Smart Budgeting Tips: Prioritizing Your Home Improvement Project

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Smart Budgeting Tips: Prioritizing Your Home Improvement Project

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Planning & Budgeting Tips

Jumping into a big home improvement project is exciting. The possibility to change your space to be exactly what you envision it to be can invigorate your creativity and breathe new life into your home. First, however, you need a solid plan and a budget for a home improvement project to succeed. Without these, you could spend more than you should or have a finished project that does not capture your vision well. Here is a look at how you can plan and budget for your home improvement project.

  1. Establish Your Priorities

Most homeowners tackling home improvement projects have limited budgets. To ensure you get all the components you want in the finished project, you’ll need to set some goals and establish solid priorities.

When you know the top changes you want to have in your home, you will then be able to stay focused and within your budget. If you have extra funds after completing your top priorities, you can add something further down the list. If you don’t, you can step away confidently, knowing you’ve done what you wanted most.

  1. Research the Costs

To budget properly, you need to know your project’s potential costs. You can find many online calculators to help with this or ask your contractor for an estimate. Remember, these costs aren’t set in stone, but they can reasonably estimate what you should budget for the project. Always leave some wiggle room for unexpected expenses. Add 10 to 15% to your best estimate to account for the unexpected.

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  1. Secure Financing

Most of the time, you will need financing to pay for a major home improvement project. Some options to get that financing include:

  • Home equity loans – Use the equity in your home to invest in your home through renovation.
  • Personal loans – If you have good credit, take a personal loan for the home improvement.
  • Credit cards – One of the more costly options is using credit cards to pay for your renovation. Consider looking for a balance transfer and zero percent options to save money.

Choosing and securing your financing before the work begins will help you with budgeting.

  1. Set Your Timeline and Budget

Once you have an idea of the cost, set your budget. Then, set a timeline. Remember that a rushed project will cost more, so be realistic when setting your timeline. Again, you can use online research to determine what is a good timeline for the type of project you’re tackling.

Setting a realistic budget starts with the research you already did. You also need to consider the types of finishes you want, whether they are high-end or more economical. Finally, you need to consider your available funds, whether you are getting a loan or have saved money, and keep your budget within those boundaries.

Set up a way to track your progress on your timeline and with your finances. List milestones of the project, such as tear-out, flooring, painting, etc., and assign those deadlines. At those deadlines, track your expenses to ensure you stay on budget. This process will prevent any unwanted surprises as your project nears completion.

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  1. Find Your Contractors, or Plan to DIY

Next, you will need to decide if you will do the project yourself or hire someone else. DIY can sometimes save money if you are skilled at the work, but it often drags out the project for much longer due to your limited time. Also, if you don’t have the right training, you may create problems that are expensive to fix.

If you want peace of mind with hiring a pro, get multiple bids and quotes. Compare these, not just by looking at the price but also by looking at the company’s reputation, warranties, and service. Consider negotiating the contract and terms to fit your timeline and budget better. You may be able to save money, for instance, if you choose more affordable flooring or do the painting yourself. Finally, always check reviews, licensure, and insurance to ensure you hire the right contractor.

  1. Handle Setbacks

As you go through the home improvement project, you may face setbacks. For example, you might tear out a wall only to find mold underneath that you must remediate. If you built that wiggle room into your budget, use that first. If you need to adjust your plan to free up more funds for a setback, knowing your priorities will help you choose what to cut.

This process can be nerve-wracking if you go into it without a plan, but with the right preparation and tracking, you can stay gravitated and positive throughout. If you are looking for professional help with your renovations, contact Henderson Properties Maintenance Division today.

Shelly Henderson
Shelly Henderson
Shelly calls herself a “Charlottean” because her family has been there since her elementary school days. She serves as Henderson Properties’ co-founder, along with her husband Phil, managing the day-to-day operations, social media branding and leadership development. Her different life experiences, both positive and challenging, earned the title to her first book Starting From Scratch. Shelly has a servant’s heart and leads her company with purpose and passion. She is mom to two sons who continue as young adults to make her heart swell.