Today we are covering off the often dreaded and dodged question when it comes to renovating … what’s your budget??
Like a lot of conversations that surround money, discussing your budget with your designer or builder can be difficult and in some cases even awkward. Often there is hesitancy around sharing that budget figure in the event you won’t get the best bang for buck, whilst for others it can come down to the simple fact that they simply have no idea on how much their project could potentially cost.
Regardless of the reason, the budget really does dictate a lot about your project and whilst it may be impossible to put an exact figure on your works before going through the design process and understanding the full scope, the BUDGET is the ultimate starting point!
Even as a full service design-build firm, managing client expectations around establishing a budget can still be a challenge, but doing so is an integral part of our role as professionals.
So where do you start with your designer or builder when you really have no idea on how much your renovation is going to cost? How do you ultimately determine the viability of your renovation?
We are sharing some of our tips to navigate your way through those initial steps of establishing a budget…
First things first, research! It’s important you understand how much value the proposed works will potentially add to your home once complete. This can obviously depend on many factors such as your location, size and even the style of home etc. Value also comes into play when determining how long you plan on residing in the property.
Reaching out to your local real estate agent is a great starting point to obtain market value information. If you’re looking at increasing the value of your property, under going renovations that will increase the m2 footprint of the home and or increasing the number of bedrooms, bathrooms will certainly improve the overall value of your property in comparison to just a cosmetic update.
2. Have a clear scope
We all have our dream ideas and wish lists and far too often it’s easy for emotions to get in the way. Therefore in order to establish a budget it’s important to have a clearly defined scope. Understanding what you want to achieve and ensuring you have a clearly defined scope will ensure you budget accurately and things don’t grow out of control.
After completing your research on your property value you will probably have a good understanding of what spaces you want to prioritise and where you want to spend your money without overcapitalising.
3. Understand where you see value
When it comes to product, whether it be flooring, wall coverings, joinery or the likes of appliances, there is a vast range in terms of level and price points to match. So before embarking on a renovation, understanding where you see value is extremely important. Top of the line appliances might be a necessity for a self-accredited home chef in comparison to someone that gets take out most night and whilst you may find value in beautiful natural stone benchtops, for others the thought of natural stone is a maintenance nightmare!
In some cases your property value may also impact the level of product that is specified. After all, the last thing you want to do is reduce the value of your property by going too elcheapo.
A costed feasibility study is all about understanding whether the project you’re planning to embark on is realistic and feasible…
If you are planning on a renovation, extending your home, altering the existing building footprint or even considering a second story addition, a feasibility is the perfect way to explore your options and budget. The purpose of conducting a feasibility study is to give recognition to all trades, resources, time and money involved in the project as a whole and essentially itemise the scope of work to ultimately decide…
– Is my budget enough for what I want to achieve?
– How can I revise my brief to match my budget?
5. Determine your financing
There are a number of ways you can fund your renovation depending on the size and scope of the project, regardless it’s important to ascertain how you plan on funding the project as it will ultimately impact your budget. If you are needing to look at some form of lending then reach out to your lending body or bank. Organising all the correct finances and approvals can take some time so discussing this with your lender early on in the process will alleviate both delays and potential disappointment.
6. Engage professionals early in the planning process
We always highly recommend engaging a builder or design professional early on in the process. It’s at this stage that you will need to understand what is even possible and approximately for what dollar figure. Having somebody with the knowledge and experience when it comes to renovating and costs to guide you in the right direction will result in you setting a realistic budget from the get go! Having your builder or designer walk through your home and discuss your renovations plans will very quickly enlighten you on exactly you’re getting yourself into.
7. Have a contingency
There is certainly a stigma around renovation costs blowing out and things costing much more than anticipated or allowed. Whilst sticking to a dollar figure is possible with excellent planning, anybody that has undertaken a renovation knows that there are still unforeseen that can pop up. Having a contingency will give you some wriggle room and will save you a bucket load of stress if something does arise!