Home Improvement

How to budget for your next home remodeling project

At one point or another we’ve all been drawn into watching a home remodeling show on television. Seeing a house completely transform in thirty minutes or less can be really inspiring. So much so that if you’re anything like us, it takes every ounce of your willpower not to strap on a hardhat and take a sledgehammer to your kitchen wall once the credits roll.

Like other subsectors of home construction, spending on improvements took a serious hit during the recession. However, as the economy recovers and home values continue to appreciate, remodeling spending has also climbed back up. According to the National Association of Home Builders, the outlook for home improvement spending remains solid as homeowners become more willing to invest in their properties.

Image via Tara Mangini | Jersey Ice Cream Co.

If you’ve done any research as to how much it costs to remodel your home, you know it isn’t cheap. Adding a deck to the back of your house, for example, can set you back anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000. According to 2015 data provided by Remodeling Magazine, the average costs of some other popular midrange home improvement projects are as follows:

New roof: $19,528

Sunroom addition: $75,726

New vinyl siding: $12,013

Garage addition: $52,382

Bathroom remodel: $16,724

Minor kitchen remodel: $19,226

Whether your decision to embark on a home improvement project was born of necessity or a desire to upgrade your living quarters, making and sticking to a financial plan is essential to getting the job done. Here are some money-saving tips that will help you budget for your next home improvement project.

 – Get estimates for the same scope of work from at least three different contractors. Have them price out each improvement individually and as one lump price. You may be able to get a discount on labor if you hire the same person to perform multiple projects.

– Set a goal to save enough money to pay for the project in cash. There are two benefits to this method. First, you’ll avoid costly interest payments. Second, the time it takes you to save will prevent you from making impulse purchases and allow you to bargain shop.

– Home improvement projects always end up being more complicated than you think they’ll be. That’s why it’s important to leave enough room in your budget for unexpected expenses. Plan to add a buffer of about 10 percent for small projects and up to 25 percent for bigger projects.

– Limit discretionary spending to reach your goal sooner. Any area of your budget where you can scale back will hasten your eventual home improvement project.

* Images via Tara Mangini | Jersey Ice Cream Co.

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Kate Kasbee
Kate Kasbee is a blogger and freelance copywriter living in Los Angeles. She has a background in real estate marketing and has also written about a variety of subjects including pet care, how to adopt a vegan diet, and technology. Prior to living in sunny California, Kate spent eight years in Chicago where she lived in nine different apartments in five different neighborhoods. Though she’s not quite done exploring, Kate dreams of planting her roots and owning a home with creaky floors and plenty of land for starting an organic farm.
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