When renovating your home, no matter how good you are at planning, you can always count on “unexpected expenses.” “Busting the budget” is almost everyone’s biggest fear. Experts suggest leaving at least 20% of cushion in your budget to cover those “nasty surprises.” Unexpected expenses could be anything from dealing with a shady contractor to finding mold under the carpet.
Instead of saving an extra 20%, which can seem impossible, plan for unexpected expenses by strategically thinking about the design, materials and timing. If can learn how to strategically cut cost, you won’t be tempted to cut corners. Remember, the little things add up.
The first tips is to increase efficiency, not size. In a smaller inefficient kitchen, your instinct might be that you need bigger kitchen. That isn’t always the case. Sometimes your kitchen is simply laid out poorly. Knocking down a wall can add square-footage without the expensive “add on” renovation. Another way to add space is installing cabinets and pull out drawers. “You’re getting three or more horizontal planes where you might otherwise get only one,” says Louis Smith Jr., an architect with Meier Group, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
The second tip is to bring in natural light without adding windows. In a dark windowless kitchen or bath, your initial thought might be to cut a hole in the exterior wall and install a window. Experts believe the best way to brighten a room is to install a “light tube.” The light tube slips between the roof rafters and funnels sunshine down into the living space.
The third tip is to find the right contractor. It’s easy to get stuck hiring an expensive contractor thinking that “expensive” means “better.” Ask friends and family if they know of a contractor, and buy granite at market price. Discount granite countertops will save you money, and look just as good as retail granite.