Budgeting for Success with Your Next Home Renovation

Home renovation is a dream come true for many property owners. Whether the home is new and you are extending or whether you are improving the existing structure, the opportunity to renovate is an exciting chapter in the life of a home owner.

Of course, with the dream, also comes the potential for a nightmare. More often than not, that nightmare is in regard to the financial planning behind many home renovations.

It is easy to overlook many of the costs associated with a home renovation. Pre-planning is essential and side stepping basic budgeting can be disastrous.

Here are five areas you can talk over with your builder when mapping out the budget for your next home renovation.

Conduct Detailed Meetings with your Home Builder

Talking through the details with your builder is important.

Ask questions until you’re satisfied. Don’t shy away or hesitate. Be detailed and elaborate about what it is that you really want and, equally important, be sure to make it clear what your budget is.

A professional builder will be happy to go over all aspects of the project with you in detail. They will take into consideration your budget and will often be able to provide you with a variety of options which reduce costs but still give you a quality result.

If you’re planning a structural renovation, you may also need to engage a specialist engineer to work alongside you and the home builder during the planning stage.

According to hipages, a structural engineer’s hourly rate starts at around $100 per hour but can go up to $250 an hour for fully qualified professional service on a complex project. So, if you think you may need their services, be sure to factor this into your home renovation budget.

Download and use this Free Home Renovation Worksheet. Use it toto help prepare an initial budget with your home builder.


The Block

It’s imperative to make sure that the block you plan to work on has the necessary infrastructure. This might include power, water, sewage as well as information provided by local council  on boundaries, fencing and access.

If your plan includes extra buildings or dwellings, like a granny flat, you may incur fees associated with development applications.

Again, your builder may be able to provide some guidance on what to expect – and what obligations you may have to meet – in order to complete your home renovation.

Fittings and Fixtures

Even small home renovations require a budget.

Many of us just make a budget for the construction of the building. We don’t think about what we’ll do with those brand new, empty rooms and spaces.

Fittings, fixtures and furniture costs can quickly add up. Do some shopping around and be realistic about these costs.

If you are renovating a kitchen, you need to be particularly careful as we are not only talking about fixtures but also about power, water, ventilation and safety issues. Your home builder will be able to provide guidance here and will help you budget for costs beyond the most obvious structural ones.

The costs of changing cabinets, stoves, walls, dining tables, countertops, tiling and many other items, including the plumbing fees, are all items for the budget. Don’t skip them!

Home Access Points

Access to a newly built or renovated property is another essential budget item.

An average driveway can cost $5,000 – $7,000 says Simone Homes and these expenses are often overlooked in construction budgets.

While most would consider the cost of creating the access (in this case, building a driveway or path), you should not overlook the cost of surfacing and maintaining the thoroughfares.

It’s also important to make sure your premises is insured for the new work, but also make sure your builder’s insurance is up to date and that his licence complies with local or state laws.

You can’t plan for everything, but surprise costs can spoil your entire budget and building plans. Try to be prepared for each scenario you expect to encounter throughout the renovation or extension project as best you can.

A successful renovation or new home extension has the potential for a myriad of hidden costs.

Talking them over with your builder and knowing about them up-front will enable you to avoid the pitfalls and enjoy the results – all without breaking the bank through unexpected costs.


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