How to Establish and Keep a Remodeling Budgeting

Budgets for remodeling projects are challenging because every project is unique, options exist for everything and the scope of work often changes.  Faced with these realities, here are some ideas on how to keep your project’s budget under control.

  1. Start by matching project scope to your priorities for your newly renovated home.  Working with your remodeling contractor,  establish basic pricing guidelines that match each priority and adjust the project scope from there.  Scope is the the biggest factor in establishing and controlling your remodeling project budget.
  2. Once the basic scope has been established, start looking at the details.  The materials that you select are the second biggest factor in establishing your budget.  Use a simple checklist like theses (kitchen product selection sheetbathroom product selection sheet) to establish the exact fixtures, cabinets, flooring, tile and other finish surfaces.  Be sure to understand construction details that may affect project pricing.
  3. Make sure that you are comfortable with the exact layout of your project.  Hire a design/build firm that uses a 3-d architectural package to help you understand your new space including how your furniture will be set up.
  4. Be sure to ask your remodeling contractor about any concealed conditions that could result in budget changes.
  5. Once your project is underway, it will be tempting to introduce changes or add to the original scope.  Be sure to clearly understand both the time and dollar costs associated with these changes.  While the “change order” has a bad name in the remodeling business, it is a necessary evil and will help you to understand the impact of changes that occur after your home renovation has started.

The more time spent up-front planning for you project the closer your project will be to its original budget.  Some changes are inevitable, but should not be result of improper preparation.  Most well planned and managed projects are completed within 5% of the original budget.