Yup, we know you’re excited about your first home improvement project. Are you planning to upgrade your outdated bathroom into a modern space? Are you thinking of installing a new floor for your open living space? Or, are you working on a gorgeous kitchen upgrade? No matter what it is, we understand how tough it is to budget for such a home project.
From determining all the materials you’ll need to find the right contractor to work with, everything seems like a lot of work. Luckily for you, we’ve got some useful tips here to help you budget for home improvement — the right way. Read on!
1. Decide on top needs and priorities.
Home improvement projects are generally carried out to meet a specific need that homeowners don’t get in their current living condition. It might be a need for a more open kitchen space, a bigger bedroom, a new wood-burning fireplace for the living room, or a space for the home office. For this, it will help to list down all your needs and prioritize them accordingly. For instance, having a home office might be your top priority, whereas installing a new walk-in closet may be pushed down the priority list for now. Our tip: Focus on your top goals and prevent yourself from carrying out less important projects or can wait.
2. Create a plan with cost estimates.
After determining your goals for the home improvement project, proceed to create a detailed plan with all the expected costs. This is beneficial for establishing a budget and communicating your requirements with the contractor. You can do this on paper or a digital spreadsheet for easier tracking. Decide on the finishes and fixtures you’re looking to get done and calculate the overall costs, from the shipping costs to taxes. You can also include the new appliances you want to buy and include costs for delivery and installation.
On top of that, be sure to use online resources to check for the average labor costs for hiring handymen, plumbers, or architects. Typically, the labor cost will account for up to 35% of the work’s project. Also, don’t forget to budget for smaller items such as hand tools, sandpapers, tapes, and even paintbrushes. They might not be that expensive but can add up to $100 or more if you require plenty of supplies.
3. Determine where to save and cut back.
Budgeting for a home improvement project doesn’t necessarily mean you need to cut back on all expenses and lose quality. There are things where you can save, and there are areas to splurge. Our first tip for this is to do the simple tasks yourself to save money on labor. Maybe you can paint the walls of the room, install new lights, or remodel your old bookshelf. The aspects that you want to hire our labor would be major works such as replacing the roof, structural changes, or electrical and plumbing. Other things you can do are replacing old cabinet doors instead of buying new ones, shopping for clearance-item wall tiles, or opting for composites instead of granite countertops.
4. Request multiple contractors’ bids.
After knowing what you need and your priorities, it’s now time to find potential contractors that can help you with the work. We advise finding local contractors with many positive reviews and can respond to your concerns quickly. You can then request bids from your list of contractors (at least three) and compare their quotes. However, do not go for the one that offers the cheapest bid. Evaluate things like the services included in the quote, the quality of work expected based on the feedback, and so on. And of course, don’t forget to consider your budget too!
5. Plan for budgeting mistakes.
The last thing to remember is that there will always be unanticipated costs to come your way, no matter how much you research or plan for the work. For instance, let’s say you’ve read tons of articles about kitchen countertops. You might miss details like the fabrication work can be very expensive. The tendency is you will be splurging on fancy countertops. And the result? You have no extra money for fabrication. Ideally, it’s best to save at least 5% of your overall budget for any surprise expenses.
Believe us when we say home improvement might be consuming but can give you so much more if carried out properly. You can increase the value of your home, enhance its interior or exterior aesthetics, and even boost its comfort and functionality. So before starting a home improvement project, be sure to follow our tips here. Best of luck!