Submitting the home renovation  budget to contractors shows real progress in the work you and your renovating team have done. Even though it’s a milestone, the planning stages may not be quite over once you take a look at the budget. If the estimates come back higher than you expected, maybe one of these approaches will work to move you forward.

Double-Check the Rough Estimates

It’s possible that there’s a mistake somewhere in the rough estimate you received from the contractor. Go through it with a fine-tooth comb. If the estimate seems excessively high, ask your design team to go over it carefully to see that it’s entirely accurate.

Build Smarter

There might be construction specifications that are inherently expensive to build in the home remodeling budget that don’t add much value. One of the concepts that drives some new homebuilders and remodelers is value engineering. The practice involves using the materials in a way that achieves good design without adding to the cost of construction.

You might find areas where the design specifications are driving up the construction costs. Examples include ceiling plates. Using common sizes for the structural wood in a home saves money. A ceiling plate of eight feet is cheaper to build than one that’s 12 feet because eight foot 2 x 4s cost much less than 12 foot lengths because of the volume sold.

Scale Back the Specifications

If you need every inch of space or functionality all at once, go through the home remodeling budget to discover what it is you really need versus what you want. If you need to pare back spending, stick with the basics. Your project manager or team leader can help you identify those components.

As a rule, you’ll want to keep the plumbing and wiring as originally specified, since it’s less labor-intensive to install these initially. It’s easier to upgrade external features down the road rather than what’s hidden behind the walls.

Consider using plumbing and light fixtures that aren’t as expensive. They’re much easier to change down the road. Sometimes the lower price for plumbing fixtures lies in their durability rather than appearance. Light fixtures are similar. All must meet the UL code, but there is a wide variation in the quality of the materials used. Plumbing fixtures are similar, although there’s little risk to home and personal safety with a faucet compared to a light fixture.

Take It One Room at a Time

If you don’t want to compromise any of the finishes for the project, why not phase it into segments you can complete one at a time? Start with the rooms or changes that are the most essential. You may find it’s easier to tackle a kitchen renovation using this method since it’s an essential room. If you need to compromise, consider the appliances, lighting and plumbing fixtures. Don’t cut back on the energy efficiency of the dishwasher or refrigerator, since their energy savings pay for their extra costs over time.

Photo by Alair Homes Forest HillLook for kitchen design inspiration

Bottom Line

A home renovation budget that comes in higher than you expected provides you plenty of ways to rethink and fine-tune the project. Alair Homes can help you refine it to move forward with the changes and improvements you need and want for your home. Contact us, and let’s discuss your next project.