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.
Though many home owners and DIYers are very diligent in planning out a budget for their home improvement projects, many of these same planners miss all of the additional hidden costs that come with the process, especially if they’re tackling a certain type of installation or replacement for the first time. In fact, in a Forbes article about home improvement projects on the rise, a Houzz survey showed that 41 percent of people did, in fact, go over their original remodel budget. Plain and simple—it’s just very easy to do.