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How to Keep a Remodeling Budget Down

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A common question by homeowners wanting to set a remodeling budget, is how much will their: kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling, and/or home remodeling going to cost? What they don’t realize is the final cost is largely determined by their scope of design and selection of products. There is an annual guide of average cost range for projects that are updated every year that can be a helpful reference to have an idea for most underestimate how much remodeling costs. Other factors effecting the remodeling budget include the current site conditions.

Often a homeowner will interview more than one reputable contractor to decide who has good processes, offers creative solutions that they want to use, and that they feel comfortable to do their project. A professional remodeling designer will work with you to give you what you want within your budget. Their experience will guide you on ways to save, and where to direct money for the best results. For example, if your list of must haves for your bathroom remodeling project includes using marble, having heated floors, a curbless walk-in shower, and a new vanity, the designer might suggest using the award winning Daltile Marble Attaché porcelain tile to get the look of marble for less cost and easier upkeep to give you more ability to include the elements on your wish list.

So what can you do to keep your remodeling budget down? Think about what you want to accomplish, and make three lists: what you must have, what you would like to have, and your wish list. Communicate your desires with your designer. Your designer can help you stay true to your budget and help prioritize what elements you will really notice and enjoy.

Needs Determine what is not working for you currently in the space for your routine and goals. How do you want the space to function, and what is the source of agitation to eliminate? How will you be using the space and what do you want the space to help facilitate for your lifestyle? Consider your needs through different times of the year (winter-summer, for holidays). The elements on this list you could say, the cost doesn’t matter, you must have these.

Wants What elements of design are important and would make the space a unique reflection of you? The items on this list are also desired, but comparable substitutions can be made.

Wishes Create a list of what would be nice to have, but you could live without. Don’t eliminate something just to save money that you will regret later!

Finally, a general rule of thumb is to set aside an additional 10% more than the contract price. It is typical that homeowners think of other things they want done in addition to the Scope of Work (Change Orders). They may select a product that is higher than what was budgeted. There also could be unanticipated pre-existing conditions when walls are opened up, like an expected plumbing or electrical lines, or termite damage.

Work with your designer to provide for your needs (e.g. more storage), to prioritize what you must have versus like to have, determine focal point, and consider your style of living/cooking/entertaining. An experienced designer will be able to recommend ways to trim costs, or even plan for parts to be done later.

Happy Home Remodeling!

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