You do it for grocery shopping, house shopping, and holidays. But you might not realize how important a budget is for home renovating, remodeling, and even decorating. I love making your life easier, so welcome to part 1 of 3 on remodeling budgets and how to get started on renovation planning.
Why It Matters
“What is your budget?” This question is often met with uncomfortable silence, even giggles! The problem: this is one of the—if not the—most important piece of information that I as a designer need to help you, but no one wants to talk about it. Even if you’re not working with a designer on a home project, it matters. Here’s why:
1. We Have to Start Somewhere
Shopping for furniture and accessories starts much earlier in the process than you would think. If you have a $75,000 budget, I’ll start shopping in very different places than I would if you have a $7,500 budget. Is one better than the other? No! If we’re being honest, I like the challenge of a tight budget! By giving me a clear direction on where to start you will actually save money by saving me time. If I base my design on a $6,000 sofa and your total budget is $6,000, I’ll have to start back at square one.
2. Draw the Line
Everyone has a budget, whether you know it or not. Once in a great while there is a rare client that has a literally unlimited budget—unless you are that person, read on! No one wants to go over budget. You work hard for your money and you should spend it on what you want to spend it on. You feel bad, question, and usually resent whatever it is that made you go over budget. Don’t put yourself (or me!) through that. Set a budget, even a range of what you’re looking to spend, and stick to it!
3. Take Control
Are you scared to set a budget because you won’t get what you want? I know, me too! Believe me, the pressure to make everyone’s dreams come true in a house where you can touch both of the walls with a “see as we go” budget is paralyzing. But I have found that if you have a clear vision of what you want, persistence in sticking to a budget will pay off and you’ll achieve the goal. It might not be easy, and it may require a lot of watching for sales, thrift store finds…even sending relatives on a mission for what you’re looking for (which they will love, by the way) but it’s worth it! Not only will you feel a sense of accomplishment but you also won’t regret spending money that you didn’t have.
4. Be Pleasantly Surprised When Nothing Goes Wrong
Any home project can get out of hand quickly. I’ve been there: new pillows for the living room turns into Oh, that’s a cute rug which leads to I can’t live without that wall art which ends in a complete face lift for the entire first floor of your home. Another example is something as simple as re-tiling the bathroom, which leads to a discovery of mold under the floors…need I say more? Moral of the story: Make sure that you have enough money for
if when the project turns into something more. If nothing goes wrong, great! You now have extra money to spend on the project or the next project!
Now that you know why a budget matters, keep an eye out for part 2: Renovation Budget: Where to Start.
If you’re looking for some handy tools for starting a budget, be sure to check out my Budget Tips and Tools page!