Here's Why Remodels Go Over Budget, and How to Avoid It

According to a 2020 U.S. Houzz & Home survey, only 36% of homeowners doing a remodeling project stayed on track with their budgets in 2019. Comparatively, over 31% of homeowners had a remodeling project that went over budget and a surprising 29% never set a budget on their project at all. That leaves a little over 3% that we would consider those lucky homeowners who actually came under budget.


The facts above do not lie - it is hard to make a budget, and maybe even harder to stick to it. Knowing that this is a common problem, when you are planning the budget for your own home renovation project you should be able to avoid making a few mistakes.


So you want to know why so many remodeling projects go over budget?


One of the most common reasons that remodels go over budget is because the budget and/or planning of the project was not detailed enough to start with. Oftentimes, remodeling projects simply end up being more expensive than expected because the project quoted is more expansive and expensive than the imagined project.


In other cases, it is just a matter of bad luck that cannot be avoided. Opening up walls can lead to many discoveries. It is not unusual to open up a wall to discover electrical wiring that needs to be replaced entirely, or find a mold issue that just cannot be covered up.  The list of possible hidden discoveries can go on and on: plumbing, hidden water damage, faulty lights. All that can add on to the total cost of the project.


Another reason that remodeling projects go over budget is simply because it was the clients’ choice to do so. When going through the remodeling process, you are slowly seeing your vision come to life. But when you see it, you might realize that the additions that you were wavering on just might actually be worth it. You do want that marble countertop after all, and while we are at it let’s go ahead and include the backsplash as well. Adding things that were not part of the initial plan or scope will quickly cause renovations to go off budget.


So how do you avoid all that and keep your remodeling plan (and spend) on track?


Be Realistic

When you are looking around a showroom and see that they are advertising low budgets and a short timeline, you would be well within your right to be a little skeptical. Unless you are doing a quick turn or update to sell your home, it just might be too good to be true for the type of remodeling project you have in mind.  In any circumstance, make sure you go with a company that you can trust to work with.  It is important for both clients and companies to be up front and transparent with costs so that a realistic project and budget can be developed.  


Plan for the unexpected

When you are planning your budget, plan for the unexpected. If we were to put a rough number on it, a good estimate is around 25% - and potentially even a little more wiggle room. While it can come in handy for those moments where you hit a snag and find some damage in your home that you did not know was there, it can be just as helpful if you really stick to your budget and find that there is one thing you just must have to really make your remodeling project just what you want.  Establish that plan for the unexpected early on so that you are prepared for either situation. 


Keep Your Layout

This one is fairly specific. It could be restricting to those who want to change their kitchen layout entirely, but if you really want to stick to your budget keep the same kitchen or bathroom layout that you are already working with. In maintaining that layout, you should run into less possibilities for damage or having to tear down walls or move pipes. Plus, your designer will be able to refresh your kitchen or bathroom into a whole new look even if you keep your layout entirely the same. 


Make Sure You Prioritize

We know how you feel. You are planning your budget and the possibilities for your kitchen or your bathroom seem completely endless. From the start, think about the goals that you want to set for your renovation. Even if you are one of the rare people with an unlimited budget, it is important to still have goals for what you seek to achieve.


You know you want new cabinets, and you know you need a new kitchen countertop. Those can be your top priorities and as long as you get those things done, you will be happy. If you find you have a little bit of your budget left over, you can move on to your next priorities, like adding new appliances and updating your lighting. 


Trust the Professionals

When you try to go full DIY to your house, you definitely increase the chances of having to find a professional to come in and fix the damage you may have caused.  Trying to do all the work yourself gets much more complicated than you initially might have thought. Want to install a kitchen faucet? You’re going to need all the parts and tools to install it (and uninstall what you already have) too - which ends up being extra money. And when you run into a problem with the installation, you are going to have to call someone, and pay for it. 


Unless you are a construction expert yourself, in most cases leaving it to the trained professionals is going to save you time and money in the end. They also know where to find cost savings when it comes to the particulars of your remodel and could actually end up saving you some cash. 


Reico Kitchen & Bath knows kitchens and baths. And we know budgets. Contact us today if you are interested in learning more about making a detailed, realistic plan for your remodeling budget. Our team of experts is ready and waiting to speak with you, equipped with decades of knowledge in planning remodels and easing you through the entire design, remodel and budgeting experience.

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