BUILD A RENOVATION BUDGET WITH THESE EASY STEPS

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BUILD A RENOVATION BUDGET WITH THESE EASY STEPS

 

BUILD A RENOVATION BUDGET WITH THESE EASY STEPS

 

If you’ve been glued to the endless stream of home improvement shows during lockdowns, then you may be thinking about what you should do to improve your property.

While TV shows make it all look easy, don’t feel duped. They inspire you to be creative and often encourage you to address issues with your home that have been bugging you for months, maybe even years.

But home improvement is not always as simple as they make it seem on TV. Planning and preparation is key to a successful project – and sadly it doesn’t all get done in a convenient one-hour timeslot.

You should choose your projects carefully. Today’s buyers put a premium on certain assets of a home, such as a quality kitchen. But before you spend your hard-earned cash on an upgrade, it’s always worth talking to your favourite real estate agent about the elements of your home that are most in need of work and where you’re likely to achieve the best return on your investment with any renovation work.

Another important task is to plan a realistic budget to ensure it doesn’t burn a big hole in your bank balance. Below are some tips on how to set your budget and contain costs.

  • Clear vision – Take your time to establish what you want to achieve. Changing your plans midway through a project is expensive and can cost time. That becomes annoying if that means delaying your plans to sell.
  • Two-stage process – Establishing a budget is a two-step process. First of all, you should get ballpark figures so you’re satisfied the project is affordable. You should do this by researching the cost of materials and talking to tradies about general costs.
  • Include everything – Forgetting to factor in some of the basic costs will blow a hole in your budget. Always include the expense of demolition, insulation, plumbing, wiring, and the installation of insulation and drywalls, and taking away old building materials.
  • Quote me on that – Get three quotes. Brief each tradesperson in exactly the same way. If you don’t, your quotes won’t be comparable. Check each candidate’s licenses and insurance. If you’re having trouble deciding, consider your comfort factor with each of them and their communication skills.
  • Avoid vague estimates – If your contractor is a little vague on costs, especially around materials, you should pin them down and double-check prices. If they’re still vague, cross them off your list.
  • Sanity on a spreadsheet – Before you actually decide to go ahead, put all the actual costs into a spreadsheet, itemise everything and calculate the total cost. This should not only inform your decision to proceed but be your guide as the project progresses.
  • Trim away – If the costs are a little steep, you’ll be amazed how a spreadsheet will help you trim them back. Ask your contractor for help. They’re usually full of good ideas and intentions because they’ll want the work to go ahead, too.
  • Staged approach – On big projects, a contractor will do the work in stages and invoice you the cost for that work. In this scenario, you should create a second spreadsheet and breakdown the costs and work for each of these stages. Again, this will help you manage the project.
  • Expect the unexpected – Put 20% of the cost aside for unforeseen problems. This way, you’ll be in a position to financially handle anything that’s thrown at you and you’ll avoid any financial stress from cost overrun

BUILD A RENOVATION BUDGET WITH THESE EASY STEPS

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