OK guys, now that the new year is upon us, many of you are starting to think about that home project that you have been putting off. And before you do, let me talk to you about a question that sometimes scares the crap out of people… What’s your budget?
I get it. Talking money is hard sometimes (ok, really most of the time), but when it comes to remodeling, new builds, and basically any other interior design project, they can be oh-so-helpful. I cannot even tell you the number of times I’ve asked someone what their budget was for their project and just received blank stares or awkward laughter in response.
photo by Molly Culver
I know it’s hard to think about what you want a project to cost you. On one hand, you’re thinking, “well I want it as cheap as possible, so I have no real budget.” Or on the other hand, you might think, “I don’t want to spend tons of money but I want to pay to make sure it’s done well and right…so I have no real budget.”
Either way, you’ve still got a budget. You have a subconscious threshold you do not want to cross. Putting together a budget, even if it’s a rough one, will be so helpful to everyone involved.
So, let’s get that pesky question answered once and for all. Here are three simple steps to put your budget together.
photo by Katie Jameson
1. KNOW WHAT THINGS COST
No, I mean really know what things cost. Do some research on products (or even a look and feel) you are considering. Get an understanding of labor costs. Need help, well I gotcha there. You can download our budget packet to help you understand the price of things by clicking HERE.
2. KNOW YOUR LIMITS
Once you’ve decided on what exactly you need, think about each item individually in terms of its cost. What’s the max you are willing to spend? Everyone’s idea of “that’s an expensive sofa” is completely different. For example, if the most you would spend on a sofa is $5000 and you know your project includes a new sofa, write that down. Do that for every single item you need. Add them up and voila, there’s your budget! You can find a spreadsheet to help you add up everything HERE.
3. ADD 10%
Let’s be real for a second. When it comes to remodeling your house, building a new house or even the very basic of interior design projects, they often go over budget due to unforeseen circumstances. As a designer, we are always trying to stay within budget but in the reality of it, there needs to be a buffer. You don’t have to add that 10% to your actual budget (hell, you don’t even have to tell us!), but you do need to be prepared for it when it sneaks its way in. If you mentally prepare yourself for the slight overage in advance, it makes it an easier pill to swallow and best of all, if we come in under budget then it’s an even bigger bonus!
4. WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS, WORKS BACKWARD
So maybe you’ve added up your wishlist and instead of coming to a number you are ready to move forward with, you were more like “WOWZA, I don’t think so.” If that’s the case, start by working backward. Decide the total number you’re comfortable with and divide it down by the items you need, followed by the items you want. For example, if you are remodeling your bathroom and want to spend $20,000 total on labor and materials, know that at least half of that will go to labor. OK, that leaves you with $10k. Now keep chipping away at the amount until you are down to $0. That will tell you the max you can spend on a sink, a faucet, etc. You get the idea!
photo by Molly Culver
Now run off and have fun number-crunching and if you ever have a question about how much something should cost, shoot us a note and we’ll help ya out!