Avoid A Renovation Budget Blowout – Factors to Consider Before Starting A House Renovation

February 17, 2021

Why Are You Renovating?

Before you put in your hard-earned money into renovating what may be your largest investment your home consider this – how much of it is necessary? Is it a quick clean and tidy up job, with minor “lipstick” improvements aimed at a quick sale or is it a deep, thorough, honest look at what is not working and figuring out options and solutions. Any change to the property requires investing time and money, therefore figuring out why you are renovating will help with the planning and budgeting of the renovation project.

Is It A Minor Renovation?

If the project requires temporary, cosmetic changes aimed at the real estate market then you may not need to break the bank with designer brands and specialist contractors. In fact, the first question you need to ask yourself is how much you are willing to spend. To arrive at that decision, you need to calculate the return on investment.  By putting together a list of what is required you can source fixtures, hardware and even contractors which could lead to keeping more money in your wallet. Do bear in mind that builders can typically get a better pricing on materials. It is typically best to keep renovations simple when you are looking to sell. By calculating the return on investment, you can ensure you stick to the budget.

Sometimes a fresh coat of paint and simple landscaping can make the home ready for the open home. In most cases, if you are hoping to make a good profit, it may be best not to tie it to a major renovation project. This is also where a sincere builder can provide you the right advise. 

Is It A Major Renovation?

However, some homes may have bigger works that need to be considered such as issues of dampness, broken roof tiles, house extensions, etc. As also if you are moving into a home and want it to suit your lifestyle then the approach is different. If the home has to be gutted to its bones then there is a lot of research, preparation, budgeting and a specialist renovation building company is required. This is where professionals like Renovation Builders bring in their expertise. They can provide a timeline and address the special requirements of the home and its surroundings. If you are living in an apartment or a townhouse they can help you with regulations around the homeowners association.

Renovation Budget

By creating a budget for your project you can plan what changes are absolutely essential and need to be addressed immediately. A full home renovation will cost significantly more than a minor kitchen remodel and/or a bathroom renovation. A renovation involving high-end high-quality materials will differ from a mid-range one. When you have an idea of what you desire and then finalise what you are willing to spend, a professional can inspect the site and create a customised budget. While kitchens and bathrooms are extremely popular when it comes to renovations, homeowners can also increase value with exterior upgrades and converting basement/ garages to create more living space.

Unless you ensure that planning is done well in advance of the project things can go wrong if there are unexpected costs. Reaching out to a professional builder early on in the process will ensure accuracy in the renovation budget. They can shed light on areas that need addressing and pare down unnecessary frills. From a budget perspective, it is also important to resist the temptation to make design changes once the work begins.  If you feel you may need some flexibility, it is best to address this with the builder and have extra allowance in your renovation budget.

While budgets varies based on the scope of the project and the materials used, if you need a rough guide for your own initial costing, we suggest that you cost it at $2500 per square metre.

Sort Out Finances

Getting quotes for personal loans or a home loan top up is simple with most New Zealand banks. Online applications will sometimes give you an answer within 48 hours. You can apply to borrow unsecured loans for a term that ranges from 6 months to 5 years. Banks could give up to $50,000 unsecured.

These can be used for big and small renovation projects. Once the finance is finalised you will know exactly what you have to work with and that will determine the size and scope of the renovation.

Build In A Contingency

Renovation budgets are more likely to go over budget than a new build. This is because there could be changes that you could want while the project is underway or there are structural, mould, electrical or other issues that can come up that needs to be resolved. There could be problems discovered after a wall or flooring is opened up.

In saying that, more often than not, there are indications of such issues; e.g., water ingress, sloping floors, sagging roof, gaps in window, door frames and walls, random wall and ceiling cracks, etc.

Depending on the age of your house, scope of the renovation and indications of issues that could crop up, it is advisable to factor in 10 – 25% as contingency.

 Identify a Reputable Builder

If the project is extensive or complicated, then professional help is absolutely essential. It is best to do your research before you finalise a design company. Renovation Builders for example meet their prospective client to determine the size and complexity of the project. They are able to organise designers and architects where the project requires one.

A clear understanding of expectations at the start enables things work out smoothly. If you decide to change your mind with the design or are unhappy with the direction of the project you should feel comfortable with speaking up. Communication is key and building a strong relationship of trust will help realise your dream space. As you go through talks with the builder it is best to communicate your requirements clearly down to the last detail instead of waiting to make last minute decisions. This will allow your budget to be accurate. Even as the project commences being prepared to make quick decisions will allow sourcing products early and finding them at a good price.  An experienced and specialist renovation builder can provide you with the best advise, a realistic estimate, reasonably accurate budget and timeframe, great communication and the management of the end-to-end process of the entire renovation project. This can avoid a budget blowout and can be a rewarding renovation experience and outcome.

The Renovation Builders Process