Creating a budget can be tough but sticking to it can be even harder, especially when it comes to home renovations. Whether it’s a simple change of paint or a complete overhaul of your kitchen or bathroom, one thing remains the same in that you need a plan and money to complete the project. If you’re ready to get started, below are a few tips on how to set your budget and stick to it for your next home renovation.
Wanting to redo your bathroom is quite different than needing a new bath or shower due to malfunctioning plumbing. Start by making two lists; one of your wants and the other of your needs. It is fine, and common, to want to design the home of your dreams but the reality of achieving this is layered. Think about what you want to achieve, and which parts of the project are most important. You should think about what you’re willing to compromise on if you run into any structural issues or your budget doesn’t cover the cost.
After you define your goals, you need to crunch the numbers. Create a financial plan of the expected and unexpected costs. You should also create a spreadsheet of how much money you have available for the renovations and how much you’ll need to complete the project. If the renovation is large, you could consider taking out a personal loan, or you could tap into your home’s equity. Depending on how long you’ve been paying on your mortgage, you might be able to acquire a line of credit based on your equity. If you’re not familiar with the process, there are a variety of guides you can review online that explain how a home equity loan works and whether you have enough built up to apply.
Once you finalize your budget, it’s time to find the right person for the job. Before heading to Google, ask friends and family for recommendations first. Word of mouth referrals typically yield the best results, especially when it comes to home renovations. Write questions from most to least important prior to the interview process. This will keep your thoughts organized and allow you to use your questions as a checklist.
You should also meet with at least two to three contractors prior to getting started. Make sure you’re clear about your vision, expectations and your budget. You also need to ask how they handle unexpected problems and how it could adversely affect your budget. In addition to getting quotes in writing, you should inquire about previous projects each contractor has completed. Reputable contractors are always happy to share the details of past jobs, before and after photos as well as a list of references.
There are plenty of ways to save money when renovating your home. For example, if you’re giving your kitchen a complete makeover, you can gut your kitchen by removing the cabinets yourself and pulling up old flooring. In the bath, you can also remove the vanity and old fixtures to help lower the cost.
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