Imagine this scenario: You’ve moved into a different city, maybe even a different country. While your place was just a house for rent in Singapore, for example, the time came when the owner said you’ve paid enough to own it.
Amidst the excitement of finally having your own place, the next thing to do is to make renovation plans. The blueprint for what your house is going to look like is important. It details which elements of the house will remain as it is and which ones will change dramatically. It will have the materials and the number of people needed to finish the job.
However, the most important part of any renovation project is the budget. The expenses you’re willing to shell out will determine whether you’ll be able to turn your place into your dream house or some parts of it will have to be delayed.
To avoid overspending, here are tips on how you can stay more or less on budget when undertaking a renovation project.
Consult with a contractor
The best way to find a reliable and trusted contractor who can deliver what you want is to consult with them before any blueprints have been made yet. Talk to them about how you envision your house like. But more importantly, tell them the budget you’ve set, how much you’re willing to add to it just in case, and the specific things you want in the house.
By itemising what you want, the contractors will not need to guess the gaps in the project and provide an estimate that isn’t accurate. And think of these consultations as interviews and seeing which contractor you trust the most.
Make sure your budget covers contingency fees
We cannot predict what will happen during construction work. Accidents happen, materials get destroyed, and additional fees are incurred. While these additional fees will not be significantly high, just so that you’re not surprised when it happens, prepare emergency funds you can tap into when it you need it.
Be flexible with the plan
Some unexpected situations happen in the form of material price surges. This might mean that you’ll have to go back to the drawing board and change up a few things in your plan. It is easier to discuss with contractors if you’re also open to certain changes in the blueprint. Ask them what the best option is so that the plan isn’t completely changed.
Avoid adding to the plan
It might seem contradictory to being flexible, but if you can avoid it, do not add more renovation work. Remember that for the previous tip, you’re only changing a plan and not adding to it. You might find yourself scrambling to get the funds if you keep incorporating work that is actually unnecessary at the moment.
Consider finishing in phases
You can also decide to divide the renovation work in phases. Maybe today you can fix up the kitchen and the living room. 3 months from now, you can renovate the bedrooms and bathrooms, and so on. This will help you focus on the renovation now that it’s divided into small phases rather than in one big project. Not to mention, it’s not going to hurt your finances in this way.
The key to sticking to the budget is sticking to the plan. Yes, expect that there will be tangents to the original blueprint. But keep these tangents to a minimum, and you won’t need to worry about going over what you’re willing to spend.