This blog post originally appeared in my February Newsletter. And now that the nice weather is here and I’ve been getting more and more calls from clients wanting to renovate, so I thought it would be good to share it again as a blog post. I’m going to tell you how to create a long-term budget that will help you create a realistic plan to get you started. So whether you are reading this again or seeing it for the first time I hope you find it useful for your next project!
A long-term budget (LTB) is defined as a budget with a term that is usually longer than one year. Since most of us don’t have a big pile of money to get everything we want done all at once, (and if you do please call me!), creating a LTB is a great way to plan a renovation or a to redecorate an existing room in your home. When you create a LTB, you are breaking down the project into different phases. Phasing allows you to create a plan to save money for each phase, so that you can get everything you want.
For some of my larger projects, I often break down the project into three phases:
Phase One – Construction
This phase would include construction costs, cabinetry, fixed lighting, permanent fixtures, finishes such as flooring, tile, trim work, and countertops. I like to also include a sofa, a rug or any other inspiration piece for the room because you should never select a paint colour without relating it to something!
Phase Two – Furnishing
In this phase, you include almost everything you need to fill that space: sofa, chairs, coffee table, accent tables, appliances – if you didn’t include them in phase one. (This is where that chart I gave you in last month’s letter will come in handy!)
Phase Three – The Details
This final phase is about adding all the little things that make a space feel like home. This includes items like window treatments, pillows, art, accessories and electronics.
• When you are calculating the cost of finishes such as flooring, make sure you include 10% to 15% for waste.
• When calling around for quotes, try to get everything in writing and the name of the person you talked to.
• If something is on sale, find out for how long and if it’s being discontinued. If you really want it, you may have to purchase it sooner than you planned
• Finally, don’t forget to include the tax!
After you have totaled all of your costs, you should always add 10-15% as a reserve just in case something costs more than you expected.
When you’re considering the start dates of each phase, look at your calendar and make your plans around when you might be getting that big bonus at work or when you’re on holidays. If you use the space more during certain months of a year, you don’t want to plan a renovation the month before just in case it runs longer then expected. And if you’re planning to hire trades people to help, you need consider that spring and fall are their busiest times. So if you want the basement Reno completed by December, you better start getting all your ducks a row by the beginning of September! Finally, don’t forget when you go to order product, it may take about 4-6 weeks for it to be delivered and sometimes even months!
During any renovation or redecorating project, there is a lot you need to think about and map out before you start. Knowing how much it is really going to cost and having a plan is not a step you should ever skip. If you’re really not into figuring this all out on your own, then get help. In the long run, working with design professional will save you time, money and usually a lot of headaches!
I hope you have found these tips helpful for the next time you plan a renovation or redecorate! But if you’re finding the whole process to be overwhelming and would like the help of a professional please contact me to arrange a complimentary call to discuss all your design needs.