Whether it’s remodeling a half-bath, finishing a basement or overhauling the entire interior of your home, it’s important to set a well-defined budget. Working with your remodeling professional will help identify the accurate cost for the project and ensure you’re achieving a strong return-on-investment in the process. Regardless of what your budget is, no one wants to pay more than they should – check out these tips to help save money on your next remodeling project:
Step 1: Determine how far your budget will go.
Create a wish list of everything you want to accomplish. Disregard cost and simply write down everything you can dream of. Prioritize items from “must-haves” to “nice but not necessary.” Find a contractor who will work with you to determine whether your wish list is attainable for the funds you are willing to invest in your home.
Step 2: Decide how to handle budget overages.
If you can’t get far enough down the list with the available money, you could choose to stop the process and continue saving, investigate financing options, re-evaluate your wish list or consider material substitutions.
Step 3: Make material selections you can afford.
Every project will have a set of required materials, but there are options when it comes to variety, style, and quality.
Step 4: Pay attention to project details.
It’s critical to ensure every detail of labor and material is specified in the agreement with the remodeler. If it’s not included in the written agreement, it’s likely not included in the work scope. Ask your remodeler what labor and materials are not included and determine what additional expenses you’ll likely incur to complete the project.
Step 5: Ask how you can help reduce costs.
Talk to your contractor about tasks or materials you can provide that would reduce the project cost without affecting its schedule. This might include job site clean-up or obtaining certain materials the contractor would otherwise spend considerable time securing.
Step 6: Plan ahead for project timing.
Ask for a potential timeframe for completing the project, as well as any factors that could affect the schedule so you can anticipate costs such as eating out more often while the kitchen is being renovated or renting living or storage space.
Step 7: Know how you’ll resolve disputes.
Because of the unique stresses induced by remodeling projects, it’s a good idea to determine before you begin how disputes will be resolved, such as adding an arbitration clause to the agreement that eliminates expensive legal representation. A few deep breaths and a solution-minded approach can also save more than money if conflict arises.
NARI of Greater Chicagoland can help find the right contractor for your next remodeling project. All NARIGC members adhere to NARI’s strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. Visit www.narichicago.org and click the Homeowners tab to get started.
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