When it comes to remodeling, everyone has a budget. And whether you’re thinking about spending $300,000 on a major renovation or $15,000 on a small update, you want to get the highest impact from every dollar. That’s especially true in our economy today. We’ve been remodeling homes many years now and we’d like to share some secrets for getting the most value out of projects of any scope.

First, know what you can spend. This seems obvious, but it’s critical. If you don’t start with a well-informed idea of what you can spend, we won’t have a good guideline for helping you get the most out of your budget. For example, if you say, “I want to add a first-floor bathroom addition and my budget is $40,000,” we might be able to build you a better bathroom for the money by carving the room out of existing space rather than having such a large portion of your budget go for an addition’s foundation and roof.

Identify what you need. This doesn’t mean taking a “bare minimum” approach. Instead, it means focusing on the things that will make you happiest with your newly remodeled spaces. Plus, being clear about your needs can open up some creative – and money-saving – opportunities. For instance, you may say, “I want custom cabinets.” That comes with a very hefty price tag. But if you focus instead on what you need, it might be that you really like your existing cabinets, but you need them to work better for you. In that case, we might simply update the hinges, drawer glides, and functionality. That frees up a huge amount of your budget to spend on high-impact fixtures, features and materials.

Be open to alternatives. Now of course most times, hinges and drawer pulls alone won’t satisfy your needs. But there’s a major price difference between custom and factory-made. We work with some very fine lines of factory-made cabinets. Unless there is a need for the sizing and flexibility of custom, factory-made may be the right option.  By the same token, you may love a particular Italian or Brazilian granite, but a domestic granite costs less per square foot – and has lower shipping costs, too. Sometimes, it might even be possible to go to the granite fabricator and find what you need among the shop’s cut-offs, remnants and returns. That’s a great way to get the look you want – for less.  A final example: Built-in cabinets and window seats look great, but custom carpentry can be costly. So, if what you need is a place for the big screen or seating, it might be less expensive to invest in furniture so your remodeling budget can buy you other features.

Finally, be realistic. Prioritize your needs plus the things you’d like to have. Then, if the project needs to be scaled back to meet the budget, you can cut from the bottom of the list. And if there’s something on the list that just doesn’t fit the budget, be willing to adjust your expectations so that the dollars you can spend buy you the greatest remodeling impact – and the longest-lasting enjoyment.

I love to find ways to make the most of every budget. So if you’re thinking about a project, give me a call and let’s see what we can do to buy you a “bigger” remodel.