Home Renovations: How to Make Sure Your Remodel Fits Your Budget

Tuesday, February 6, 2018, 6:00 PM | Leave Comment

Renovating a home is a great way to give it a fresh start. It allows you to live in a new home, while not having to actually move or spend as much as you would on buying a new home.

It can also be easy to get carried away, though, and end up with a dream that’s bigger than your budget. How do you keep your remodel within your budget while still getting the home of your dreams?

  • Educate Yourself

    Particularly if you’re new to doing home renovations, the best place to start is with educating yourself on everything from how much you should expect it to cost, to which renovation projects are worth it and which ones aren’t, to how to choose your finishes.

    Check out various blogs, like Rules of Renovation on medium.com which offers valuable information across the spectrum of renovations that can help you learn more.

  • How Are You Paying for It?

    If you’re paying cash from your own pocket, then determining your budget is no problem. The same is also true if you’re using an insurance claims check to remodel after the home has been damaged in a natural disaster.

    But if you’re planning to finance the remodel with a bank loan, you’ll want to go ahead and look into that now. Knowing how much money you’ll have to spend is critical information before you start talking to contractors.

  • Create Your “wish List”

    Call it a wish list, plan, dream, goal, or whatever else you want, but go big. Create a list of everything you ideally want to have done.

    Be specific—if there are things about your current home that you absolutely hate, specify precisely how you want it changed. Whether it’s a whole house renovation or just a single room, be creative and take your time. Ensure that you’ve covered everything you can think of.

  • Differentiate Wants from Needs

    After creating your wish list, you may find that there’s a lot more on it than you thought there would be. You might already know that you can’t afford it all, or you might have just decided you don’t really want to do it all.

    Take the time to go through your list, and figure out which things are necessities and which ones are merely desires. In a kitchen remodel, for example, more storage space would be a necessity, while granite countertops might be a want.

    By separating needs from wants now, you’ll find it easier to stick with the most important things if you find that your budget is smaller than you thought, or you start reaching the end of it.

  • Talk to Contractors

    Depending on your budget and intentions, you’ll want to provide either just your list of needs, or both lists, to contractors for an initial price comparison, also called a rough order of magnitude cost comparison. These are not bids (detailed assessments of what the project will cost), but more of a ballpark figure of what it will cost.

    This ballpark figure will help you further evaluate what you’re wanting to do, to determine if you need to cut more things out or if you can afford to do more than you thought. You will want to keep in mind that the finishes and materials you select further into the process will make a difference in the price.

Home renovations can be both a headache and a fun experience. The more prepared you are, with information, a plan, a budget and a willingness to compromise, the easier it will be. A less expensive renovation can be as beautiful as a more expensive one.

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