I was watching an architecture show on the ABC. Two families undertaking different projects with different scopes, goals, and budgets but similar challenges. I reflected on my own interior design project work and think there is only one tip you need for your home reno.
Common problems in renovation projects
I’m lucky I found a good builder and I am happy to work with him and refer clients to him. The one thing he says is that you can’t budget for things you can’t see.
This means things in the ceiling, behind walls and cabinetry, under the floor and basically behind any surface.
So because you can’t see this you need to budget for a possible problem.
In one of the projects in this show I was watching, one of the men said it’s like opening a can of worms that costs thousands to fix.
It’s important to have a realistic budget which you can work out through research and talking to various professionals such as architects, interior designers and builders.
But a good professional will always be weary about advising on what’s possible, not possible or what something will cost if they can’t see it behind a surface.
A realistic budget
Therefore, having a realistic budget PLUS contingency is really important. Everyone wants to go under budget. But I’ve never had that happen, have you?
So if we know from other people’s previous experiences that residential projects never come in under budget.
But we know from other people’s previous experiences that residential projects always come across a problem, sometimes big and sometimes small, then is makes sense to budget for a contingency.
That’s why my one and only tip you need to know for your home renovation project is to have a contingency in your budget.
How much to budget for your contingency
As a rule of thumb at least 10% of your budget. So if your budget is $400,000 as it was for one of the families in the show I saw, a good contingency budget would be $40,000.
The same is true for smaller scale projects For example, a kitchen renovation of $40,000 then budget $4,000 for contingency.
It makes sense for larger project to budget more contingency money because problems in projects of that scale naturally cost more to fix.
While planning is just one key element to a successful renovation, another being having a good interior designer and builder on your team then having a contingency is another key element.
Given the stress these projects produce, having a little extra money in the kitty will go a long way to alleviating the stress of any potential problem that arises. I think this little safety net is worth delaying the project for.
With this only tip you need for your home reno project you will be even better placed to commence and complete your dream home. Providing all the other elements of the project are in place as well.