Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to design your dream home or office without having to worry about money? As that’s unfortunately not a reality for most of us, we’re here to help you out with a few tips on how to refine your office or home renovation concept to fit your budget.
Create Your Dream Vision
Write down everything you’d like to incorporate into your project as if you did in fact have an unlimited budget. It’s important for your architect/contractor to hear your ideas as they work through the design process. They may not be able to incorporate all your desires into the project when trying to stick to a budget, but being aware of everything you want will allow them to use some of your wish list items, and incorporate pieces of others to give you a finished project you’re thrilled with.
If you don’t have an as-built/existing drawing showing the current (or close to current) layout of your space, it’s time to get one. The more information you can get down on paper, the better. This as-built drawing will become an invaluable tool as your architect or contractor creates the renovation plan. It will also help cut down on surprises in the field.
Check Your Budget
Once you have initial drawings with dimensions, it’s time to get an idea of what your project is going to cost. This is when you send out your plans to contractors for budget prices. Remember that this is not a bid. Don’t be surprised if a contractor charges you at this point to put together a budget. Why should you agree to pay for a budget estimate? Without a realistic idea of what your proposed project is going to cost, you will not be able to make an informed decision about moving forward, and whether the project is even feasible for you. Contractors who will provide this service for free may not be spending enough time to give you budget numbers you can use. Find a GC that is willing to devote the time to provide an accurate line item budget showing you where the costs are coming from.
Hone Your Vision to Match Your Budget
When you’ve received your budget pricing and reality hits, you might need to make some adjustments. Your architect can use the budget estimate to scale back the scope, or cut out things that are not on your must have list. If you have selected your contractor (if not, now would be a good time to do so) they can also be quite helpful in working with both you and the architect to suggest alternatives to bring the project cost down (value engineering).
Having a good team on board for your project early on in the process can be invaluable in making decisions on where to compromise and help guide you in the decisions that will need to be made. A team approach will result in the best plan for your money, incorporating as much of your wish list as possible for what the budget allows.
It might seem like a lot of work to get through the planning stages of a project, but think of the alternative. Imagine spending a fortune up front for full architectural drawings, only to find out afterwards that the plans are too expensive for you to build. What a disappointment that would be, not to mention a waste of time and money. Getting the right team on board from the start and properly planning can make all the difference on whether you end up with a project outcome better than you imagined, or one that is a disaster.
Ready to move forward and need help? Give us a call today!