Virtually everyone who undertakes a remodeling project has to live within a home renovation budget. Without considering the financial implications of your choices, it’s natural to go over budget and sometimes in an extreme way. Estimating the cost of the project you’re undertaking well beforehand is the best starting point. Once the estimates come in, you’ll be able to make informed choices about your best way to go forward.
If you don’t want to change any aspect of your project, but the budget is too tight, consider phasing it instead. By breaking it into manageable pieces, you won’t need to commit financially to the whole thing at one time. You can build it piece-by-piece as your time and budget permit.
This is a fairly common practice for basements. Builders will rough-in the plumbing when they pour the slab because it costs much less to do it at that moment rather than later after the whole house is built.
You can use the same approach for home remodeling by phasing the improvements. Your architect and builder can suggest ways to phase it based on the amount and kind of work your project involves. Since they’re experts at home renovation, they know how to schedule phases to save money.
If you don’t want to or can’t phase the project, consider scaling it back when the home renovation budget is tight. You can either cut back on the total square footage of the project or lower your spec level. Unlike phasing where you go without for a while, scaling includes everything, but at a lower spec level, including size.
Instead of using the top-of-the line fixtures you’d like, use a lower quality instead, realizing that it’s temporary. You may need that bedroom or family room addition, or the kitchen remodel. It makes more sense to include them in the home so you don’t have to sacrifice functionality. Think about compromising on the plumbing and electrical fixtures as well as window coverings. It’s fairly easy to upgrade these later, and you may be able to match the styles even though you’ll be sacrificing quality for the short term.
Considering Sweat Equity
Some homeowners cut the home renovation budget by supplying some of the labor to reduce the cost. You might be able to do some of the demolition work, especially if it doesn’t involve wiring or plumbing. Sweeping up debris and vacuuming, or applying the primer before the painting pros come are all easy ways to cut the cost of remodeling. Be sure to check with your contractor before getting too ambitious.
Builders and architects use a system called value engineering to achieve design goals while cutting construction costs. They try to use standardized sizes and products as much as possible in order to shrink the labor and materials costs. As you go through the design process, ask your building team to suggest ways to take advantage of value engineering to bring more value to your home renovation budget.
It’s possible to make your home renovation budget work harder by prioritizing what you want to achieve first. The options to scale back the square footage, roll up your sleeves, or work with a smart builder are all valid and eventually take your goal of improving the livability and beauty of your home to fruition. Alair Homes works one on one with each of our clients to help them achieve their renovation dreams in a way that makes sense financially. Contact us, and let’s discuss your project.