The Secrets to Setting & Sticking to A Realistic Remodeling Budget

Posted by Ben Thompson on 04.28.19

Any large investment requires establishing a budget. Whether it’s purchasing a new car or remodeling your home, determining how much you want to spend is one of the steps you will take early in the process. Just as anyone who has shopped for a car will know, the price will vary widely based on all of the additional features or upgraded materials that you choose.  The same thing holds true with remodeling. This is why many remodelers will give you a range when providing their initial estimates for a particular project type and as you determine the project scope and make the specific material selections for your project, the actual cost can be determined.

Thompson Remodeling has been remodeling homes for almost 40 years and we have a few important tips we’d like to share with you that will help you in setting and sticking to your budget.

  1. Be specific in determining your project scope.The scope of your project is a well-defined listing of all of the items to be included in your project.  If you are having multiple areas remodeled, each area will be addressed in your scope document.  Many times, our primary work will be in one or more major areas such as a kitchen or bathroom, but also a few smaller projects in the home such as replacing a few doors, or adding custom built-ins in a living room. It’s important to think about what other things you may want your remodeler to complete for you while they are in your home completing your main project. Doing this early is the key to sticking to a budget and we will be very thorough in our conversations to uncover any additional immediate needs that you may have.
  2. Include a contingency buffer.In the early stages of your budget planning, we recommend adding a 15-20% contingency buffer to cover unknown or unexpected items such as finding rotted wood, uneven floors, electric that isn’t up to code, etc. As you progress through the remodeling journey, you may find that you won’t need it to cover unexpected issues, so you can use it for other items such as upgrading your selections or just reduce your budget completely.
  3. Make selections decisions early and stick to them. Your selections include all the specific materials and fixtures in your project including flooring, countertops, lighting, cabinetry, faucets, sinks, doors, windows, hardware, appliances, toilets, etc.  As you can imagine, there is a wide variety of options to choose from in each of those categories and this is why making decisions early will help you to establish your final budget. Your design team will guide you and suggest items that best fit your style preferences and functional needs. They can also direct you to materials in specific price ranges.
  4. For larger projects, be open to phasing your remodel.Often we meet with clients who have one idea initially that will grow into something much larger after considering their house as a whole. For example, they may want to remodel their kitchen, but once they consider how that room works with the adjacent ones they realize that their home for be more functional if they remodeled multiple rooms to make an open concept floor plan. We realize that many homeowners may not be able to take that size project on immediately and that’s where phasing your remodel can work well. Phases will break your project into 1, 2 or 3 sections that can occur over time as your budget allows. 

As always, Thompson Remodeling is available to answer any of your remodeling budget questions. It’s our goal to help homeowners love where they live and we love creating beautiful and functional remodeling designs that allow them to do just that! Feel free to reach out to us here or call us directly at (616) 942-1866


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