Home ImprovementBudget Busters
There are two main reasons for busted budgets: changes and "whileyas" (that handy little phrase
that often spills out of a homeowner's mouth, "While you're here, could you just..."). Here is how to
- Determine how changes will be handled before the project starts and include the procedure in
the contract. This will help keep change orders to a minimum.
- Realize that any work not specified in the original
contract will have an additional cost attached to it. Contractors find
that "whileyas," can represent up to 10 percent of their total
annual volume. If you do find additional work you would like your contractor
to do, by all means discuss it with him or her. However, you should approach
the "whileya" job as a new project and ask for the contractor
to draft another project plan and contract for that particular job. This
will prevent you from making an uninformed decision, and also give you
time to carefully consider the new project.
- Remodeling often has a domino effect which causes "Whileyas" to happen: You see one
room being transformed and decide that the room next to it doesn't match anymore. Next thing you know,
the hallway looks dingy and needs some fixing of its own. And so it goes throughout the house. This
phenomenon can turn into an enormous budget buster if not kept under control.
- Finally, stick to your original plan. If you decide that your budget is "x" and your reserve fund
is "y," tell your contractor to work within those figures. It is easy to say, "A little more on this faucet
won't matter. It's a small amount of money." Unfortunately, this is a close cousin to "whileya" and another
easy way to overextend your budget.
Reprinted with permission of (NARI) the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.