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By Kathryn Pins
Your home is most likely one of your biggest investments. But, unlike other investments, it’s also a place where your family gathers to create traditions and memories. When you begin to think about a home improvement project, there are many pieces of the budget that you need to consider. Here are some renovation budget tips that go beyond the construction.
Even if you think a renovation is just a dream, it’s important to do some research right away. Look up cost estimates for various projects or rooms. After doing that, get a professional opinion. Your space is unique and the sooner you know exactly what you need, the better.
These estimates will help you set up a savings timeline. Having a savings goal and timeline can make your dream a reality. Consider creating a supplemental savings account with a high interest rate and set up automatic deposits. If it’s a costly improvement, asking for estimates early will allow you to research loan options as well.
We've all watched the DIY projects on HGTV and have been inspired to try something on our own. Performing the labor yourself is a big money saver, but know your limits. If geometry was never your strength, building custom furniture yourself will cost you time, energy, and even money. However, if you've always had a passion for color, then painting your space will be rewarding and a way to save money. When you budget for help where you need it, you'll make your renovation dollars go further.
A renovation is an opportunity to make the space your own. Take some time to think about how you want to customize your home. Ask yourself, what is important to me? If you're proud of your artwork, add extra light fixtures to showcase your pieces. If you enjoy being outdoors, design custom drapes to draw your attention outside. Many times, personal touches can be costly, but if you budget for them ahead of time, they are more manageable.
It seems that all home improvement shows have the same twist; the homeowners uncover something that they had not budgeted for. The reality of home improvement is that you'll find hidden costs. You could find water damage or electrical work that is not to code. The common rule is to have 20 percent of your budget allocated for those unexpected surprises.
Once you get into your renovation, make sure to constantly revisit your budget breakdown. Know what you can afford and how you are paying for the project. There are many opportunities to upgrade materials throughout the process. When this happens, think back to what is important to you and your original goals.
Managing your home improvement budget can be stressful, but if you keep these tips in mind, you can focus on making many more memories in your home.
Kathryn Pins is a marketing content specialist at Alliant. She’s passionate about finding and communicating meaningful financial information with Money Mentor readers. Kathryn is a saver who gets more excited about certificates and her Roth IRA than shopping. When she does spend her earnings, it’s on furthering her education, travel, unique experiences, and loved ones.