You probably have a tough time sticking to a budget for your household, so sticking to it for your renovation will be even harder. Your total household budget is easier to stick to because you’ll just plain run out of money. For a renovation, it’s easy to rationalize a little bit more money here and there, a higher quality parquet floor, a slightly nicer refrigerator, a name brand paint, your dream couch, etc. Before you know it, you’ve totally blown your budget, used up your loan and savings, and the project is only half done.
Work backwards, budget first
Jane Eyles-Bennett, an interior designer, acknowledged these challenges, but added that there are ways to prevent these mistakes. One very important step in the renovation process that will help you out with this is making a plan detailing every change you plan on making during the renovation. Jane said, "It’s best to start with the budget in mind first-and then work backwards from there to figure out what you can actually do to your home within the amount of money allocated."
Make a wish list
Once you have your total amount of money available calculated, make a list of everything you would like to do. Don’t hold yourself back on the list-include everything from replacing the doorknob on the bathroom door to repainting the entire downstairs. Write down the idea even if you don’t think you could do it, otherwise the impossible ideas will get stuck in your head, preventing you from coming up with plausible ideas.
After you have your list, Jane said, "Put some ballpark price estimates next to each one. If you’re really not sure what things will cost, ring around, talk to friends and family, or look on the internet to get some indication." Don’t just guess at what the projects might cost.
With your list and costs on one hand and your budget on the other, you can get down to weeding out the impossible ideas from the doable ideas. Try rating them on a scale of most necessary to least necessary or urgent to least urgent. Then you can work your way through the list and get quotes from professionals so you have an even more definite idea of what the projects would cost.
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