork on their end for the styles you want, so you’ll get exactly what you ask for. Make it clear where you are willing to cut corners if you need to, and what you refuse to compromise on. The more details you have, the more likely you are to end up in your dream space!
- Give Yourself Some Wiggle Room
Every big project needs contingency money. Pipes burst, wires need to be replaced… renovations come with a whole host of “what-ifs” that you haven’t considered yet. Your best option is to plan for about 20% of your budget to go to contingency planning.
It seems like a lot, but in a worst case scenario, you’re more likely to be covered for unexpected repairs that come up during your renovation. Best case, you have a little left over to redecorate with some choice art pieces, new furniture, and extra large rugs, when you’ve finally got the home you’ve always wanted!
Undertaking a renovation can be an intimidating prospect. There are a lot of things to prepare for. If you’re inexperienced, and you don’t want to fall into the nearly half of homeowners go over budget on their first renovation, the secret is to plan ahead, know your limits, and make sure you have the budget to get what you need.
Following the tips in this article can help you make decisions for your renovation that will keep you under budget, without compromising your vision for your dream space.
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**This is a collaborative post