Home remodeling projects have a nasty tendency of going over-budget. Ask any homeowner who’s done one and they’ll most likely tell you that it went over budget. While you can’t completely eliminate the possibility of this happening (you never know what curve balls life will throw at you once the project begins) you can do a lot to minimize the chances of it happening to you. Here are a few tips.
Set a realistic budget
That’s right. The first tip for not going over budget is to have a realistic one in the first place. The reason so many remodeling projects go over budget is because homeowners are way too optimistic. They assume everything will go exactly according to plan and they estimate based on the minimum cost of every single part of the project. A good rule of thumb is to budget according to the average cost for each aspect of the project, then add another 10 to 15% as a contingency. This way, if something goes wrong, there’s a good chance you’ll still end up under budget. If everything does go right, you have extra funds that you can put towards another project.
Plan a lot
Setting a budget is just the first step in planning a remodel. Another reason so many remodels go over budget is the homeowner doesn’t spend enough time in the planning stage. It’s understandable to be anxious about just getting the project underway but you’re much more likely to run into problems that way. Take your time, plan everything out in excruciating detail. Consult with the right people, and only then begin work.
Opt for laminate
Natural stone countertops like granite or quartz are all the rage in home design right now, as are natural wood floors. But these materials are expensive. You can purchase laminate that simulates the look of these natural materials but at a fraction of the cost.
Ask your contractor
If you’re working with a general contractor, ask him/her for advice for limiting costs. They’re experienced with working within a budget and can be a great resource for keeping costs down. Many have access to discounts at home improvement stores or access to leftover materials from previous jobs that can help you save money.
Prioritize smaller, less expensive projects that you can do yourself. If money is really tight, don’t attempt to save money by doing a complete kitchen remodel yourself. Instead focus on simple projects you can do easily by yourself. Install baseboard heater covers, hang new curtains, repaint the interior, or resurface your cabinets with new hardware and a coat of paint.