When first speaking with a contractor about a potential remodeling project, in most cases you will be asked for your approximate budget. Contractors ask you for your budget for several reasons, all of which are meant to help you. Having a remodel budget is similar to having a budget when buying a new home. Both are an important aspect to making the process successful. When having the initial conversation with your realtor, you sit down and talk about your budget and your must have list. The same goes for a home remodeling project. Knowing your budget up front helps us tailor our design for each individual customer and helps make the project a success from start to finish.
Obtaining an estimate
If you are planning a remodel – you have some sort of idea of what you want to invest in the space. Even if you do not know how much the project will cost, you know what you are willing to spend. Or rather, what you are not willing to exceed. That is the number you need to share with your contractor. It helps both the contractor and the homeowner stay on the same page and have the same end goal.
A contractor can walk into your home, discuss all your dreams for your remodel, and easily come up with a price for you without knowing what your budget number is. Many times, when remodeling contractors do that, they are giving you exactly what you want design-wise. But the price is outside of what you intend to spend. That is why having a budget is important, in most cases the contractor can adjust aspects of the design to fit within your desired budget.
Acknowledging your budget
We are here to help: Your contractor can help you reach your design goals within your budget if they understand what your budget is. Some people might fire back and say “well, my contractor is just going to make the price whatever I say my budget is, so I am not going to tell him”. That’s not accurate. This is what your remodeling contractor is going to do with your budget information: They are going to work with your dream design and carefully adjust the scope of work and re-design to make the remodel work within your budget.
For example, you want to open up your dining room wall to create an open concept kitchen, add a kitchen island, and move your range to sit within your island. Your ceiling seems low so you want to raise the lid and add recessed lights. You found a pot filler that you just have to have. Then you get your price of $100,000. A little over your ideal budget. Time to make some adjustments.
Staying within your remodeling budget
If you were to provide your contractor with your remodeling budget, or budget cap, then your contractor can navigate for you what can or cannot be done within your budget. Contractors can help you to prioritize wants so you can get a dream kitchen without breaking the bank. In the situation above, your contractor may steer you away from moving the range. Because it means relocating the gas which may significantly impact the budget. Or he might suggest enlarging your kitchen window versus raising the ceiling. Your contractor has been in literally hundreds of homes and has options for you that you haven’t even considered.
A reputable remodeling contractor is going to want to know what your budget is so he can guide you towards getting the biggest bang for your buck. If you are asked for your budget, be forthright with your contractor. If this is the team you are going to have in your home for weeks (or months, if it is a large remodel), it is important to be transparent, so you are given advice that meets your goals both financially and aesthetically. We’re always here to help because at the end of the day, both the contractor and customer have the same goal, a beautifully designed and constructed space.
*adapted from https://www.classichomeremodeling.com/should-i-tell-my-contractor-my-budget/