Home Remodeling & Budgets: How To Determine Your Remodeling Spend

How does Excel Builders define a budget?

A couple weeks ago, I completed an in-home consultation and I asked for the home owners for their budget. In this particular case, they did not give me their budget, and I still moved forward with the Design- Budget meeting. Unfortunately, I regret my decision to move forward without knowing the budget. Why? Well we will get to that soon enough.

So, I would like to touch on the topic of remodeling budgets. Along with budgets, I would like to expand on the “do’s” and “don’ts” when planning for your remodel. I would also like to address a couple of my personal learning experiences.

Like it or not, budgets are part of every remodel, and an integral part at that. The budget for your remodel is the amount you want to invest, and not what you think it will cost. Key word, INVEST. Almost every potential client wants to know what a project is going to cost, and this is your first “don’t”.

Why do I think it is wrong?

Knowing what you want to invest or how much you currently have to invest in your remodel should be your first step.

The simple fact is that your remodeling project is going to cost money. How much money? Well that depends on the extent of work. Now, stop and take a deep breath. This amount is not what you are expecting, or planning your remodel is going to cost. The amount you are willing to invest is just that, what are you willing to invest in your remodel.

For example, if you are planning a project, this could be a kitchen remodel, bathroom remodel, or anything in between. At this point, you are just starting the planning, and maybe you have never completed a remodel before, and so far, you have done some basic research online.

Let’s face it, online research is not reliable source for cost and may have only confused you even more. So, it may be possible that at this point, you do not know what a remodel is going to cost. It is ok!

However, before you pick up the phone and start making phone calls, take a step back and ask yourself a couple of questions:

We have talked about scope of work and its effect on your budget. The scope of work is the amount of work that will be completed to accomplish your goals for your remodel. Defining the scope of work for your remodel is essentially creating a list of all, and I mean all of the tasks that will need to be completed.

This list is referencing all items, from large to small, down to the tiniest details. Like, hanging towel bars, and installing cabinet hardware. This list, I refer to this is a schedule.
Your schedule should include what is being removed, and then what is being added, it will also include the quantity of what is being removed, and then added. An accurate schedule will breakdown your remodel by the room, square footage, linear footage, quantity, location, finish and etc.
For example, for your remodel you might be removing 300 square feet of drywall from your walls. Well, if you are removing 300 square feet of drywall, then you need to hang and finish 300 square feet of drywall or another wall board. Both of these need to be listed on schedule.
Now, repeat until all items for your remodel are listed on your schedule. Then double check that for errors. It is a very time-consuming process!

Why is a schedule important for the success of your remodel?

Because the detail is one the most important key elements to the project. I usually create a schedule after your design is completed and the proposal for your remodel is also being completed. I use the schedule as a checklist when completing your proposal.

Why don’t free proposals work?

Free proposals don’t work for mainly one reason and one reason only. Care to guess? Lack of a detail.
In my experience, when meeting with prospective clients I get a brief overview of what is wanted. I am willing to bet that the conversation I have with you is not the same as the conversation you may have with other design and build firms or contractors. If this is the case, how is a proposal going to be accurate.
What I might see as necessary items needed to complete your remodel, another contractor might not see it as needed up front. These items of disparity will cause a difference in scope, timeline and remodeling cost.

What lessons have I learned this week?

I have learned the hard way and need to require a budget before moving forward with the Design- Budget meeting. See, our process at Excel Builders after an in-home consultation is to meet in our office 1 – 3 weeks after the in-home consultation for projects. At this meeting we are going to review, present design cost, and preliminary budget cost for your remodel.

Why have a Design- Budget meeting?

Well, I don’t believe in free proposals, and as I explained above and for many more reasons, too many to list here. I do believe that after an in-home consultation, with my experience I am able to give our clients accurate budgetary numbers to get your remodel started in the correct direction using our internal procedures.

In the end, if you are talking to comparable Design & Build Companies, or remodeling companies your proposal should be close to the same cost. Our process is what makes our clients happy and our remodels successful.

If you are looking or planning your remodel give Excel Builders a call at 612.524.5804.