A few words from the wise…
If you’ve ever watched The Block or Grand Designs, you’ll know all about the highs and lows of building and renovating. You’ll have seen what happens when a renovation budget gets blown and tempers fray.
Ideally, we all want more highs than lows; in life, and certainly when building our dream home. If there’s one way to ensure you’ll come out feeling great about the finished product, it will be getting the most out of your budget.
Having seen several renovation projects and new builds over the years, and many different approaches, we have a few tips.
Most of us don’t renovate on a whim. We want to solve a problem. We want to realise a dream. In the early planning stages, it’s great to dream big and think of all the possibilities. By doing so, you’ll work out what your end game is. If the end game is to find space, don’t get sidetracked. Make this the priority.
Quality over quantity
Sticking to the budget is a lot easier when you don’t spread your resources across too many areas. There will always be something else you want to do with your home, whether it’s now, or a year or two later and even if your home is straight out of Vogue magazine. It is one of those ironic laws of human nature. We all want just a little bit more.
The seasoned crew knows they can have a little bit more, but not all at once. Instead, they focus on getting this project right. A keen renovator installs quality fittings that stand the test of time. When they come to their next project, they immerse themselves in getting that right and don’t have to focus on unnecessary repairs and maintenance due to low-quality fittings.
If you focus on quality over quantity the first time around, you may appear to be getting less return on investment, but your investment will endure, saving you money in the long-term.
Build a strong rapport with your builder
Talk to your builder about your budget. Find a contractor who operates alongside a drafter and designer to detail your needs from the beginning. The clearer you are upfront about what you want to achieve, the more likely you are to achieve it. Once everyone is on the same page, it’s smooth sailing.
Give yourself a buffer
Let’s go back to that human nature thing. A reputable builder will plan with you to meet your budget and requirements as best they can. They will foresee a lot of the unanticipated costs and raise them with you from the beginning. However, there will always be something unexpected or something that you would like to add ‘while you have the builder there’. Always. Give yourself a buffer of at least five percent of the project cost.
With these few initial thoughts, you are set to be one of the home renovation success stories! Watch out, Kevin McCloud.