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    Budgeting for Your Remodel

  • If you are about to venture into your first remodel, this article is a must read. Doing a remodel is much like buying a new car or purchasing a home. One of the biggest questions you need to answer before you get started is — what is my budget?

    Follow the next steps, and you should find an answer to that question at the end!

    First: Decide what you need, want and hope to get done. Needs should be prioritized, wants coming second and hopes are there in case there is money left in the budget at the end! Keep in mind that sometimes changing one thing often requires changing another. A good way to visualize this is to think of your project as being built from the ground up. We cannot replace your cabinets without also replacing your countertops. If possible, list your needs from the top down.

    Second: Think of a number that you would LIKE to spend on this project. You may find later that this number is unrealistic, and it may change as you realize what you can and cannot get done for that number. Nonetheless – come up with a number!

    Third: Determine starting budgets for your NEEDS. For example, your countertops are peeling because they are formica or your tile is cracking. Do a little research locally and find out the ‘average’ costs for these items.

    If you are remodeling a space that involves a multitude of components, there are many resources online for determining the average cost for a project. Many of them base the cost on your home’s value by taking a percentage. For example, a kitchen remodel typically costs between 10-14% of a home’s value.

    If the average costs are within your budget, now is the time to call a company or two for official quotes for your space.  IF the average costs are NOT within the number you came up in the second step – RETHINK that number or your NEEDS. Keep in mind there are several ways to finance remodel projects, if needed.

    Last: Compare quotes, ask questions, secure funds and move forward with your project! Once you have determined a realistic budget you are comfortable with, it’s time to begin your project. Be sure to closely review any contracts you have collected, payment terms, and disclaimers as you make your decision.

    The photo above is of a project where the client needed to replace her countertops and backsplash and hoped to replace her cabinets. For budget purposes, we left the cabinetry as is. That said, there was a little left over in the project when all was said and done so we continued the backsplash into her living room area, accenting the fireplace as shown in the photo below.