• How to avoid budget blowouts on your reno

    How to avoid budget blowouts on your reno

    Renovating parts of your home can be a slippery financial slope if you’re not careful.

    Budget blowouts on renovations are startlingly common, so it’s critical that you manage the process in a way that helps to keep your finances in check.

    From planning, to buying everything before you start, to working with your existing floorplan, here are some key tips to avoid renovation budget blowouts.

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    It’s all in the planning

    It’s exciting to start a renovation, you can probably already picture your gleaming new space, and likely daydream about you and your family enjoying it, but rushing into it is the quickest way to ensure you’ll pay more than you’d planned on. Von Haus Design and Build director, Fiona Parry-Jones, says renovators should work out exactly how much they can spend, and then obtain quotes and timelines for every part of the renovation to ensure it’s achievable within their price range.

    “Some people just go with the flow a little. Before you know it, they’ve spent $10,000 or $20,000 (over budget),” she says.

    It’s also important to get drawings done for the space you’re renovating, with accurate measurements. Parry-Jones says many renovators run into issues because they’ve ordered something that won’t fit, forcing them to double up on work and trades.

    Work with your floorplan

    Nothing blows out the cost of a renovation more than making changes to the floorplan.

    Moving plumbing, electrics and other permanent elements will cost you big bucks, so try to work with the existing footprint and keep the changes cosmetic, rather than structural, if possible.

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    Have everything ready

    As part of your planning, you’re far better to order your fixtures, fittings, appliances and other materials before you start the renovation, and ideally have them delivered well ahead of time.

    Remember, some tradesmen can’t start their work until other parts of the renovation are completed, for example, if everyone is left waiting because you’ve ordered your tiles too late and they’re not in stock, you’ll be paying extra for your tradesmen while they sit around and wait.

    Parry-Jones says cabinetmakers are notorious for holding up the show, so make sure they’ve got everything they’ll need on the days they’re scheduled to work on your renovation. 

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    Have a contingency budget

    Parry-Jones advises renovators to build a buffer into their budget, so that they’re not stretched to their financial limit if issues arise and costs do run over.

    Around 10-15% as a safeguard is a good starting point, she says, while 20% might be advisable for larger renovations. That way, while you might run slightly over budget, at least you’re not dipping into money you don’t have.

    “Sometimes a whole wiring system will need replacing or gas pipes might need replacing because they’re old, so you just need to allow for the unexpected.” 

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    Do what you can

    If you think your renovation might be heading towards a budget blowout, take on some of the tasks yourself.

    Tasks that can be tackled without tradesman, like painting or basic landscaping, might be time consuming, but they’ll shave hundreds, if not thousands of dollars off your overall costs, and help to keep your budget in check. 

    How to avoid budget blowouts on your reno - 5

    All pictures: Unsplash

    Originally published on realestate.com.au, ‘How to avoid budget blowouts on your reno’ 

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    About the author

    • Raymond

      Raymond A Ram is the RAMbassador for RAMS Financial Group. Raymond works with the RAMS team to bring simple, helpful and expert information on home loans and savings accounts to life with his down to earth and cheeky personality. He enjoys seeing everyday Australians turn their dreams of saving for a goal or getting into a home a reality. 

      Growing up in Goulburn, NSW, Raymond was brought up with good old-fashioned Aussie values of hard work and a fair go. It soon became apparent that Raymond wasn't content for the conventional path of grazing, producing the very best wool, and finding a nice sheep to settle down with. So it wasn't long before his passion for performing and his talent as a likeable larrikin shone through - landing him a few roles such as 'RAMlet'. He was even tipped to play RAM-bo at one point but chose to become star of the small screen instead as RAMbassador for RAMS. He now finds this role so much more rewarding.

      Contact your local RAMS Home Loan Centre about your home loan options.

      Raymond A Ram

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  • Disclaimer:

    This information is general in nature and has been prepared without taking your objectives, needs and overall financial situation into account. For this reason, you should consider the appropriateness of the information to your own circumstances and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.