Home improvements will help to create more liveable, functional, and beautiful spaces; plus, they can add value onto your property and make it more desirable to potential buyers. Careful planning is essential if you want to have a successful project that is completed in time and under budget.
Be Clear on Your Purpose
It’s a good idea to be crystal clear on the reasons behind wanting to start your home improvement. Answer questions like:
What area of the home do you want to work on?
Why do you want to improve it?
What do you hope to achieve?
By getting clear on your purpose, you can start to flesh out a plan which incorporates your vision without getting too side-tracked with unnecessary improvements.
It’s always best to have a price range in mind before starting a project. If you’re looking to pinpoint prices, HomeAdvisor is a great source with pricing information on everything from air conditioning installation to remodelling a roof! Another great resource, Remodelling Magazine, recently put out a very detailed Cost vs. Value Guide for over 35 different remodelling projects and their average costs compared to the average value they will add to the house. Use this guide to calculate home improvement costs per square foot in your region and then estimate the amount needed for the total renovation.
Smaller home improvement projects can be calculated by creating a list of essential tools, products, and accessories that are needed to complete the project. The best way to shop for renovation products is online, as you can quickly search, find, and compare a huge array of products with the click of a button.
Image via HomeAdvisor
Get Some Quotes
You can now get some quotes from local contractors. Ask friends and family members for recommendations of reputable contractors so that you know you will be receiving a high-quality service. If recommendations aren’t possible, then you can search online for independent reviews and testimonials from past clients. Remember, when it comes to choosing a contractor you should never choose one based on cost alone. Instead, take into consideration their professionalism and their quality of work to make an informed decision on who is able to do the best job.
If you are planning on completing the home renovation yourself, you can skip this step.
Set a Budget
Armed with some contractor quotes, rough renovation costs per square meter, and costs for products and accessories, you should now have enough information to put together a fairly accurate budget for your project. Use a spreadsheet to break down costs and have a clear visual overview of what you plan to spend.
Have a Contingency Plan
Running over budget is extremely common when it comes to home improvement costs. You can prepare for this by setting aside part of your budget for overrun costs. As a rough guide, factor in roughly 15% to 20% of the budget just towards overruns so you will have the capital to continue with the project if you do go over.
Cut Costs, Not Corners
There are plenty of ways to cut costs for your home renovation project. Faux flooring and laminate counter-tops give a great value alternative to pricey hardwood floors and expensive natural stonework surfaces. Modern appliances that were once reserved for celebrity chef kitchens have now been downsized and simplified to make them more suitable for use in the home.
While you can cut costs of appliances, accessories, and kitchen products, one thing that you don’t want to scrimp on is labour. Nothing screams budget kitchens like poor workmanship! That is why it is so important to choose contractors that are capable of completing work to a high standard. If you don’t have the skills to do it yourself, then seek professional help as you could cause more damage than it is worth.
By taking the time to carefully research costs, plan your budget, create a budget spreadsheet, and pick the right contractors, you will be doing all you can to budget properly for your home improvement project. Good luck!