Set a Home Renovation Budget

by Washington Federal Team on June 29, 2011

Home renovations can be an exciting venture that can improve the quality of life for your family and possibly increase your home’s value. Before you start choosing paint swatches, however, it’s a good idea to set a limit on your project expenses. A budget for your renovation project budget can ensure you upgrade your home without overstretching your wallet.  Here are five guidelines to help you set a  home renovation budget:

1. Separate the necessities from the extras
Before you begin working on your budget, you should decide which projects are absolutely needed and which are purely aesthetic. Replacing your bathroom’s leaky faucets with  new plumbing fixtures is a need, while wallpapering and upgrading the light fixtures would be a want.

2. Start with one small renovation
Renovation projects don’t have to be done all at once. If you choose one smaller-scaled renovation (such as replacing your kitchen countertops), you can learn a bit about the process before jumping into a lengthy remodel. It’s much smarter to complete one project at a time rather than to start multiple projects and then discover that you don’t have the financial resources to finish them.

3. Do an at-home estimate
Before you consult a professional, you can estimate your project costs with this remodeling calculator. This at-home estimate will give you a better idea of popular project costs such as kitchen remodeling and roof repairs. A general estimate allows you to set a realistic price range for your renovation project.

4. Get one or more professional estimates from a contractor
A professional builder or remodeler is the best source for obtaining a true estimate for your project costs. They can predict the costs of materials and labor as well as give you a construction timeline. Once you have a professional estimate or two in hand, you can adjust your project to fit within your pre-determined price range.

5. Plan for added expenses
Just because your contractor gives you an estimate of $5,000 does not mean that this is the total cost. This figure is simply an approximation and may not include cosmetic necessities to finish the project. Create a budget contingency (of about 15 percent more than the original estimate) so you can prepare for unanticipated costs and stick to your budget.

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