Here's what you need to know to bud­get for a re­model.

Cottages & Bungalows - - Contents -

Af­ter sev­eral his­toric home ren­o­va­tion projects, Chris­tine shares her ad­vice for bud­get­ing.

Shop around. Chris­tine says, “The big­gest sav­ings is sourc­ing your own ma­te­ri­als.” A one-stop shop may be ef­fi­cient, but the price tag tends to be steep and the re­sults cookie cut­ter. “If you’re smart and lucky, you’ll go to lo­cal re­build stores,” Chris­tine says. One such store is where they scored light fix­tures that were sal­vaged from old barns and fac­to­ries.

Go through sev­eral drafts. Check with your con­trac­tor on the de­tails of what your de­ci­sions will mean in terms of cost. Reshuf­fle to save where you can and make the higher-dol­lar, high-pri­or­ity de­ci­sions pos­si­ble, and bring it back to your con­trac­tor to get a new es­ti­mate. You may need to re­peat the process sev­eral times. That’s OK— this is a foun­da­tional process worth get­ting right.

Bud­get for ex­tra. “I’ve never had a project come in un­der bud­get,” Chris­tine says. You may not want to ac­knowl­edge it as you plot out your bud­get, but keep in mind that you will likely en­counter some un­fore­seen costs as the process con­tin­ues.

Keep in mind you’ll need to fur­nish the house. What nat­u­rally ab­sorbs most your at­ten­tion as you plan a ren­o­va­tion are the big struc­tural changes and costs, but Chris­tine has seen friends ren­o­vate, then re­al­ize they need ad­di­tional things to make the house liv­able—fur­ni­ture, kitchen and din­ing wares, etc.—and then end up pur­chas­ing the cheap­est things they can find all at once be­cause they’ve al­ready spent so much on the ren­o­va­tion. To avoid this, re­mem­ber to ac­count for those items in your bud­get.

Re­mem­ber not ev­ery­thing has to be per­fect at once. The Bridgers pre­fer to pri­or­i­tize struc­tural things and im­por­tant ar­eas fore­most, know­ing the rest will be easy to tackle later on. “Choose a fo­cal point for the house to avoid hav­ing to spread your bud­get too thin,” Chris­tine ad­vises. This can help save on costs and en­sure you’re thor­oughly happy with the high-pri­or­ity ar­eas.

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