When we are often thinking of our New Year resolutions, we may be looking to finally tackle a small (or large) scale renovation project. Having a realistic budget in mind when first approaching this project, will save you time and headaches throughout the design and construction process. By sharing your budget with your architect upfront, they can help you set realistic expectations and can work with you to develop a design that meets your needs.
Construction budgets can be tricky. Typically, the construction budget includes just that, the cost of construction. The total cost is a different story all together. The total cost includes things like:
· Land/ acquisition costs
· Financing fees
· Design services
· Permitting fees
· Any Owner supplied items (Unless you select all items before the contractor prepares their construction quote, and are clear that you want them to allow for the supply of these items, the contractor will expect that certain items are supplied by the owner for them to install. These are things like floor tile, plumbing fixtures, lights, windows, doors, cabinetry, mirrors)
· Furniture for your new space
At every step of the way, you want to be very clear with your architect and your contractor about what you are getting for the price they have given you. Be sure to ask what’s included and what’s not included to minimize any surprise expenses down the road.
You should also include a contingency in your budget to cover any unanticipated costs. Despite everyone’s best efforts, things may come up on site that no one could have predicted which increase the cost of construction. This is typical in renovations of older homes.
It’s important to acknowledge if your budget doesn’t fit your aspirations. Those of us in the design industry despise the HGTV shows which make it look like these projects can be done on a shoestring budget and timeframe. We might all desire that gorgeous kitchen with the shiny appliances and marble countertop, but our wallets disagree. Speak with your design professional honestly about your priorities. Go in with your list of must-haves and be open to being flexible on the rest.
Start your project and year off with an honest budget and clear direction for a successful result.