HIDDEN or unforeseen costs can spell disaster for a residential renovation. But realistic budgeting, sound planning and weighting up the cost of skilled professionals versus going it alone will help ease the financial strain and heartache.
Before spending money on improving a property, it’s important to understand the aim of a project.
Though outlaying cash upfront on architects, designers or project managers may seem like an indulgence, such professional insight and knowledge could, in fact, save money on a project in the long term.
Interior designer at Adelaide’s House of Design, Agatha Ozhylovski, says renovators should consider potential cost and time saving skilled professionals can bring to a property makeover. Designers, for example, usually come with established supplier relationships, bargaining power and often deal with manufactures and wholesalers direct-avoiding retail margins.
In addition to having overly high expectations, renovators particularly novices, often come undone due to hidden, or more accurately, unforeseen expenses.
Head of specialist Sydney project management firm Housecandy, Laura Powell, says it’s not always easy, even for experienced builders, to anticipate what problems a renovation will throw up.
“Depending on the size of the renovation, it’s not usually until you start taking walls down that you discover either bad workmanship or damage that needs to be repaired before moving on to the next stage,” she says.
So adding in some sort of financial buffer makes sense. “A rule of thumb is that whatever you anticipate you are going to spend, add 20 per cent for incidentals or unforeseen expenses.”
But to paint a more accurate financial picture of a renovation, completive estimates are an ideal way to plan ahead.
Would-be-renovators should also consider less obvious but still essential cost, such as rubbish removal, storage council fees and, if not living on site, the expense of renting another property.
Yet failure to budget realistically is where many renovators come unstuck, a scenario that may be avoided if the right questions are asked in a project’s planning stage. Carefully mapping out a renovation before embarking could also prove to be the difference between success and failure.
“As they say, failing to plan is planning to fail- so do your homework first.” Powell says.
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AGATHA O house of design – interior decoration & design is an award winning interior design Company in Adelaide, South Australia writing about lifestyle and WHAT’S HOT in the world of interior design, architecture, art and travel.