Home renovations are wonderful – you get to update your home to your tastes, and likely increase the resale value down the road. However, renovations are a large undertaking that require plenty of materials, time, and labour, all of which cost money. For this reason, before you even begin to plan the details of your renovation, the first step should be coming up with a budget.
It might not sound like the most enjoyable task, but it will help you avoid taking on unnecessary debts by determining at the outset what you can comfortably afford. And if you love HGTV or thumbing through home renovation magazines, a budget can also help you prioritize what is within your reach. To avoid breaking the bank with your next renovation, here are five tips to help you stay on track with your budget.
#1. Plan, plan, plan
One of the main keys to successfully renovating your home on a predetermined budget is to know as much as possible before the first nail is hammered. It can be easy to look online and make general assumptions about costs, but don’t forget that there can be huge differences in price for things you’d otherwise think were consistent. For example, floor tiles that may look similar in quality can be radically different in price. Small choices like ceramic versus porcelain, or the size of tile can result in a big change to both material and installation costs.
Customizing your selected materials also adds to the bottom line. For example, you may see countertop prices and think you know the price per square foot, but things like non-standard lengths and holes that need to be made for sinks and faucets can add to the cost.
#2. Stick to the plan
Once you do come up with a plan, stick to it as best as possible. Last minute changes will undoubtedly extend the timeline of your remodel, which means you’ll be paying more in labour costs. You also run the risk of doubling up unnecessarily on materials if you change your mind and are unable to return your original selections.
#3. Budget for additional expenses
Aside from labour and materials, keep in mind that you’ll likely have to pay for drawings and construction permits. And if your home is older, you may have to update things like electrical work that isn’t up to current code. Also, be sure to check if renovating your home means paying a higher tax rate and insurance premiums.
There are also expenses like taxes and shipping on materials, hotel stays and eating out more often which can add a hefty sum to your budget.
Overall, it is a good idea to budget 20% of your initial renovation costs for potential changes, material or design upgrades, and unforeseen costs.
#4. Make compromises
If you plan ahead, you can see an itemized list of what will be costing you money. And if one line item seems high compared to other higher ticket items, you can likely find comparable items at a lower cost. For example, while fancy lighting fixtures may look beautiful, they can cost a pretty penny. To reduce costs, see if the same style can come in different materials, in a smaller size, or can be created to be a bit less ornate.
If you’re having a hard time choosing materials or knowing what a comparable alternative is, an interior designer can guide you.
#5. Communication is key
When you’re ordering materials, don’t be scared to ask for discounts. Just because they gave you a quote doesn’t mean it’s not negotiable! Or you can always ask your contractor too if they have a recommended supplier – contractors are often repeat customers who do a large volume of orders, so they can have more leverage for price negotiations.
Also, be sure to tell your contractor your budget. Many people assume a contractor asks because they want to upsell you. However, the real reason for this is they need to see how they can best help you. Good contractors will always work with you to hone in on exactly what you want to make your renovation dreams come true within your allotted budget.
If you are ready to renovate your home or have questions about the renovation process, schedule a conversation with us today!
Renovating your kitchen can be exciting – after many months (or years!) of imagining and planning, you’ve decided to move forward with building your dream kitchen. However, even when everything goes smoothly during construction, it can feel like a nightmare when your regular routine is disrupted. Your house is a construction zone, there will be noise and dust, and you won’t have access to all your usual amenities. To help you through this, we’ve made a list of 6 tips to help you survive your kitchen renovation with ease.
While it’s inconvenient to not have access to everything in your kitchen, a lot can be done with just two electric burners. Think stir fries, pastas, breakfast foods, and one-pot dinner recipes. If possible, renovate your kitchen during the summer months so you can use your barbeque, and set up near a sink for easy cleaning if you can. And on those days where you just can’t face cooking a meal in your makeshift kitchen, have easy snacks on hand. Dried fruit, trail mix, and classic peanut butter and jam can be filling!
Buy paper plates and plastic utensils
Altering how you eat can be challenging enough, especially when there are dishes to wash by hand in a limited space. For easy cleanup, you can buy a pack of 100 paper plates for under $6 and a set of 120 plastic forks, knives, and spoons for under $20. And if the thought of throwing out that much waste doesn’t sit right, there are also compostable options that are made from recycled materials to minimize environmental impact.
Create a budget for eating out more often
While you can certainly make do with a makeshift kitchen, it’s understandable if you get sick of stir fries and pastas. Also, it’s nice to sometimes get away from the mess of a renovation. While eating out may not be a regular part of your family budget, it may likely become a bigger portion of your expenses when you don’t have access to a kitchen. So before your renovation even begins, anticipate how many times per week you’ll go out, multiplied by the timeline of the remodel to keep your budget in check.
Protect your valuables from dust
While we do our very best to minimize dust in your home during the renovation process, we can’t eliminate all dust and it can travel through the vents. Be sure to cover up your furniture and other valuable items to keep your home as dust-proof as possible.
Order as much as possible before the job starts
One of the frustrations that many people fear during a remodel is a delay in the timeline. The construction phase of a kitchen renovation takes an average of 6 weeks, sometimes longer depending on the extent of the remodel. Don’t forget the complete timeline – it can take weeks or months to plan and order supplies before construction even starts. Things like faucets, cabinets, handles, and lighting fixtures can take weeks to arrive, so it’s best to have these items on hand once the remodeling begins to minimize delays in construction.
Remember the big picture
While the noise, dust, and inconvenience can be frustrating, just remember that this a very short period of time in the grand scheme of home ownership. The temporary hassles of a kitchen renovation will be a blip on the radar when you look back on those times from your beautiful new kitchen!
If you are ready to remodel your kitchen, or have questions about the kitchen remodel process, schedule a conversation with us today!