Jo Powell: Advice For Renovators Who Want To Meet Their Budget

The planning and execution of any property renovation can be broken down into several key stages, all of which are integral to the success of the finished result.

It is hard to imagine undertaking a renovation project without giving careful consideration to the design, plan, trades, external and internal finishes and myriad of other components that make up the renovation process.

Overlooking any of these would naturally lead us to anticipate trouble ahead and yet for many renovators, the single most important element of the process is unwittingly disregarded or overlooked.

As the old saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail, and that is certainly true of those who neglect to incorporate a contingency into their budgeting process. The reality is that a renovation or extension is inherently more likely to incur unexpected costs than a new build, due purely to the fact that it is much harder to anticipate what problems might be encountered.

With any renovation, no matter how large or small, you will encounter obstacles. Things will not always go to plan and the absence of a plan to deal with these issues brings far too many renovators unstuck. One simple step in the preparation stages of your project will ensure you the best possible chance of bringing your project in on budget.

In many instances, unforseen issues are small and the cost of rectifying or overcoming them can be accommodated reasonably easily by some modification of other areas of the budget. The real problem arises when a more significant issue presents itself and no provision exists within the budget to address it.

Imagine the stress that arises from discovering an unanticipated problem part way through a renovation, with no funds to rectify the problem or if the problem is addressed, insufficient provision to complete the project.

The key to a stress free renovation likes in taking the simple measure of incorporating a contingency provision into your budget at the outset.

Determining the appropriate contingency for your project depends largely on how thoroughly you have prepared for the project and the type of project you are undertaking. Somewhere in the range of 5 – 30% of the project budget is likely adequate, and an experienced designer and builder will be able to guide you in this regard.

As we know, preparation is key, so be sure to incorporate this element into your plan.


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