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Keeping remodeling costs under control

Posted on Tuesday, October 13, 2015 at 10:38:30 AM

Increasingly homeowners are apt to start remodeling projects to build their dream home, a trend which could push the cost of some home improvements upward. 

The National Association of Home Builders' Remodeling Market Index has been positive through 2015, with the latest iteration of the quarterly gauge showing confidence across all regions in the U.S. Such high hopes for home improvement spending will likely influence the cost of remodels. 

"Renovation spending is expected to reach a high in the third quarter of this year, surpassing its previous record of 2007," John Lyon, a sales representative with Home Loan Investment Bank, explained. "This means increasingly more demand for contractors which can, in itself, drive up prices."

Homeowners who are interested in remodeling, and may be considering applying for home improvement financing, certainly have options in terms of staying within budget, though, according to Lyon. He explained that the first step for homeowners is to set their budget, and to keep in mind their wants versus needs while doing so. It is quite easy for projects to go over budget. Lyon noted several steps for homeowners to follow to make sure they remain within their budgets. 

Plan properly
It is important to come up with a complete plan in the beginning. There is no faster way to go over budget than to make changes while the project is already underway, Lyon explained. 

Be realistic when planning
Remodeling costs often get out of hand when people are not realistic about what they can afford and what they can't. When budgeting, it is important to consider how much you have to spend, and how much the average costs are for the changes that you want. If those costs are too high, don't include them.

"You can't expect to remodel a kitchen with new appliances, granite counter tops, new lights, and a new sink with only a budget of $2,000," said Lyon. "You will definitely go over budget if that is the case."

DIY work will help you save
Taking care of some of the work yourself may help you save a few thousand dollars, Lyon explained. When putting together your budget, consider which parts of the remodel you can take care of yourself. 

Shop around
When you're putting together your budget, check out how prices for appliances and materials compare at different outlets to make sure you get the best deal. By hunting down the lowest prices, you'll ensure your budget is attainable. 

"While you do have to be realistic when coming up with your budget, don't forget to shop around when looking for new appliances, flooring, doors or even contractors," said Lyon. "By looking at different stores, you will be able to price compare so you can find the best deal. A lot of places have price matching deals, so if you see an ad or item in a different store, but have credit somewhere else or like their policy better, they may be able to match the cheaper price for you."

By planning well when putting together your home improvement budget, you'll ensure you keep remodels affordable.