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Renovating your home

Tips for staying on time and on budget


REGION — Remodeling your home can be an expensive undertaking, but overspending can be avoided if you can stay within your budget. Despite the belief that every remodeling project will exceed its initial budget, there are ways to sidestep unnecessary expenses. Here are 10 suggested ways to stay on time and on budget.

  1. Make the budget a priority.

Start with a spending plan. Whether your budget is large or small, renovations are going to cost more than expected; build in an extra 20 percent to be better prepared for any surprises.

  1. Plan every detail in advance.

Most increases happen because of poor planning. Order enough material to complete the job, plus 20 percent to account for installation wastage and defects. Remember:

  1. Don’t confuse your wants with your needs.

You may have your heart set on that professional gas range, but what you actually need is a less expensive professional-style range. Keep the focus on your budget and choose items that serve your needs.

  1. Be familiar with what things cost.

Do your homework before purchasing any items. Don’t assume that anything expensive is always best. An experienced contractor will be able to help by providing you with accurate pricing on furnishings and materials—but you first must know what you want.

  1. Choose your contractor carefully; this can be one of the largest costs of your renovation.

Interview multiple contractors and ask for references; be sure to reach out to those references. Remember that you hire a contractor to coordinate every detail of your project. It is essential that he or she do their job well at a fair price.

  1. Make sure you have a detailed contract.

A reputable contractor should insist on some form of fixed price contract in order to keep the cost of the project in line. Be specific about each model, number, name, finish and price of every item ordered as well as delivery, taxes and labor cost.

  1. Don’t skimp on products and services.

Select durable, high-quality materials that you won’t need to replace within in a few years. Inferior materials will wear out and must be replaced in the near future; this can have a negative impact on your budget. The same is true of trying to cut corners by hiring inexperienced contractors or workers.

  1. Ask your contractor about obtaining necessary building permits.

Follow up by checking with your county or local building department to determine whether a permit is needed for your specific project. Un-permitted projects may have to be torn down at an enormous cost to you.

  1. Keep in mind that major renovations may require adjustments to your homeowners insurance policy.

Check with your insurance agent regarding this.

  1. Before you begin, determine whether you will need a general contractor or a specialist.

For example: Are you expanding your kitchen or just replacing the countertops? You may only need a carpenter, plumber or an electrician to complete the bulk of the project. Remember, a contractor will add their own fee on top of the subcontractor fee. You can also save on costs by doing some of the project yourself.                                              

remodeling, budget, planning


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