4 Tips to Stay Within Your Renovation Budget
If you’re not a fan of expensive surprises, you could be in for a rude awakening if you undertake a DIY home renovation project. Even the pros run into unexpected situations, and they’re supposed to have the expertise to see them coming. It’s sad when you run into unforeseen problems and you have to redesign and select less expensive materials to offset budget impacts. Here are five tips to help you to avoid the stress and financial damage of remodel surprises.
-1- Avoid DIY and Contract Work Properly
Doing things yourself can be quite fulfilling, but it can also be quite stressful and result in huge budget overruns. Take the “expert hire” approach and save yourself the stress and the money in many cases, as you can’t be assured that DIY is less expensive.
The most streamlined method for you would be to hire a general contractor. They would oversee the work and hire and supervise the necessary subcontractors. There are contracts with the scope of the work, bids or quotes for work, and concerns for local codes and insurance requirements. The general contractor takes care of all of these tasks on your behalf.
Should you decide to be your own general contractor, you should become familiar with sample or template contracts to be certain that you have properly described the work to be done, who is responsible for what, and the price to be paid. This includes assurance of lien releases as you approve phases of the work and before you pay for each phase.
-2- Have a Detailed Plan and Follow It
You should have a detailed project spreadsheet with materials cost estimates as well as labor estimates. Your plan should include a timeline and expected time to completion of each phase and the whole job. Once you have it completed, go through it again, as it is common to miss things, and missed things cost you money.
In estimating materials and labor costs, don’t forget the small items. You want to have a close estimate for the flooring, but don’t forget the tax and any delivery charges as well. Get the permit and inspection fees into your budget and plan as well. Plan for the timing of inspections.
-3- What’s Important vs What’s Not So Much
Even the best laid plans run into unexpected problems in major work on the home. When a problem arises that costs extra money out of budget, where can you cut or adjust to compensate? What materials, quality, or other areas can be cut or adjusted, or which are too important to you to make any changes? When you must cut the quality or other facet of a part of your project, know where you would be most likely to have objections to cuts.
-4- Pad the Budget for the Unexpected
Before you line up financing or determine what you’re willing to spend, add in a pad for the unforeseen. No matter how detailed your plan, almost every home renovation project runs into problems that impact the budget. Experts vary in their recommendations, but they say to add from 10% to 20% for a pad.
When your home renovation project is completed, you want a result that you love, and you want to be satisfied that you’ve made it happen within a realistic budget. Follow these four tips and you should come out fine.