Wallet on a kitchen table

How to Budget for a Home Improvement Project

Every home is a work in progress, and some more than others. Whether you've simply grown tired of outdated features or fixtures, need more space, or wish to update your home for resale value, planning how you'll pay for your home improvement project is just as important as your home design ideas. Read on for some great tips on how to budget for your upcoming renovation to ensure its success, and avoid unpleasant surprises.

Invest Wisely

Any improvements made to your home over the course of ownership count toward its overall value, and should be considered as much of an investment as your initial purchase. Before you begin, ensure you will be adding real value to your home and that you're not over-improving, or putting more money into your renovation then you can recoup when it comes time to sell.

Budget Realistically

Determine how much money you realistically have at your disposal, including any savings and credit. For borrowed money, calculate how much your repayment will add to your monthly budget to ensure you don't overextend your finances, and take into consideration how much your interest payments will add to the cost of the renovation.

Discuss Your Project

If you plan to work with a designer or general contractor, speak with them to get a better idea of the cost of your project, and for additional home design ideas. Be sure to add at least a 10 percent contingency to your budget to cover unexpected or unforeseen expenses.

Discuss your improvement project with a number of contractors as sometimes the right “fit” is more valuable than simply the lowest price. Prepare a list of questions to ask references to determine their level of satisfaction with the work and timeline, and to find out if they would hire the same contractor again.

Stay Flexible

You'll likely need to make some adjustments to your original design in order to stay within the parameters of your budget, and to keep in line with the value of the other homes in your neighborhood. Ask yourself what you can and can't live without, and what you may be able to change down the road, when more money becomes available.

Use Your Skills

You may be able to reduce the cost of your home improvement project by doing some of the work yourself. If you're handy with a paint brush, can tile like a pro, or safely remove old cabinetry, flooring, or fixtures, you'll have more money to put toward home decor ideas and upgrades. In addition to, or as an alternative to physical labor, you can help keep your budget on track by sourcing out the materials for your project in order to obtain the best price. During your search, you may find a lower priced alternative or sale item that can yield real savings.

The experts at Mr. Handyman can provide professional service for residential and commercial repair, maintenance and improvement projects. Contact your local Mr. Handyman or call (877) 256-3376 to request service.