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How to keep your renovation budget on track

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Renovations can breathe new life into your property, whether it’s freshening up a tired room or conducting major structural alterations. They can also increase your home’s value.

But unplanned expenses can throw a spanner in the works, causing you to overspend your budget.

There are many ways a renovation project can go wrong and cause costs to spiral out of control. But if you follow these six tips, you’ll give yourself the best chance of staying within your budget.

Research costs

One of the reasons people overspend on their renovations budget is because they underestimate the costs. Do your research on the cost of materials and labour to make sure your budget is realistic. Get quotes and references from at least three contractors before making a decision.

Plan for the unexpected

When it comes to renovations, it’s almost guaranteed that some things won’t go according to plan. Let’s say you’re doing a bathroom makeover and the plumber discovers your pipes are corroded and need replacing. This is a cost you could not have anticipated. That’s why it’s a good idea to add some fat to your budget so you have a buffer should unexpected problems occur.

Set a realistic time frame

The longer contractors take to finish a job, the more you pay for the extra time. Your contractor should be able to determine how much time the project will take. Add an extra week or two to their time frame to allow for any unexpected delays that may occur.

Don’t pressure them into finishing the job quickly. Rush jobs also come at a premium and may result in corners being cut or mistakes being made.

Keep your eyes peeled for good deals

Contractors often know where to go for the best-priced materials, but some tend to stick with their regular suppliers who may not offer the best prices.

Don’t just take your contractor’s word for it: shop around for materials and finishes yourself. You may stumble across some great deals that allow you to complete the project under budget.

Track costs

As the invoices roll in, it’s easy to lose sight of how much you’re spending. Keeping track of what you’re spending and how much you have left in your budget will help you avoid overspending.

If you notice costs are running too high, you can adjust your plan. For instance, perhaps there are alternative finishes that look as good but cost less than the original materials you had in mind.

Stick to the plan

Your plan was to update kitchen cabinetry but now you’re thinking of adding a new island and marble countertops If your new ideas are not feasible, stick to the original plan.

Keep an eye on contractor costs too. Project creep happens insidiously — an electrical outlet has to be moved or more manpower needs to be hired, so that, by the end of the renovation, you’ve spent way more than you expected. Again, the solution is to stick to your original plan.

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