So, you’re about to embark on an exciting journey of refurbishing your home and giving it a fresh new look to fit your current needs and lifestyle. Not to burst your bubble, but renovating a home is not as simple as ABC.
Probably the most important thing to consider first is your budget. Here are some smart tips to help you develop a home renovation budget that you can afford and stick to without overspending.
Tip #1: Set your parameters.
Determine the scope of your home renovation project by deciding which areas of your home will be included and what your desired outcomes are. Apply the “MOSCOW” technique to set your priorities by making a list of your “must haves”, “should haves”, “could haves” and “would haves.” By clearly setting your parameters early on, you will be able to plan for a more realistic budget and have a benchmark for when you need to choose between what to keep and what to let go.
Tip #2: Seek advice from the experts.
It pays to get some help from industry experts to guide you through the process. Get someone to design a plan for your home makeover. Seek advice from architects, designers, builders, and quantity surveyors on renovating costs and the best approach to getting the best value for your money. Your plan will answer some of the key questions such as what work will be involved, in what order they are to be done, and what it entails in terms of materials, labour, and time frame.
Tip #3: Develop detailed cost estimates.
Now that you know what you want, it’s time to develop a detailed budget plan. This is where your Excel skills will come in handy. Create a spreadsheet of all elements of your home renovation project and their estimated costs. Start with the big-ticket items such as permits and fees, insurance, warranties, valuation fees, utilities, labour costs, and others. Then move on to the cost of materials, fixtures, fittings, finishes, and furniture. Make sure not to miss the small items that could add up to your costs.
Tip #4: Add a buffer for unforeseen costs.
Once you have decided on a contractor, share your plans with them to check for anything that you may have missed. You can then adjust your budget using cost estimates your contractor has provided. Add a 10 to 20% buffer as contingency for any unforeseen costs or changes in the renovation process. Keep track of how you are doing against your set budget by adding columns for actual costs and variances in your spreadsheet.
Now that you’re armed with these smart budgeting tips, you can start planning and get cracking!