Every project – no matter how big or small – needs a budget. To stop your costs from spiralling, we’ve put together a handy guide to help you stay on track. So, whether you’re converting a loft, or you’re giving the walls a new lick of paint, here’s what you need to know before you begin.
Do your research
Before embarking on a project, try to set a realistic budget that allows for unforeseen costs. Start by collecting and comparing a wide range of quotes for labour and materials to ensure you are getting the best deal, and crosscheck on price comparison websites.
It’s also worth asking friends, family and neighbours about their experiences of renovations – they might be able to recommend a particular tradesperson, share their renovation secrets or alert you to potential issues that you were yet to consider.
Lastly, don’t forget to consider indirect costs. From phone bills and insurance to design changes and other costs, sporadic spending can become a big budget drain toward the end of your project.
Make a spreadsheet
Whether you’re a seasoned foreman or you are managing your own home improvement project, recording estimates of costs and completion dates can help you to track progress and save money.
In a sample of 525 construction industry professionals interviewed by the Chartered Institute of Building, 93% had taken part in projects which had exceeded their budget, and 94% had worked on projects which exceeded their time frames. With these figures in mind, itemising costs accurately using a template can help you to rein in surplus spending and keep sight of the finish line.
Search for money-saving offers online, both before and during the build. Whether you strike it lucky with a multi-buy discount on materials or take advantage of a government initiative for producing your own energy, there are plenty of areas where you can save pennies without cutting corners.
Don’t scrimp where it matters
While buying cheaper materials to quell spiralling costs might seem like a good short-term fix, it’s likely that the saving will come back to haunt you in the future. On the other hand, investing in quality tools and materials will help to ensure the longevity of your project. An undercoat of primer, for example, can prevent paint from chipping, while fire retardant paint can help flammable surfaces and furniture to resist flames in the event of an emergency. So, don’t take any chances – do not scrimp on the important stuff, and you’ll soon see that you’ll save money in the long run.
Arranging weekly meetings with builders and contractors, or scheduling a weekly spreadsheet review into your diary can help ensure that problems are addressed promptly. Good communication between those involved also breeds a healthier, happier working environment, which, in turn, can aid a smoother project delivery and help everyone to hit those targets bang on.
There you have it – five ways you can stick to a budget when you’re working on your next building project. If you require any assistance, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Paints4Trade team.
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