American Farmhouse Style

Home Improvemen­t BUDGET 101

Don’t know where to start? Designer Kara Christense­n shares three things to consider when creating a home renovation budget.


1. RENOVATION SIZE. Before you dive into crunching numbers, consider what rooms you want to include in your renovation. Is it just one space? Are you adding on square footage? Is it interior and exterior? “Most builders will be able to give you a good range of the cost per square foot, but the cost is greatly dependent upon how much demolition and reconstruc­tion is needed,” Kara says. “Sometimes that means all new wiring and plumbing, for example.”

2. DESIRED DETAILS. In any budget, there’s room for saving or splurging, depending on what details you want to invest in. “Determinin­g the finishes in a renovation will put you on the lower end or higher end of that range,” says Kara. “For example, custom inset cabinets, quartz tops and luxury appliances will cost much more than standard full overlay cabinets, stocked granite and more economical appliances in a new kitchen.”

3. PLAN AHEAD. Despite careful planning, Kara admits that renovation­s always come with surprises, especially for older homes. “No matter your budget, always allow for unexpected miscellane­ous costs to arise in a renovation of an old home—they almost always have secrets,” she says.

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