Here are key steps in planning your home remodeling project.
1. Estimate home renovation costs
As a general rule of thumb, you should spend no more on each room than the value of that room as a percentage of your overall house value.
Something else to keep in mind: Contrary to popular belief, kitchen renovations offer among the lowest return on investment.
2. Get home renovation quotes from contractors
Some contractors will give you an estimate based on what they think you want done, and work completed under these circumstances is almost guaranteed to cost more. You have to be very specific about what you want done, and spell it out in the contract — right down to the materials you’d like used.
Get quotes from several contractors, but don’t necessarily go for the the lowest estimate. A bid that comes in much lower than the others could be a sign of a contractor who cuts corners — which can lead to extra costs in the long run.
3. Stick to the home remodeling plan
As the renovation moves along, you might be tempted to add on another “small” project or incorporate the newest design trend at the last minute. But know that every time you change your mind, there’s a change order, and even minor changes can be costly. Strive to stick to the original agreement, if possible.
4. Account for hidden home renovation costs
Your home may look perfect on the outside, but there could be issues lurking beneath the surface. In fact, hidden imperfections are one of the reasons renovation projects often end up costing more than anticipated.
Rather than scramble to come up with extra money after the fact, give yourself a cushion upfront. Factor in 10 to 20 percent (or more) of your contracted budget for unforeseen expenses, as they can — and do — occur. In fact, it’s rare that any project goes completely smoothly.