5 Money Saving Tips When Remodeling
Whether your budget is big or small, whether your project is big or small - home renovations or remodeling projects seem to be the biggest culprits of budget creep.
At Cadet, we’ve worked with several homeowners through our retailers, trade professionals, and contractors. They all seem to have one resounding secret for success when it comes to remodeling projects: (try) To plan for the unexpected! You might wonder, how do I plan for what I don’t know? It’s not easy. So, we’ve created these 5 tips to help you plan for the unexpected:
- Make and Stick to Your Budget
When doing renovations, it’s important to know how much you can afford first, and then how far the funds will go, not the other way around. You may have several rooms to remodel, but only have a limited amount of funds. Understanding your maximum funds can help determine the priorities of projects and priorities inside the project.
- Don't Make Your Contractor or Designer Guess Your Budget
When working with a contractor, be upfront with your budget. We work with several designers and contractors directly, we know they want the best for their clients, and they can't do that if they don't know your budget limit. Playing a guessing game with your contractor or designer will only add time and frustration to the planning process. If you're willing to pitch in, your contractor can often help guide you on what project you can do versus hiring out to help stretch your budget even more.
- Don’t Believe Everything You See on TV (or Social Media)
Home remodeling shows are super popular, and there are hundreds of Remodelers, DIYer, and Decorators on social media. Unfortunately, many of them do a huge disservice to us by giving false impressions of the costs of remodeling projects. In many cases those shows or influencers are working with product sponsors or collaboration deals with appliances, flooring, counter-top, heat, paint, and more (we know because we sponsor some shows too!). As a sponsor ourselves, we do these collaborations to share how our products can be used, sometimes it's free, sometimes it's paid. When products are donated, it skews the actual cost of the project. Use these shows and influencers for inspiration, not for building budgets.
- Use the 20% Rule
As you create your budget, subtract 20 percent for cost overrun, material cost-difference, or other "surprises." Most Design-Build-Remodel firms already build this number in their margins, but you need to know that while budgeting for a remodel project. Talk to your contractor or designer about adding this budget into your project. So if something goes wrong, and it will, you and your contractor have a fallback plan and keep the project on budget and on plan.
- Change Hurts
Take the time early on in the project to think, dream, plan, draw, sketch, draw again, use VR room tools, planner tools, solicit all your family and friends feedback early. Because one of the fastest ways to incur extra cost is changing your mind halfway through a project, or not having the project fully designed before starting. If it adds a little extra time to the front end of a project, take this time, as it will save you a lot in the long run. It's much less expensive to spend a little more time making sure you get what you want, instead of changing materials or designs in the middle of the project. In addition, changing your mind often means changing orders, which almost always adds time to the project.
While we try hard to stay on budget and build our dream home, sometimes unexpected expenses sneak into the budget when doing a remodel. Managing your own expectations can sometimes be the hardest thing. Our recommendation: Do not go beyond your budget. Nothing is worth the anxiety that some with anxiety debt, even the most beautiful renovation. Though not mutually exclusive, sometimes home building (remodeling included) equates to character building.