The costliest part of most construction projects is the waste that occurs on the jobsite from theft, poor cleanliness and workers’ disregard for supplies on the project. It is hysterical how construction project owners will chase the absolute lowest price on a 2-by-4 stud, then lose it tenfold because of poor jobsite management.
When I first started in the building supply business 35 years ago, one of my first great customers was a wonderful Catholic pipefitter who had nine children. As you can imagine, money was tight in a family that size. The main reason I remember this customer so vividly is that every time he entered the lumberyard he would ask, “What deals do you have today?” He understood that it was not uncommon for builders and homeowners to make mistakes when ordering doors, windows, and building supplies. Many times, these products would end up in the bargain bins of the store. It took several years, but this customer eventually built a beautiful home that housed his wonderful family for about a third of the cost of a new home.
Whether you’re a first-time DIYer or a home improvement expert, there are a variety of projects that can significantly change your home’s value and appearance for the better—big or small. The problem, however, is figuring out which ones should be the priority projects and which should be the ones to put off until another time.
When it comes to creating a budget for a home improvement project, there are a lot of things to consider. Between the type of products and materials themselves to the hidden costs of installation (and everything in between), setting a clear financial plan can be a complicated undertaking.
But no matter what type of project you’re planning, there are some common ways to prepare for a budget that’s both realistic and accurate.
When it comes to home improvement projects, it can be complicated enough to understand the different material options, measurement requirements and other similar factors that go into the whole process—especially if you’re new to the home improvement game. But when a contractor starts using “shop talk” to discuss the details of your project, it can get even more complicated, leaving you with more questions than you had to begin with.