How to keep renovations costs in check | WindowArt

The summer season is hot enough without you embarking on more stressful ventures that will make you sweat. Summer is also a motivator for updating your home style, however, and if you are thinking of doing renovations to your property then we suggest you do so with the right amount of preparation. Out of control renovation costs will bring you down and that’s no way to end the year or begin the new one.

Keep calm. Here is how we suggest you keep you renovation costs in line.

Do your homework.

Speak to everyone about everything and listen closely to the horror stories. Whether you are picking family members’ brains over Christmas lunch or chatting to your colleagues about New Year’s resolutions, if you bring up the subject of renovation costs you are bound to get some noteworthy feedback. You will gain a lot of handy tips from people with first-hand experience.

You must also chat to the experts. Then, once you’re armed with a wealth of information, decide on a course of action. Ultimately, however you renovate your home, you should keep in mind that it should add value to the property for a return on investment when you decide to sell. A buyer will spot shoddy workmanship and B-grade building materials, so choose your suppliers and builders carefully. Do they have a good reputation? Can you see examples of their work? Have they been recommended? Do their sub-contractors have a good reputation?

Account for every cent in detail.

Your expectations and the ability of your contractor to deliver should be laid out in the form of a contract. A timeframe should be set out and every single cost involved must be accounted for. Securing payment terms is vital and making sure the contractor is insured and licensed will protect you should anything disastrous happen.

Ask for a detailed breakdown of the costs and how they align to work completed. Most importantly, make sure that you understand the definition of anything termed ‘extra’ or ‘miscellaneous’ that appears on your quote. Remember that everything comes at a price. Evaluate everything with a fine-tooth comb so as not to be shocked by the additional cost from that upgrade to high quality paint that you thought wouldn’t cost that much but that has now taken you way over budget.

Have a contingency plan and don’t be a snob.

Putting aside around 20% of your budget will assist you with keeping your renovation costs down. This 20% will act as a contingency plan that will accommodate any urgent, previously unknown costs. You never know for sure what the original foundations are like and if you find you have to repair something before building onto it then the contingency plan can pay for this.

Decide on the materials you are willing to spend your money on and then scale back on the materials whose quality won’t make too much of a difference. For instance, paying for gorgeous designer tiles in every room is unnecessary. Choose inexpensive tiling for areas that are not on show and only purchase the amount needed for the showcased feature area. The indoor braai area needs hardy (often cheaper) tiles, so save the Italian imports for the guest bathroom or your new kitchen.

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