The biggest and most valuable part of custom home renovations is planning. Meticulous planning and realistic budgeting will set you right for anything that comes your way during the renovation process.
Tips for Planning a Custom Home Renovation Budget
There are a lot of costs in custom home renovations, especially depending on the size of the job. When creating your budget, a good way to get an initial overview of where your money will be going is to write up a spreadsheet where you can first include what needs to be done, and then see how much you have left over for any optional extras. Include your estimated cost and then the actual cost and use these figures to determine if a certain type of finish or tile is worth having, or if there are some aspects you could DIY to save costs.
Deciding on what exactly you want to happen during the renovation, down to the last detail of handles and finishes, will stand you in good stead for finding the most accurate quote. Approaching the contractor with as much accuracy and detail as possible will help them find a quote that most reflects the reality of the renovation. Ask more than one contractor for a quote and investigate where your money goes. Put time into researching how much you can buy yourself at a cheaper price if certain companies charge you for buying materials, scheduling and picking up materials, when you could be doing it yourself.
Scheduling Can Cost Money
When planning your renovation, scheduling is an important cost to keep in mind. Any type of delay could set you back hours and days of labor costs, especially if you are spending money on living elsewhere or using a payment method that matters when months are delayed.
- Building Delays – Some building materials may arrive broken or damaged, or parts you ordered online may be incorrect. Try shopping locally to ensure if a problem like this arises that someone from the nearby company can pop over and fix it.
- Weather – If your renovation includes any exterior changes or additions that can be delayed by weather, try to schedule the building during a more temperate part of the year when weather is least likely to hamper the renovation process.
- Unseen Problems – During demolition, many unseen problems may arise that were lurking behind the walls or in the piping. Anything from rot, to lead pipes that need replacing, to structural problems, all of these can cause costly setbacks.
- Mind Changing – Changing your mind is an unseen problem that can lead to a lot of delays in time. If you decide to change a material, or even the original plan, you can cause yourself a lot of setbacks and building and labor costs that you need to budget for.
Payment Method and Contingency Plan
Setting up a payment plan for your renovation is a very important step. Consider opening a dedicated account to keep a clear view on all expenses instead of searching through all of your other living costs.
If you need to take out a loan, there are various options to take. The most popular is a home equity line of credit (HELOC) which is secured by your home equity and is tax deductible. Make sure to set up a payment plan that keeps you on top of repayment to avoid falling into debt.
Another important safety measure is setting up a contingency budget. Aim to add 15-20% of your overall budget for any problems that may arise to avoid being stuck halfway through a project and needing to abandon it due to lack of money.
Make the Money Count
Depending on how much time you personally have available, it is possible to make your home renovation a cheaper experience. Also asking yourself what you really need, opposed to things you want but aren’t necessary, matters in the overall cost.
- General Contractor – A general contractor oversees and manages all the roles you cannot personally attend to, especially if you are busy with work or cannot be around all the time. Hiring a GC does cost more, but this is an expense that will negate many other costs as the right licensed contractor will be able to oversee the permitting process, carry insurance in case of unforeseen delays and accidents etc.
- Permits – Obtaining permits can be done yourself instead of paying someone else to stand in lines. Permits ensure the safety of your home and prevent having to redo anything, which also costs money.
- DIY – If you have the skills, a lot of money can be saved by going the DIY route. If you can finish flooring or fixtures, you cut out some labor costs and can be proud of having a hand in making your new home. Remember, that you still need to apply for permits even if you are doing the renovations yourself. This is something a contractor will have covered for you.
- Source Locally – Sourcing locally ensures items arrive sooner and can be returned if incorrect. Nearby contractors can easily return to fix any problems that may arise if they are in the area.
- Home Inspector – Hiring an inspector, while also having an upfront cost, can help to assess your home against your new custom design to inform you of whether or not your dreams can be achieved. Inspectors may discover that your water pressure is too low before you go out and buy a fancy shower head, or that your kitchen circuit needs to be upgraded before installing an induction stove. Inspectors can help find any extra things that you could add to your spreadsheet of costs before spending the money.
Renovating your home is a big job and needs to be planned as well as possible in order to run smoothly. If you need more advice on budgeting, would like a quote or are looking for a reliable home renovation contractor, contact Miller Construction and Design today.