“What is a practical budget for my remodeling project?” We get this question all the time, and unfortunately there is no straight answer. Every homeowner has a different vision, unique taste, and diverse requirements, all of which impact the cost of each project. There are, however, ways to roughly estimate how much to set aside for your Northern Virginia home renovation so that you can be prepared. Knowing the numbers ahead of time is crucial, or else you may end up with plans that are bigger than your budget. Here are a few things to keep in mind when establishing your home remodeling budget:
1. What’s Your Involvement?
How much legwork or “sweat equity” do you plan on spending on your project? Your involvement – demolishing old finishes, painting rooms yourself, coordinating and managing the specialty trades, buying all the materials, etc. – may save you money. Full service companies help you avoid many mistakes “Do-It-Yourselfers” often suffer through; however, it may be a more expensive approach. The more work and responsibility you accept yourself, the lower the upfront cost might be; just remember, this approach doesn’t factor in the value of your time. In the end, the time you spend (and the value that equates to) may far exceed paying a professional to manage all the details.
2. Determine the Size of the Project
The exact cost of renovating your home depends on the size of the project. Small kitchen and bathroom upgrades will be much less expensive than a full kitchen gut and remodel. It is important to establish exactly how extensive you expect the renovation to be, as that will help you estimate a ballpark range of cost right away. Your interior designer and contractor should be able to help you establish your budget based on their extensive experience in full home renovations in Northern Virginia.
3. Changing the Existing Structure?
If you are planning on moving a wall, creating an addition, or implementing any large-scale structural changes, this will surely increase the cost of your remodel. It is important to take any major changes in the existing structure like this into consideration. Your contractor will be able to help you determine the extent of changes necessary and provide an estimate of the cost, so you can incorporate into your budget.
4. Establish Your Renovation Priorities
What elements of your Northern Virginia remodeling project are most important to you? Knocking down a wall to create an open space concept? Replacing your kitchen cabinets and countertops? Updating that tired-looking fireplace? Decide what is most important to you and focus on those elements rather than on smaller details that may add up. Write down your priorities so if there is an unexpected cost, you’ll still get the things at the top of your list done.
5. Be Ready to Go Over Budget
A third of renovating homeowners exceed their budgets, spending at least 1.5 times more than those who come in at budget or who have no budget in the first place. [Source: 2016 Houzz & Home Report]. The reality is that unexpected costs can arise, and oftentimes homeowners don’t have back-up funds or are under-prepared to go over budget. There are all sorts of budget-blowing surprises hiding behind the walls or under the floorboards. While removing a wall, you may find the electrical wiring is outdated and needs to be replaced. Or while taking up the floor boards beneath your refrigerator, you may find mold from water damage that needs remediation. As a precaution, it is good practice to set aside 10 percent of your budget to handle the unexpected. Leaving a little wiggle room in your budget will cover these surprises and help take the stress out of your remodeling project. At Synergy Design & Construction, we pride ourselves in properly anticipating potential “surprises” and setting realistic expectations to keep to our client’s budgets. Statistically, our clients have experienced less than a 3% deviation in increased project costs (original contract value versus total project costs).
Ultimately, the cost of your renovation project in Northern Virginia depends on your involvement, the scope of your project and how extensive your desired changes are. For example, the budget for simply upgrading your kitchen counter tops and cabinetry will be vastly smaller than a full kitchen gut and redesign.
Let the experienced designers, architects, and craftsmen at Synergy Design & Construction help you establish your remodeling budget. We will work with you to bring your renovation vision to life, and walk you through every step of the process: from design and product selection, to construction and installation. Contact us today to begin creating your dream home.