Redesigning your home is always a large undertaking. If you are planning any kind of redesign project, whether for your whole home or a single room, you will almost certainly have an idea of how much you might spend. It may also seem inevitable you will go over budget at some point, given how many home projects end up costing more than planned. However, you do not have to resign yourself to this.
By planning your redesign projects ahead of time, you can make sure you stay within your budget for the entire process. This will take a great deal of research, as preparation will be key in all areas of your plan. By performing this research, you will give yourself the opportunity to find more affordable alternatives in almost every category. This way, you can save where you need to and keep the big budget allocations for your most important redesign features.
Dream Big, Shop Small
In order to know how much you might spend on your project, you will first need to know what you will be spending it on. Even though keeping to a careful budget means you will be unlikely to achieve every single dream you have for your space, knowing what those dreams are can be key to helping you plan. Start your project by creating a list of what you would do if there were no restrictions. This might include decorations, furnishings, fixtures and more.
Once you have your list, you will need to set the items or projects in order of priority. You may need to replace a large item of furniture that recently broke, for example, and will move it ahead of your desire to replace the light fixtures. If your furniture is still in good condition, you might prioritize your decorating projects instead.
Research will be extremely important when it comes to keeping your budget low. For example, you may need to budget for a large furniture piece that is worth a larger investment.
However, you may be able to find cheaper furniture that has a similar look, so you can still show off your style for a fraction of the cost. When you use key terms to search for similar products to those on your dream list, and you may be surprised at just how much you can save.
Prepare for Hidden Fees and Costs
When considering the costs for a home redesign project, you may picture a shopping list of furniture items, paint or wallpaper and decorations.
However, there are numerous additional costs and fees any home project will involve, and that you will need to be prepared and budgeted for. These can include:
- Shipping and delivery fees.
- Permit fees.
- Payment for engineering work.
- Labor costs.
Even if you are planning to do some of the work yourself, you may find the job requires tools you do not currently own, or a special product you will need to buy. A careful step-by-step plan with dollar amounts attached to every stage will help you get a better picture of what your redesign may cost. It is also important to remember some redesign projects can result in accidental damage or reveal structural issues that need to be fixed. These costs cannot be accurately prepared for, but you can choose to add an extra 10 to 25 percent of the overall budget amount just in case.
Professional Versus DIY
One of the best ways to beat high expenses is to look for premade fittings and furnishings rather than budgeting for custom work. Custom work will inevitably cost more, due to the time and labor involved in the process. If you need some custom work done, you may need to budget for the services of a professional.
Finding the right contractor can make or break your budget. It is important to put plenty of time into researching the going rate for contractors in your area, as well as the typical costs for the job you want done. Make sure to get multiple bids in order to compare different contractors. You should also be careful not to simply accept the cheapest bid, as this may be red flag for inexperience or low ratings. A contractor who causes additional damage due to ignorance or poor materials may cost far more than a better rated one in the long run. When reviewing bids, you should also look for contractors who account for every single cost involved in the job, from labor hours to materials. This will help you keep your budget accurate.
You may consider doing the work yourself, as this will save on the cost of hiring labor. However, this option should be reserved for projects you have some kind of experience in and are confident you can complete successfully. If you have to call in a contractor to fix any damage or complete an incorrectly started project, your budget may quickly grow well beyond what you can afford. If you do want to complete a project yourself, you may be able to make a significant saving by renting the tools you will need rather than buying them.
Follow a Strict Budget
One of the reasons it is important to create some extra space in your overall budget is once it is set, you will need to commit to keeping it. Make sure every single category of spending is accounted for, using all the research you have done in advance.
If possible, try to keep to the categories within the budget as well. You may choose to leave yourself the option to move leftover funds from one category into another. For example, if you find the sofa you want on sale, you might add the savings you made to your “possible emergencies” category. You can help yourself keep track of these changes by maintaining an ongoing record of every purchase made as part of the project, even if is as small as a package of screws. Try not to make too many changes, as it could make the budget confusing and difficult to manage. Most importantly, you should make sure you are never in danger of going over the total amount you have set aside for your project.
By Larissa Shelton –