When deciding to begin a renovation many of us just dive into it not realizing that we are can be deep in the water before we know it!
Renovations can appear glamorous and the path can seem simple but the reality is that there is much to consider and many elements to factor in before starting a renovation and going over budget.
After two years of working on the hit television showÂ Income Property, I have realized that renovations don’t always go as planned. Even with a lot of preparation there is always some type of sneaky curve ball that creeps in from around the corner. And so, when estimating what a renovation is going to cost you and how much time it will inconvenience your lifestyle, you must be prepared for the “unknown.”
I recommend that you start with an old fashioned pen and paper or if you want to get organized, using an excel spreadsheet is a great way to keep track of your wish list, purchases and labour costs.
Breaking down your intended renovation room by room is a great approach to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Look at all the possible elements, consider your floors, ceilings, walls and all the appropriate treatments and add-ons that come with that particular space. Use a tape measure to calculate distances and quantities for products and materials.
One of the most popular renovations done in a home is the bathroom. I will breakdown all the items and elements that you should consider for a standard 3-piece washroom as an example renovation:
Floor tiles: Calculate the room and estimate the square footage required.
Wall tiles: Decide if you will be tiling all the walls, tiling half way up the walls or just the tub or shower surrounding.Â If you’re doing a border or specific design, consider the extra cost of decorative tile inserts. Once you decide, make the necessary calculations to get your square footage.
Paint: Most bathrooms need one gallon of Kitchen & Bath paint; this should run you at about $35. If you decide on wallpaper, you will have to get your quantitiesÂ by measuring the height and width of all the walls you wish to wallpaper. Consider the cost of wallpaper rolls and the installation.
Plumbing fixtures: Tub, toilet, sink, bath & shower faucets, vanity faucet, towel bar, toilet paper holder, etc.Â Consider all the necessary elements that you will include in your bathroom and estimate how much you are willing to spend on each item. The average toilet will run you at about $250.00. For a fancier one you can pay upwards of $400- $500.Â Set your budget and stick to it. Don’t forget that plumbers are skilled trades and the cost of installation alone can run you mad!
Vanity: Will you have a custom vanity built? Or will you buy a ready-to-fit vanity? Look at all your pricing options before inputting your rough figures.
Light fixtures: Consider pot lights or a cheaper alternative such as a central fixture. Perhaps you wish to have one wall scone or two. Flip through magazines and make all your design decisions.
Accessories: Consider all the necessary bath accessories, from shelves and baskets to towels, that will create a cozy new space. Set a realistic budget for all the extras you will want to include as part of your bathroom overhaul.
One of the most common reasons that homeowners go over budget on their renovation is simply because they splurge for the more expensive tile, or the upgraded toilet with the fancy seat.Â Many people also don’t take the time to make proper design decisions! Knowing what you want in advance will help you create a budget that you can work with.
Let’s face it, adding a few bucks here and there can get deep into debt! Sticking to the budget that you set for yourself is key, doing the research and knowing what things cost is also very important. Do not ever estimate anything blindly, go out to stores and showrooms, look online or flip through catalogues to ensure you know, and understand how much everything costs.
When it comes to contractors, ask around for a reliable source, get a few quotes and compare the numbers. Be sure that you stipulate every tiny detail in your fixed quote. Contractors will commonly find little extras along the way for items that homeowners had not budgeted for.
To save a few renovating bucks consider doing some of the work yourself. You can save money with simple items such as painting, installing light fixtures, towels bars and shelves. Don’t be too ambitious to tackle tiling or plumbing if you have never done it before. Mistakes can be costly; doing a shabby DIY job can often resort to lots of extra cash being thrown down the drain!
Some last tips: