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How to Stay Within Your Budget When Renovating Your Home

The truth shall set you free, right?

The hard, but very accurate, truth is that your renovation will most likely cost you more than you think.

Chances are, at the beginning of your renovation journey, you have been thinking about a lot of possibilities that have not yet translated to paper. We get it. You’ve got ideas. Big ones. And like many good things, design ideas can snowball rapidly leaving you with a budget analysis that looks more like the national debt rather than an estimate for your home design project.

Is there a disconnect between visions and actual costs for renovations? Absolutely. Can you find a way to minimize the surprises? Yes, if you plan.

There are countless reasons a project goes over budget. General Contractors send out estimates for projects all the time – so logic would dictate that they would have a firm grasp on what it costs to do a specific type of project.

In theory, that makes sense. In practice, well, it’s more complicated. Competition is fierce, so contractors may initially offer a price that seems too good to be true just to beat out the rest of the competition. The end goal? Getting you to sign the contract. What you didn’t see coming around the corner? Two words: change orders.

After all, if you’re already deep into a 6-figure renovation, what’s another $5,000 here and $2,000 there for work that wasn’t originally quoted but very, very necessary? Those ‘add-ons’ start adding up quickly.

While you’re bound to bump into obstacles and some things will truly be unforeseen, it’s important to review your budget and line-items in advance. If you’re unfamiliar with the industry and its associated costs, ask your architect to help review your contractor’s estimate. Don’t be afraid to show an estimate from Contractor A to Contractor B. If Contractor A’s estimate is 3x Contractor B’s, ask Contractor B why his is so much lower – don’t just assume he can do the job for less money. It might be that Contractor A was including a cost that Contractor B just wasn’t.

Then, when all is said and done and you are ready to move forward, give yourself a little breathing room in your budget. If you want to spend $500,000 – aim for a project that is closer to $400,000. There are plenty of great ways for you to save and splurge when it comes to design and renovations, but more on that later.

Don’t rush into anything. Do your research and get multiple bids. Also, don’t be afraid to walk away. Most importantly, good luck with your home remodeling project. We’re here for you. Give us a call!