We might be tempted to think that a project going overbudget has to do with reckless spending behaviour. That should you stick closely to the budget, things should work out just fine.
That only captures a smidge of the truth. More often than not, the problem lies within the budgeting itself.
We know neglect to be a reason a project goes overbudget, but how detailed should your budget be, in order to avoid an overspending disaster?
What are the potential hazards and how to avoid them?
Forgoing the budgeting process
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Budgeting isn’t just about setting the maximum amount of money you are going to spend.
Do not start allocating your resource only when the renovation has already commenced.
It makes no sense to sequence your spending in the order of which house items your contractor is going to install in the renovation process.
Think about it. At the beginning stage of renovation, the first renovated items are walls and flooring. These items might not play as big a role as you might think in the finishing result.
Some home owners look at the untouched sum of money they have planned to spend, and making material choices only as their contractors inform them what items each procedure needs.
The problem is that they will invest too much on foundation items (walls, flooring and tailormade cupboards), and end up having little to spare for decorative and functional items (faucets, curtains, lighting and switches).
Our experienced professionals have seen many renovation projects gone awry because of the lack of research, and a detailed budget.
For example, in the foundation-laying process, unprepared home owners spent large sums on Italian tiles, for the sake of their supposedly higher quality, compared to Chinese ones.
While at the finishing stage, they had not resource left to spare on functional daily items like quality light switches and faucets.
Forgoing the budgeting process, your renovation will start off with a bang, and end with a whimper.
To avoid this, research thoroughly to determine the number of purchase decisions you are going to make, as well as the items not included in the renovation package, like faucets, sinks and toilet seats.
Unknown upgrade options
Renovation companies often refrain from informing clients about upgrade options. Generally it is a well-meaning attempt to reduce your budgeting pressure, as well as to prevent renovation delay.
These upgrade options can be numerous.
Take the window as an example. The type of handles and hinges, the glazing, the thickness of the glass and the window frame metal, all are available for an upgrade.
Do not expect your contractor to explain to you all the available options there are. The burden of research is on you.
Forgo research on upgrade options and you’ll miss the valuable opportunity to improve your quality of life substantially. Resources will not be invested adequately on arenas truly create an impact on your well-being. For example, soundproofing efforts can enhance your sleep quality.
Another scenario you should avoid is to discover your upgrade options midway through a renovation. This almost certainly make your renovation go overbudget.
Structural problems discovered midway
Be prepared to encounter unexpected issues as the renovation progress.
The possibilities are numerous. After demolition work, hidden and unforeseen problems will begin to reveal themselves.
You might discover that the plasterwork needs a makeover. Miscommunication might occur, you might have overlooked some important decisions.
These situations might incur extra fees, which is something all home owners planning to renovate their homes have to expect and prepare for.
In our next article for the series Fresh from the Pro, we’ll look into what kinds of additional fee you should expect to incur during a renovation.