Adrian Ballantyne from realestate.com.au, recently got in touch to get my advice on how to avoid budget blowouts on your reno.
Here’s what he wrote in response to my interview with him. You can also head over to the link HERE to see more videos and articles that will help your renovation.
Renovating parts of your home can be a slippery financial slope if you’re not careful.
Budget blowouts on renovations are startlingly common, so it’s critical that you manage the process in a way that helps to keep your finances in check.
From planning to buying everything before you start to work with your existing floorplan, here are some key tips to avoid renovation budget blowouts.
It’s all in the planning
It’s exciting to start a renovation – you can probably already picture your gleaming new space, and likely daydream about you and your family enjoying it.
But rushing into it is the quickest way to ensure you’ll pay more than you’d planned on.
Von Haus Design and Build director Fiona Parry-Jones says renovators should work out exactly how much they can spend, and then obtain quotes and timelines for every part of the renovation to ensure it’s achievable within their price range.
“Some people just go with the flow a little. Before you know it, they’ve spent $10,000 or $20,000 (over budget),” she says.
It’s also important to get drawings done for the space you’re renovating, with accurate measurements. Parry-Jones says many renovators run into issues because they’ve ordered something that won’t fit, forcing them to double up on work and trades.
“If you get a tradesman in on a certain day and they can’t actually do the work that they were scheduled to do, they’ll often charge you for the time.”
Have everything ready
As part of your planning, you’re far better to order your fixtures, fittings, appliances and other materials before you start the renovation, and ideally, have them delivered well ahead of time.
Remember, some tradesmen can’t start their work until other parts of the renovation are completed, and if everyone is left waiting because you’ve ordered your tiles too late and they’re not in stock, for example, you’ll be paying extra for your tradesmen while they sit around and wait.
Parry-Jones says cabinetmakers are notorious for holding up the show, so make sure they’ve got everything they’ll need on the days they’re scheduled to work on your renovation.
Have a contingency budget
Parry-Jones advises renovators to build a buffer into their budget so that they’re not stretched to their financial limit if issues arise and costs do run over.
Around 10-15% as a safeguard is a good starting point, she says, while 20% might be advisable for larger renovations. That way, while you might run slightly over budget, at least you’re not dipping into money you don’t have.
“Sometimes a whole wiring system will need replacing or gas pipes might need replacing because they’re old, so you just need to allow for the unexpected.”
Do what you can
If you think your renovation might be heading towards a budget blowout, take on some of the tasks yourself.
Tasks that can be tackled without tradesman, like painting or basic landscaping, might be time-consuming, but they’ll shave hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars off your overall costs, and help to keep your budget in check.