Home Improvement Budgeting Made Easy

Creating a home renovation budget is a vital step for any remodeling project, no matter the size. Far too often, home remodel budgets don’t account for all the potential costs that can occur, causing homeowners to quickly run out of renovation funds.
With so much to consider, it’s understandable why homeowners don’t always know where to start. To help you stay on track with your remodeling budget, here are five renovation budget planner tips to ensure your family’s prepared:

5 Tips on Setting a Home Renovation Budget

1. Prioritize Your Needs.

Before you can accurately determine an appropriate remodel budget, you have to decide what the scope of the project will be. Begin by creating a list of your renovation priorities. This is where you’ll really separate your needs from your wants. To help you determine what your renovation needs are, consider the following questions:
●      What about your home doesn’t function the way your family needs?
●      How does your family enjoy spending their time?
●      What areas of the house could help enhance your lifestyle if renovated?
●      What rooms do you spend the most amount of time?
●      What about your home do you already love?
If you find that the layout of your main living areas is no longer serving your family, a main-level renovation could help you transform your kitchen, living, and dining spaces to be more functional and suit your family’s unique lifestyle.
Once you’ve determined the must haves, you can begin brainstorming a list of renovation ideas that would be nice to include, if your budget allows. It’s always a good idea to rank these ideas by importance as well; in case some renovation funds free up along the way, you’ll know exactly how to best utilize them.

2. Educate Yourself on Renovation Estimates.

Using your must-have list, begin educating yourself on how much your renovation project(s) will cost. Using a site like HomeAdvisor.com is one way to estimate what the general range will be for certain renovation projects, such as kitchen remodels, master suite renovations, etc. Another, and perhaps more accurate, way to find estimates is to reach out to a potential remodeling company to discuss your project and design preferences. An experienced remodeler will be able to provide you with current marketplace estimates and present you with a better picture of the potential costs (e.g. labor, materials, etc.) of each renovation project you plan to include.
With sites like Pinterest that showcase stunning kitchen ideas and serene bathroom remodeling trends, it’s easy for homeowners to dedicate the majority of their budgets to a single portion of their renovations, leaving remaining rooms with tighter budgets. By working with a professional remodeler, you can easily prioritize and break the project into phases with associated budgets that spell out a long-term plan that will meet all of your goals for each room.

3. Determine Your Financing Method(s).

With a better estimate in mind, you can begin exploring what financing methods you plan to use to fund your renovations. We always recommend our customers consult with their local banking institutions and individual financial advisors who can provide valuable advice and discuss what financing opportunities (i.e. HELOC, home equity loans, refinancing options, etc.) are best tailored to meet your family’s needs. Knowing your financing method helps you create a realistic home renovation budget, as it determines how much money you have available.

4. Interview Home-Remodeling Contractors.

Once you complete your financial planning for the project, you can begin interviewing home remodelers to receive different cost estimates (i.e. bids). This is why step 2 is so essential in budget planning, as it allows you to work with a professional remodeler earlier in the process to help get a better grasp on average building costs and other potential fees. We always recommend customers do plenty of research before consulting with remodeling companies. A good place to start is through word of mouth and referrals. Do you know anyone who has recently had work done? How was their experience?
When you’ve identified a few stand-out remodelers, contact them or meet with them to discuss your plans. Be honest and straightforward with your budget and renovation needs and goals, so you get a more accurate estimate and representation of what each company can deliver. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to get the answers you need and request to see examples of previous work they’ve completed, so you can determine if their design aesthetic complements your renovation vision. A good remodeler will take the time to address any and all of your questions with transparency.
After receiving a few estimates, decide on a remodeler whom you feel is trustworthy, thorough, and willing to work within your budget. Try not to be swayed by low-ball estimates, as oftentimes in this industry, the lower price tag comes with lower quality work and/or service.

5. Be Detail-Oriented With Your Remodel Budget.

The most important aspect of home improvement budgeting is firmly sticking to it throughout the process. The best way to create a comprehensive budget is to include the following aspects when calculating your remodeling budget, so you cover all your bases:
Calculate Your Main Renovation Costs. Consider all the elements required to complete a renovation, including the following
●      Building permit(s)
●      Labor (e.g. general contractor, subcontractors, inspector, etc.)
●      Mechanical system updates (e.g. plumbing, electrical, HVAC, etc.)
●      Materials and supplies (e.g. drywall, wood, paint, windows, roof, etc.)
●      Finishes and fixtures (e.g. countertops, flooring, cabinetry, lighting, faucets, etc.)
●      Appliances
Don’t Forget Living Expenses. If your renovation requires you and your family to find temporary living while some or all of the work is completed, be sure to account for accommodations, food, travel, etc. into your remodel budget.
Include a Contingency Fund. When it comes to construction, there’s always a chance that something can pop up that you weren’t expecting, whether it be an issue with the foundation or mechanical systems not meeting building codes and regulations. It’s easy for these unforeseen costs to quickly swallow up a budget if you don’t plan for them ahead of time. A general rule of thumb is to set aside 10 to 20 percent of your total renovation costs for a contingency fund, so you’ll be prepared if and when the unexpected occurs. If you don’t end up needing it, you can decide to include an additional upgrade or two, if you wish.

With Gonyea Transformations, You’re in Trustworthy Hands!

If you’re considering a larger home renovation, consider working with Gonyea Transformations for an exceptional renovation experience from beginning to end. We understand how much your family has invested in such a big project, and our dedicated team of architects, builders, and designers will ensure your best interests are always the driving force of every decision. Because we don’t take your trust in us lightly, we promise to deliver our reliable support, quality workmanship, and consistent open communication from our first consultation through your final walk through and beyond.
As you begin planning your home renovations, our home-remodeling resources on our website can help inspire your plans and offer support as you interview potential home remodelers, so you can feel more confident making such important decisions. When your family’s ready, contact the experts at Gonyea Transformations, and we’ll show you how we can help transform your home to best suit your family, all within your home renovation budget.