Budgeting for your renovation
Budgeting is not the most enjoyable stage of a renovation; however, it is one that you should invest energy into. Unless you’re a billionaire and money isn’t an issue, saving as much cash as possible is best. We’ve already touched on budgeting in stage two, “Details and design!”, but it’s time to get deeper into the topic. To keep true to your budget, we will give you tips and tricks on how to avoid spending more than necessary.
Remember your priorities
The first step in the pre-renovation process, “What to renovate?”, was to define where your priorities were and what you would give up if necessary. To stay within budget, you must constantly hold yourself accountable to the priorities you set. That is why having the household discussion in step one is always beneficial. You can all work as a team to keep each other on track.
A budget spreadsheet
The best way to make sure you’re not losing money is by documenting everything. Once you have found contractors that you believe are best for the job, which was step 3 of the pre-renovation process, make a spreadsheet. This will be your go-to place to see if you’re still within your budget and to keep track of any other costs that come up. The top six things to include in the spreadsheet are:
- Items (materials, appliances, services, etc.)
- Estimated cost (projected online costs and quotes)
- Actual cost (may increase as time goes by, dependent on delays, etc.)
- Amount paid
- Notes (document why there was a price increase, what problems arose, what was discussed, etc.)
There may be more factors to consider including on your spreadsheet, but these six are the most relevant to staying on track. Continue to look back at what your budget is for your project, and how much you have already spent. You may realize that adjustments need to be made, whether it’s the materials you’re buying or the extravagance of the renovation.
Do it yourself
Yes, we did speak on this in the previous stage; however, it is a way in which you can save money. Refer to “To DIY or not to DIY” for our suggestions about when to tackle a job alone, and when not to. An option that we did not mention in that stage, however, was the blending of both professional experience and your own. For a job that is simple enough, but is a little too difficult to do yourself, pay a professional to teach you. Getting taught how to do the job is more cost effective than hiring a pro to do it.
Delay and save
What if you discover that your budget does not allow you to get the renovation you wanted and you aren’t willing to let any plan go? Your dream renovation is just too perfect to give up for something less. What happens if after all your research for the best contractors, and energy spent over picking designs, it turns out you can’t afford it? It’s frustrating, however, an option would be to hold off on the project and save some more money to put towards it. The benefit of this stage is now you will have a lot more knowledge about cost, as well as a solid plan in mind for what will be done. Don’t start a project if you know your budget won’t cover it!
Every single estimate, receipt and report you can get your hands on should be kept for your records. Not only will this save money, but also protect you. Although you wish for the best, you may have a contractor who will try to slip something by you, or you may need proof of purchase for permits.