Remodeling projects are notorious for going over budget. Nothing goes as planned, which means you start forking out more and more money, just to get it over with. Some families don’t even finish the projects they set out to do because they’ve gone so far over budget that the entire ordeal turns into a money pit they simply can no longer afford.
After years of hard work, saving, and learning how to invest, I was finally ready to take the plunge. This wasn’t just any old remodel. My family and I planned to tear down our current home and rebuild it from scratch. One year, 4,000 square feet, 5 bedrooms, and 6 bathrooms later, I live to tell the story.
The story of how I managed a rebuild of an entire home in only one year and kept within our original budget.
If you’re planning a remodeling project anytime soon or are currently living in the ruins of your previous remodel, follow these tips for how to stay in budget when remodeling:
1. Consolidate your management
From the strict numbers standpoint, it may be enticing to hire a bunch of separate subcontractors for various portions of your remodeling project.
This way, you’ll be able to negotiate lower prices for each subcontractor and thereby lower the costs of your overall project.
The truth is, this is very difficult to pull off successfully.
Having many different contractors responsible for small portions of the overall project can easily turn into a mess. You’ll have to micro-manage each and every one on an ongoing basis.
Not to mention, the chances of one contractor making a mistake and holding up the work of another contractor is very high.
Even the communication between every player involved will be choppy at best and difficult to direct. All these likely scenarios will end up costing you extra.
You’re better off finding one competent, experienced and professional contractor that is capable of managing the entire job from start to finish.
It may cost you more initially, but don’t be shocked at the sticker price.
Trust your intuition and know that down the line, you are actually saving yourself the headache of managing different contractors and paying extra for when things would inevitably go wrong.
2. Check in, and check in often
Every remodeling project has a contractor and building crew. These are both professions that are not known for being particularly punctual or managing their time well.
This is where you come in. In order to make sure your project runs smoothly and stays on schedule, you have to check in with your contractor and crew often.
By often I mean, I was at the building site at 7:00 AM every morning with coffee in hand, making sure the crew were arriving on time and doing the work they were supposed to do.
I know this isn’t possible for most of you, but it is important to keep in mind that you need to check in with your project at least twice a week.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt to grab a box of donuts and bring it with you to boost the morale of your construction team every once in a while.
Why do you need to ensure building stays on schedule?
Well for one, who wants their remodel to take longer than expected?
And, more importantly, a remodeling project that gets postponed or goes off schedule, will always, I mean always, cost you more money.
This is because added time means added labor costs, sometimes added material costs, and in the case of postponing due to bad weather, added costs in damages.
3. Make sure every decision is final
It’s fairly common for most people to decide on one type of bathroom tile and then change their minds half-way through the project because they found something they like better.
Do not do this! Or at least, try your best not to.
Making final decisions in terms of design and construction can be scary. You’re never sure how the final look will come out. But, sticking to your original decisions is a very important element of staying within your budget.
When you tell your contractor you’ve decided on rustic kitchen cabinets and he goes ahead and tells his crew to start installing them, changing your mind will only mean added costs.
You’ll be paying for all the work the crew has done up until that point, plus the cost of removing the cabinets you don’t want, buying the new cabinets and starting over with re-installing them.
4. Preserve the original character of your property
When remodeling, it’s common to discover original design elements of a home during the teardown phase.
For example, if you’ve begun tearing down your flooring and stumble upon original hardwood floors from when the house was first built, keep them!
Instead of ordering new flooring and paying for installation, you’d be working with the original hardwood floors that are probably higher quality than anything on the market today anyways.
Plus, they’re already installed and all you have to do is clean and polish them to make them look as good as new–saving you time and money.
Straying away from the original design of your home too drastically will always add additional costs in the form of tear down, new installations and new material costs.
5. Eco-friendly = Wallet-friendly
One of the easiest ways to stay in the budget during your remodel (and afterward) is by making eco-friendly decisions. Eco-friendly building will save you tons of money in utility costs later on.
For example, if landscaping is part of your remodel, make it a point to choose drought-tolerant plants, so you’ll save considerably on water costs down the line.
To save on electricity, buy energy efficient appliances and use LED light bulbs.
There are many eco-friendly decisions you can make during a remodeling project that will lower both your initial materials costs and your lifetime costs after the project has been completed.
About the author: Highly regarded on the world speaker circuit, Lilach has graced Forbes and Number 10 Downing Street. She’s a hugely connected and highly influential entrepreneur. Listed in Forbes as one of the top 20 women social media power influencers and was crowned the Social Influencer of Europe by Oracle. She is listed as the number one Influencer in the UK by Career Experts and is a recipient for a Global Women Champions Award for her outstanding contribution and leadership in business.