Home renovations are an exciting process. They’re a time to transform the home you already love into a space you love even more— a place that works for your family and lifestyle. But a renovation can easily turn stressful when you go over budget. One of the trickiest parts of a home renovation can be the budget, not only setting it but sticking to it.
As a seasoned Pittsburgh home contractor, our Action Builders team has helped hundreds of homeowners in the Pittsburgh area complete immaculate home renovations while sticking to their budgets and adding value to their homes. If you’re looking for tips on how to budget well and stick to that budget for a major home renovation project, here are some guiding principles you should follow.
Determine Financing Options
A budget is the biggest determining factor of your renovation. It regulates what you can and cannot do in your home improvements. So, where is the money coming from to finance your renovation? We recommend doing a cash-based renovation or utilizing your home’s equity, as they determine a clear number and do not accrue much interest. But there are many other options for financing a home renovation.
Sort Out Needs and Wants
One of the best ways to begin a budget is to distinguish your needs from your wants. Though not always the most exciting portion of your renovation, an emphasis should be put on quality construction, up-to-date electrical, solid plumbing, and other foundational costs. This is especially crucial in older home renovation like those in Sewickley that will need to be brought up to code and restored.
Once the non-negotiables have been accounted for, choose what portions of your renovation are most important to you. What can you wait on to update at another time, and what needs to be completed immediately?
Take Your Time Planning
Do not rush to get through your planning phase. Renovations are exciting, but to get the best result for the best price, take your time to thoroughly plan. Make a list of what you want to accomplish in your renovation and plan accordingly. During the planning phase:
- Set a realistic budget for your project
- Sort out what’s most important
- Shop around for desired materials
- Be knowledgeable in your needs and wants (enough so that you can clearly explain this to your contractor)
Talk to Others Who Have Completed Similar Renovations
Learn from others’ mistakes. Speaking with family and friends who have performed similar renovations can give you insight on what to do and what not to do, where to spend money and where to save money, and even which contractor may or may not be right for the job. They will also have realistic knowledge of the actual cost of projects in the Sewickley and Mt. Lebanon areas, which can help you set a realistic budget and not be caught off guard by contractor bids.
If you’re having trouble finding others who have completed the same projects, take time to research other projects and costs. Find projects similar to what you would like to complete and get an idea of what they spent and what the project entailed. For more accurate ideas in the Mt. Lebanon or Sewickley area, check out some of our featured projects for help planning.
Consider a Design-Build Company Over a Residential Architect
When you choose to build a home addition or perform a home renovation, you will typically run into two options. You can hire a separate residential architect and contractor or you can elicit help from a design-build company. While there are many reasons to hire a design-build company, one is that it can save you money.
Hiring a design-builder means hiring one company over two individuals. It also means that when issues arise with the design or construction of your project, the teams can communicate to solve problems without you paying extra money to go back to the architect.
Shop Your Contractors
The right contractor is out there, but it can sometimes take time to find the right company for your needs. It can even take time to feel secure that you are getting a good deal. Interview at least three contractors for bids on your project before making your decision. But don’t just compare costs during your search. Dig a little deeper into exactly what a bid entails. You can even ask to see a detailed contract or a design plan.
While saving money is essential to a budget, so is quality craftsmanship. Be sure to hire a contractor with a good reputation who will get the work done right the first time and not leave you with a need for repairs or subpar work. While low bids are nice, too low of a bid may have you regretting your contractor decision in the long run.
Focus on ROI
It’s important to emphasize the projects that will garner the biggest return on investment. Utilize tools like the cost vs. value report to determine the best bang for your buck in the Pittsburgh area. Compare that to your list of goals for your project. This will help you organize what is most important for your project and put your money where it matters. Cut back on the areas that won’t add great value to your space.
A Budget-Conscious Pittsburgh Home Renovation
At Action Builders, we understand that budgeting can be difficult. But our team has over 20 years in the industry, so we know how to work with your budget, while still providing the highest quality of renovation or addition services to your Pittsburgh home.
Our team works hard to accurately assess your home in accordance with your renovation needs and provide accurate cost estimates. Our design and construction staff work in tandem to create a design that fits your needs with quality construction that remains in budget. Let us help you imagine the possibilities for your home. Schedule a free consultation with our team to get started.