I have clients who continually stay within budget. On the other hand, I have clients ask me the best ways to do so (usually as a reactive means, versus proactive).
I surveyed some of my most cost-conscious clients and asked them what keeps them within budget while still getting what they wanted.
1. Determine What’s Most Important To You
Otherwise known as prioritizing and compromising. If you write down your priorities at the beginning, then you’ll be able to hit your must-haves even when unexpected costs start hitting you.
If you know your must-haves include high-end appliances, perhaps your cabinet budget gets lowered.
You might love marble countertops but might do just as well with a less costly alternative that doesn’t require as much maintenance.
2. Prepare For The Unexpected
It’s going to happen. No matter how well prepared you are, you’re going to have surprises during your kitchen remodeling.
If you don’t prepare for them, these surprises will destroy your budget.
You may find electrical problems behind walls, or water damage once you’ve ripped out a counter.
It’s recommended you set aside 15-20% of your entire budget just for unexpected problems like these.
3. Get Estimates but… Don’t Always Go With the Lowest Bid
It may seem counter-intuitive when you want to save money, but the corner-cutting comes out of the quality of your work. Always check licenses, references and review sites. Verify BBB ratings.
If a company’s employee doesn’t hold the proper professional certifications and there is a costly mistake, you will be left to foot the bill.
Another consideration is unskilled laborers generally take longer, not knowing their trade. The cost for additional time will be passed along to you.
4. Say “No” to Extras You Think of After Getting Underway
You must be devoted to your budget. If it wasn’t important or crucial enough to fold into the budget at the beginning, you can live without it now.
No matter how incredible the feature is—you have to say no. If your budget calls for basic door handles, don’t switch it to a higher-end handle when you get to the store.
When the project wraps, you’ll be glad you took these steps. No unpleasant surprises, just the work you were expecting.