Home Improvement

How to Easily Budget for Home Improvements

If you are planning to renovate your kitchen or your living room (or perhaps most of your home), you are probably starting to worry about your budget.

Many of us are restricted by our budgets when it comes to home improvements, meaning we can’t really make all of those changes we would like to. The reality slaps us in the face.

So, if you also desperately need to make certain improvements but are afraid you will end up in debts or of having to drop it all in the middle of works, you will definitely find these tips helpful:

1. Consider the percentages when deciding what to renovate

When you’re renovating your home, you’re not just doing that for the sake of change. You are also aiming to increase your home’s value.

So, when deciding which room to focus on, have a few facts in mind.

Firstly, the kitchen, basements, and attics can add from 10% to 15% of the total value of your home. Next, the bathroom is what could increase the home’s value between 5% and 15%. Everything else including bedrooms, halls and the living room has a lower percentage.

However, if your living room is simply too depressing and outdated, you may want to omit the percentages and work on making you and your family feel more comfortable.

2. Concentrate on the details

Once you have decided which room you want to renovate, start working on the specifics.

You need to make a clear plan of which specific changes you will introduce and what type of work you’re planning on doing. This also includes determining what type of material you’ll need and what finishing jobs are obligatory.

More precisely, if you’re planning to renovate the kitchen, answer the questions such as: Am I changing the flooring? Is it going to be wooden flooring or just a change of tiles? Should I replace the cupboards or simply repaint them?

It will be much easier for the contractor to tell you more accurately how much you can expect to spend.

3. Find ways to save more in the process

Knowing a few tricks on how to save more is always useful.

First of all, being able to do much or some of the work on your own will save you a lot of money. It’s not just about painting the room on your own – many people learn how to set tile and laminate floors, so why not be a bit more interested in certain works?

Another way to spend less is to hire an interior designer – they can make a huge difference even if they spend an hour or two in your home. They will give you the best possible advice about improvements you want to make that will save you money and also suggestions on how to make bigger changes but with less effort and better results.

Lastly, you can try being really frugal by installing the vinyl floor and not tile, simply replacing the cabinet doors or checking out clearance items in stores.

4. Be picky with the contractors

Don’t simply opt for the first contractor you find. You should get in touch and get quotes from at least three different contractors. Ask your friends and neighbors for a recommendation.

Make sure you have a detailed list of all your wishes and specifics and that each contractor prices the exact same items.

Don’t be shy to ask the contractor to show you their last project and to show you some references. If possible, do some research on them online – there are always previous customers who gave their review on blogs or other sites.

5. Be financially prepared for unpleasant surprises

There’s no such thing as a perfect plan, so you need to set aside a certain amount of money in case something goes wrong. The safest way is to put away 10-15% of the overall expected cost just for unexpected costs.

You can’t really know what to expect until the actual works start. Maybe you’ll discover there’s asbestos in your home or that the foundations are not as good as you originally thought.

If everything goes according to the plan, in the end, you can spend the emergency money for furnishing.

6. The timing

Contractors are not equally busy throughout the year, and there’s your chance to save up on your budget.

As they are usually very busy in the summer and spring, try to hire them during colder months. Contractors are prone to offer a lower price if they don’t have a lot of work to do, which is the case in the winter mostly.

7. Determine the best borrowing option

If you are not planning on spending cash for renovation, you will have to borrow money from a certain lender. The key is to determine which option suits you best.

Some people might opt for a home equity line of credit, where they can borrow money only up to a certain limit but whenever the need occurs. The initial rate that you get can change over time, so just be aware of that.

Of course, there are other home improvement loans that you can choose where you simply get a loan of a certain amount and you pay it back at the fixed interest rate on monthly basis. You only need to do your research to find the right kind of lender.

8. Don’t change the plan during the renovation

You need to resist the urge to add or change something once the works have already started.

Stick to your original plan because any unplanned changes that come to your mind could cost a lot more than just following the plan. Trust your initial decision and don’t get sidetracked.

Final comment

Having a home improvement doesn’t have to financially scare you, as you can see. All it takes is some planning and will to do a thorough research before the contractor arrives.

Then the only thing you need to do will be to monitor the work and be relaxed, knowing your budget will cover everything.

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