How to determine your Remodeling Budget

Living Room Addition

Living Room Addition

How to determine what your budget should be for a remodeling project is always a tricky subject. I’m always curious how as to how people come up with there initial budget when they call us to talk about their remodeling project. Sometimes people’s numbers are realistic and sometimes people are so far off the mark I couldn’t buy the materials for what they think the whole project should cost.

So I decided that it was time to come up with some suggestions for you so to use. I started with a “google” search to see what came up when I typed in “creating a remodeling budget” and nothing really useful came up, or what did come up was difficult to read and use (and I do this everyday).

Here are some quick tips that I think would be useful.

1. Consult Remodeling Magazines latest Cost V Value report for your area.
Now these numbers aren’t exact because they don’t know your specific scope of work or needs, but it can be helpful in giving you a place to start with your budget range so you know if you are realistic or not.

2. Determine what and why you want to do.
Make a written list of everything you want to include and prioritize that list. Be ready to have items you are willing to cut out for lower the quality level if they budget ranges don’t work. You will need this information as you start to talk to designers/contractors. It will help you be able to communicate your goals, and what is a want and what is a need.

3. Determine how long you plan to stay in your home.
Depending on how long you want to stay in the house you will most likely make different choices on qualify of finishes and how big of a project you want to take on.

4. Determine how much you are willing to invest in you home.
I say invest rather than spend because even in this economy improvements and updates you make to your home will have a rate of return (probably 45%-85% depending on the project and where you live).

5. The 1% rule for On Going Maintenance.
A popular rule of thumb is to plan 1% of the purchase price of your home for ongoing maintenance projects (no “wish list projects). For example, if your home costs $300,000 you should budget $3,000 for maintenance. Not that will be spent each year but over a period of time, say 10 years; you’ll average out to about $3,000. Some years you’ll spend more, some less. Again, independent variables will effect this “rule”

6. Ask your remodeler.
Don’t be afraid to say you’re not sure what you should be thinking of for a budget range.

Kitchen Remodel, Sharon Ma

Kitchen Remodel, Sharon Ma

Don’t forget that building & remodeling costs do change depending on where in the country you live. The budget range because the guide that you will use with your contractor to design and drive the project.

You will want to set aside a portion of the budget for contingencies. These are things you can not plan for from the very beginning like changes to the plan as required by the town, upgrading certain items etc… Depending on the project size and scope you should plan 5-20% of the budget for these types of items. As an example a roof project doesn’t often have any alterations to the plan, but a large addition might.

Although your contractor is very good and knowledgeable they don’t have x-ray glasses there may be different condition than they can anticipate or know in advance, so sometimes things do come up that can not be planned for. Especially in New England where houses are so old and we’ve gone thru many different acceptable building methods over the years.

plans reviewRemember, if you have a project let 3 contractors bid on it. Every contractor prices a job a little differently so figuring out what price they are going to give you is impossible. You will never be able to compare “apples to apples” so you have to take all factors of the company into consideration: how long have they been in business, and do they have a plan for staying in business, are they professional (you always want to hire someone with the proper Licenses, Insurance) what’s their warranty, do they have an office, do they pay their carpenters a competitive wage & benefits (if they don’t how do you know they are looking our for your best interested)

Our family has been working with families like yours for 56 years. And it is important to use that everyone works together to create the best possible remodeling experience. We never want to see someone regret the choice they made because they didn’t have all of their options. If you have questions about your home improvement project or would like more information on decking Contact Almar: http://www.almarbuilding.com  (781-826-2577) and watch our videos: http://www.youtube.com/almarbuilding
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Almar Building & Remodeling Co (Hanover Ma). As a third generation family owned and operated company for over 59 years Almar Building has all the benefits of a small company with the options of a larger company. From Additions, Kitchens, Bathroom, Basement Renovations, Siding, Windows, to Doors. Almar services the entire South Shore of Massachusetts including: Hanover, Hingham, Pembroke, Norwell, Scituate, Cohasset, Duxbury, Hanson, Abington, Rockland, Holbrook, Braintree, Weymouth, Milton, and many more towns. “How to determine your Remodeling Budget”