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    2024
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A Practical Guide to Investing Wisely in Your Renovation

A Practical Guide to Investing Wisely in Your Renovation

Renovating your home is a “project” from our point of view because we manage all the moving parts to make your vision a reality.

Renovating your home from your point of view, though, is an investment. It’s an investment in your environment. It’s an emotional investment as much as a financial one, too. You’re investing in your lifestyle and in your daily pleasure.

Since “budget” cheapens what an “investment” in your home is really about, and since it doesn’t include the emotional resources you’re investing, you won’t hear us use that word often.

Whether you call it an “investment” or a “budget,” though, you do need a realistic look at the dollars and cents that can make your dream come true.

…What can you do with the money you have ready to invest?

…Or, how much do you need ready to make your dream a reality?

Keep reading to see the breakdown of the most important line items in a renovation and you’ll have LOTS of new insights to answer the two questions above. Some of these line items probably aren’t on your list already, so buckle up for a holistic (and realistic) look at the cost of a typical home transformation…

 

General renovation requirements…

No matter what type of renovation or interior design vision you’re after, you’ll probably see most (or all) of these line items when you receive a quote from a professional. (If you DON’T see many of them, these costs will show up later…so don’t be fooled.)

  • Design consultation
  • Design plans and specifications
  • Plan review and alterations
  • Legal or permit fees
  • Insurance

These general requirements often make up between 10 and 15% of your overall renovation investment. Good planning in this phase will ensure smooth and painless project management later, so this stage is crucial.

 

Site preparation…

After your plan is set, your space needs to be prepped for renovation. An interior design investment won’t include as many of these items, but most renovations will.

Site preparation includes:

  • Demolition
  • Jacking and shoring
  • Dust control and surface protection
  • Dumpster and removal
  • Job-site access
  • On-site storage
  • Portable toilet
  • Temporary power or heat

Site preparation can amount to a substantial portion of your investment, often between 20 and 25%. This is how your renovation professional ensures a clean, safe and organized jobsite, so it’s not an area to skimp.

 

Rough framing

Have you heard of “rough going in?” This phase of renovation is what sets your space up for changes in layout.

Rough framing can include:

  • Sill and seal
  • Floor framing
  • Wall framing
  • Sheathing
  • Subflooring
  • Beams and headers
  • Roof and floor trusses
  • Drywall

Rough framing creates the skeleton of your project, reflecting the layout of your new space, and it’s exciting to get this far!! Framing often makes up around 25% of your renovation investment.

View what this phase looks like in real projects we share on our Facebook page

 

A Kitchen Renovation Dance…

You hear that?

It’s the beating music of the kitchen renovation dance.

Picture half a dozen subcontractors in a circle. They prance around shared deadlines and contingencies. They twirl together at increasing speed. The music isn’t so slow anymore. Suddenly, you’re managing 20 different product delivery dates and several half-finished steps of your renovation!

THAT is an exhausting dance if you don’t have your kitchen renovation investment outlined in realistic terms before you choose your contractor.

(By the way, to save pulling your hair out over the weeks of your renovation, a local renovation firm with on-staff project management will orchestrate that dance entirely for you…factor this into your investment, and your experience will be COMPLETELY different.)

The three things that homeowners most often forget to budget, or budget too little for in a kitchen renovation are…

  1. Custom cabinetry and cabinet hardware
  2. Plumbing and electrical upgrades
  3. Appliance cost, delivery times, and appliance installation

A well-designed kitchen is a literal life-changer, so it’s obviously worth doing it right. Take note that “delivery times” is part of the appliance cost because a delay in delivery will delay other production tasks, like laying flooring or tile…and a delay in your renovation can end up costing, too.

Ready for the full list of kitchen renovation line-items?? Consider this common list…

  • Cabinet design
  • Cabinet production
  • Cabinet installation
  • Counter slabs and installation
  • Tile materials and laying
  • Appliance delivery and installation
  • Drain/waste/vent plumbing
  • Water supply piping
  • Gas piping
  • Plumbing fixtures
  • Disposal
  • Electrical rough wiring
  • Lighting fixtures
  • Outlets/switches/dimmers
  • Lighting control system
  • Smoke and CO2 alarms
  • Security system
  • Smart home fiber optics
  • Range/cooktop
  • Ceilings and soffits
  • Wallpaper or painting
  • Interior door frames and thresholds
  • Interior trim
  • Built-in shelving
  • Cabinet staining
  • Flooring

 

Bathroom Beguilement

Bathroom renovations have most of the same costs that kitchen renovations do.

There are some costs that homeowners perpetually underestimate in this space, too. Namely…

  1. Plumbing reconfiguration
  2. Quality fixtures and fittings
  3. Professional installation fees

The full list of typical bathroom renovation line-items includes:

  • Cabinet design
  • Cabinet production
  • Cabinet installation
  • Tile laying
  • Drain/waste/vent plumbing
  • Water supply piping
  • Plumbing fixtures
  • Electrical rough wiring
  • Lighting fixtures
  • Outlets/switches/dimmers
  • Lighting control system
  • Smoke and CO2 alarms
  • Smart home fiber optics
  • Ceilings and soffits
  • Wallpaper or painting
  • Interior door frames and thresholds
  • Interior trim
  • Built-in shelving
  • Cabinet staining
  • Flooring

 

Your reality check…what you know vs. what you OUGHT to know

The usual homeowner renovation “budget” that comes our way includes materials, labor, and a contingency fund. The line items that are most often overlooked are site preparation, general requirements, and project management.

The truth is that NONE of us can know something unless we’ve had someone teach us at some point. There’s no class on residential construction that homeowners routinely go through before buying a home, so few homeowners have any idea how to realistically plan for a renovation investment.

And what happens when a renovation is started without the right investment on-hand? Homeowners are left with unforeseen expenses and, in the worst case scenario, they’re left with incomplete projects in their most intimate environment: their homes.

Investing in loving your home is priceless…but calculating your investment with both eyes open is a MUST, because ultimately those very real dollars and cents add up to tell you what you can and can’t do with your space.

Want a professional look at your dreams for your home? Contact us now!!

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