Sticking to a budget is always a challenge, but it’s especially difficult when hiring a Los Angeles contractor to do a home remodeling or renovation project. It’s not just one cost you’re accounting for but many. Nevertheless, having a budget allows you to manage your expenses and put aside the proper funds to cover each project.
Follow the steps below and you’ll have a decent idea of how much your next home improvement project will cost.
Prioritize Your Remodeling Needs
The first step when budgeting for a remodeling project is to know exactly what you want. Create a list of everything you hope to see in your project, such as new cabinets, hardwood flooring or recessed lighting. It’s helpful to prioritize your list so that if you have to make cuts, you can draw the line more easily. For example, you may need new cabinets but are willing to go with laminate countertops over granite.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- What do you want your project to accomplish?
- What are you willing to compromise on?
- What are you willing to splurge on?
- What details are required to complete your project?
Create a Plan with Estimates
When you have a list of everything you need, you can then start researching the associated costs. Not only is this a great way to allocate your budget, but also it will help you communicate your expectations to a contractor. Below are some tips to help you budget more accurately:
- Use online resources like HomeAdvisor to determine how much each project costs. Labor usually accounts for 25 to 30 percent of a project’s budget.
- Select the fixtures and finishes you want and what you plan to spend on them. This includes faucets, tile, flooring, cabinet hardware, paint and more. Be sure to account for shipping and taxes.
- Include the appliances you plan on purchasing. Make sure you factor in installation and delivery costs to Los Angeles as well.
- Consider additional living expenses. If you plan on having a major renovation, you may have to move your family out of the home for a while. Consider costs for staying in a hotel, boarding pets, etc.
Get Quotes from Contractors
Once you have done your research, you can start reaching out to contractors in Los Angeles. Having a detailed list will help you communicate with a contractor and choose the best professional for your needs. A few tips for selecting a contractor include:
- Complete interviews and check references. It’s helpful to get at least three estimates so that you can compare numbers. Before requesting a bid, pre-qualify contractors by checking their references and contractor’s license status. Also, make sure they have workers’ compensation insurance and liability insurance. There’s nothing more frustrating than liking the cost and the contractor, only to find out that they are not professionally qualified to take on the project.
- Review the estimates. The contractors should provide you with bids that are relatively close in cost. If you receive a low proposal, don’t assume the project will be completed for that amount, particularly if the other two proposals are similar. Remember, most contractors do not have the funds to make up for their mistakes, so it will fall on you to cover them, in addition to the extra headache and aggravation you’ll have to go through.
- Be clear about your expectations. Communication is key in any contractor-customer relationship. Ask about potential time delays, additional expenses you may encounter, etc. The contractor should be upfront and honest with you. Telling you only what you want to hear can result in sticker shock and regret later on in the project.
- Ask about ways to save money. If your estimates are higher than you’re comfortable with, consider some ways to save money such as by doing the demolition work on your own, ordering your own fixtures and more.
Once you decide on a contractor, make the final updates to your project plan to ensure everything stays on budget. Kavin Construction is a Los Angeles home and kitchen remodeling contractor that offers free estimates. Contact us today to discuss your project. With 43+ years of experience and a diverse portfolio of projects, we’re confident that we can meet and exceed your expectations.