Many times during preliminary conversations about renovation projects, homeowners do not want to provide a budget or even a budget range to us. This can be problematic for the homeowner and contractor.
The usual reason given by the homeowner is that the contractor will "extend the work" to suit the budget. This is not the usual event as the usual result is that the desired project is over budget. The other common reason given is "we don't know what things cost".
So you may ask, why should I provide a budget or range? With an experienced contractor, you will receive much needed guidance during the preliminary and final design phases of your project.
You may decide to ask your design professional to provide construction costs. This can cause real issues when the project design is finished and you go to tender. A design professional's specialty is to take your thoughts, goals, and ideas and create the new space. They don't always know or understand how something has to be put together and what the associated costs would be. We are seeing experienced design pro's using construction costs that are 50% of today's actual costs and/or forgetting to include the general contractor's overhead costs!
In the beginning, we can provide rough guidelines for the proposed project with a budget range. You may ask how can your project be budgeted if you don't know what is to be done? Experienced contractors do not have to do final costing on projects at the beginning of the design process. Rules of thumb, square foot costs, site conditions, and experience all provide a starting point and only a start to the budget.
As the design is fleshed out, you should then request more detailed costs We then can at the various steps of design, discuss how to revise your thoughts and/or budget to achieve your dream project. Sometimes it is a worth while investment to have your contractor outline various options to ensure you are on the right track with the budget.
So as you start out on the renovation process, you should have two targets in mind before you start — what you want done and how much you can invest in your home. With those two key pieces of information, you will have very useful information for yourself and your contractor.
Rob Wright heads Citadel Renovations in Ottawa and has helped many homeowners improve their homes. The projects have ranged from simple home repairs to extensive addition and/or rebuild renovations in various locations in Eastern Ontario. In addition, Citadel Renovations has supplied services to Home Depot customers. Rob has been active in the Greater Ottawa Home Builders Association for many years and has been the Renovation Council Chair in the past. Recently, Rob has presented seminars at the local home shows on various renovations subjects. For more information, visit CitadelRenovations.com . Image from www.citadelrenovations.com
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