Make Sure You Don’t Fall Victim
Whether you’re undertaking a home renovation project to increase the functionality of your home while you live in it or you’re renovating to increase the chances of selling your house fast, a few considerations today will save you headaches tomorrow.
More than 40% of homeowners admit to going over budget with their home renovation projects. It’s easy to get carried away in the heat of the moment. Perhaps you’ve been thinking about and talking about this project for months, even years. Finally, you’re ready and excited to put the plans in motion.
You start with a budget for a reason. It’s what you feel comfortable spending and no one likes getting caught unaware. In order to keep costs (and sanity) in order, here are a three tips for staying within your renovation budget.
- Create a budget in the first place. You can’t stay on budget if you don’t start with a budget. So make a list (an excel spreadsheet is great for this) of every item you’ll need along with the price. If this is a do-it-yourself project, remember to add all the little bits and pieces you’ll need, such as caulk, grout, glue, nails, tools, etc. Then add 15% for unforeseen circumstances. In every renovation project, something surprising always seems to pop up, so it’s best to budget for it up front.
- Choose your materials and selections before the project begins and calculate their costs up front. Maintain a balance between following your heart and listening to your head. When you fall in love with a high end, expensive item that is not within your budget, look for a less expensive piece with the same look. Or exchange other selections to maintain your original budget. Don’t despair, you can always find a way to get that stunning, million dollar look within a tight budget.
- If you are hiring a contractor, make sure you communicate clearly. It’s best to have everything in writing. Before you approve a bid, confirm that it spells out the quality of materials to be used and that they are exactly what you want. Obviously commercial grade, high-end kitchen appliances will cost more than what’s on sale at your local home improvement retailer. You want to make sure everyone’s on the same page from the get-go.
If down the road, you do want to make changes to the design or materials after the project has started, realize your costs will increase. Avoid unpleasant surprises by asking what those costs will amount to before requesting a change order. And if one of those unforeseen issues comes up and your contractor tells you something needs to be done differently from what was originally planned, ask how the change affects the budget.
Follow these three steps and you can look forward to enjoying your new space without worrying about how you’ll pay off the debt of cost overruns.
Sometimes homeowners get started on a home renovation project and later realize they’re in way over their heads. If that’s happened to you, your home is torn apart and you can no longer afford to fix it up, Express Homebuyers may be able to help. We buy houses in any condition. If you’d like to find out more about selling your house fast, click here to see how our process works.
Tracy Kay Griffin is a member of Express Homebuyers Design Team. She was the Series Designer for HGTV’s “Get It Sold,” a Guest Designer for HGTV’s ” My First Place” and the Lead Stager for Washington DC’s premier staging company, Red House Staging & Interiors.