How to stick to your renovation budget

Private Property South Africa
Carmel Woodman

Renovating your home can often lead to spending more than you anticipated. Here are some fool-proof ways to stick to your budget, and still get what you want out of your renovation.

Sticking to the budget during a renovation often doesn’t go as planned. There are many variables and costs that cannot be predicted before the renovation begins, and homeowners often end up spending much more than they had budgeted for.

These tips can help homeowners stick to the amount that they’ve set aside for their home renovation:

Be aware of hidden costs

Renovations always cost more than expected, particularly for those who are renovating for the first time and don’t know what to expect. Contractors may not be able to work out certain costs upfront, and any changes made during the renovation can add to the total cost. Quotes given by contractors are a rough guideline, so it’s a good idea to take these numbers as a general idea, and budget for more than the quoted amount.

Decide what’s important

Make a list of what you would like to get done during your renovation. Rate each item on your renovation list by what is critical and what is not. Make sure your contractor is aware of which items you consider must-haves and which are only to be done if the budget allows for them.

Get many quotes

Sourcing reliable contractors who don’t charge an excessive amount is in your best interest, when sticking to a tight budget. Make a list of what you’d like to be done during the renovation, and use the same list to get quotes from at least 3 contractors. Shopping around will help you get a better of idea of how much your renovation is going to cost, and who can get the job done well. Make sure you check each contractor’s references, ask to see their work and research them online.

Keep an eye on costs

Constant monitoring of all money being spent is the best way to make sure that the project doesn’t go over budget. By monitoring your renovation spend daily, overspending can be nipped in the bud. Checking your budget daily might seem like a lot, but keeping a tight rein on spending is the most fool-proof way to ensure that the project stays on track.

Know how much you can spend

If you’re paying cash, work out how much you can spend and put on a ceiling on the renovation costs. If you’re borrowing from a bank, find out how much they will lend you and what you can afford to pay back monthly. Ensure that your contractor/s know exactly how much your budget is, and that it is not negotiable to go over this budget. If your renovation costs don’t fit in with your budget, you will need to scale down on anything that isn’t a must-have.

Do things yourself

If need be, doing things yourself can save you lots of money. Whether it be buying materials or appliances or installing items, anything that you can do yourself, do it. It will save you having to hire someone to do it, which is better in the long-run for your budget.

Keep items that are still in working condition

If you’re on a tight budget, it makes sense not to upgrade certain appliances and fixtures, if you don’t need to. Keep anything that is still in working order, and even if it is older, it can always be upgraded at a later stage.

It pays to make sure that your renovation vision is aligned with your budget, to avoid disappointment and debt. Trimming your renovation to fit your budget is always better than overspending on unnecessary items and running yourself into debt. These two points should be kept in mind, to ensure a smooth renovation.

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