How to stay on budget during a home remodel
Having a renovation done in your house is exciting, despite the temporary chaos and unavoidable mess. Staying within your remodeling budget can be a challenge. Problems arise that weren’t expected, or you make last-minute upgrades that start adding to the cost.
Before hiring a remodeling contractor, read these tips so you know how to stay on track during your next remodeling project.
Be clear about the number
Your budget exists for a reason. You should make an educated decision about how much money you are willing to spend and then stick that number. Whether the remodeling budget is a few hundred dollars or tens of thousands doesn’t matter. What matters is that you write that number down and make sure that you don’t allow anything to drive the cost beyond it.
Be honest and upfront about your budget
Setting a price guideline will help when choosing materials, finishes and determining how much labor will be involved. If a contractor seems unwilling to work with your set budget, sign in to Angie’s List to find a highly rated professional who will.
Accept the snowball effect
Understand once you start this remodeling project, it will take on a life of its own. You may start out wanting new kitchen countertops, but then you will realize that the cabinets are also dated. From there it extends to the floors, walls and lighting. When considering making a small change, ask yourself if that small change will really suffice or if it will lead to a much larger makeover.
Now that you have a number in mind, it’s time for a reality check. Make a list of everything you will need. If you are renovating a kitchen, this is more than the cabinets and countertops. It also includes the hardware that’s needed to mount them. If you’re considering new flooring, factor in any glue or tools that are required for installation.
Hiring a professional remodeling contractor comes in handy for this aspect of the project. Most will provide you with accurate and free estimates that include all those necessary items. You can then review the numbers of what you are willing to spend to see if it’s line with what it will actually cost. Be sure to ask for an all-inclusive estimate, as some contractors leave out extras in order to keep their final numbers competitive.
Look at all the options
Don’t make the mistake of assuming you know how much an item costs without doing research. Thinking you will only spend $50 on a kitchen faucet, you might find that you really want a faucet that is $300 once inside the store. Knowing realistic prices ahead of time will allow you to work that into the numbers and make an educated decision.
Have a cushion
Most projects encounter unexpected problems. A hidden leak that needs to be replaced, internal damage to a wall or structure or the dreaded mold discovery – there are many issues that can hold-up a remodeling project. When reviewing estimates, be smart and make sure that you are coming in below budget. This will prevent those small problems from blowing your carefully set budget.