Welcome back to Katie Malik Interiors blog! Our first post in 2018 will be devoted to an always current subject of how to manage project budgets. A few days as I was browsing through articles on Houzz and came across ‘These 8 Golden Rules Will Keep Your Renovation on Budget’ by Denise O’Conor; I couldn’t help but comment; then I thought, since project budgets are always part of any conversation I have with clients, and it seems to be the biggest worry of most homeowners, it would be worth to cover this topic on my blog.
Who doesn’t sometimes daydream about their perfect house, ideal kitchen, etc.? Those of us, who are lucky enough to be able to turn dreams into reality also know that there’s a long way from daydreaming to actual implementation… Where most homeowners struggle is the budget…I personally don’t believe there’s one or more golden rules that you can stick to and keep your renovation on budget, but there are certainly measures you can take in order to avoid going excessively over the budget and to avoid being disappointed.
Do get the right advice: Houzz editor, Denise, says you should seek the right advice, meaning from the experts; she mentions architects, but equally interior designers can be helpful in terms of giving an idea of the cost depending on how much work you’re planning to do. Katie Malik Interiors has prepared sample budgets sheet for clients who are not sure about how much to allocate and how much money they might need for their project- sometimes this also helps to realise that the budget to execute the project is not sufficient, and it’s better to find that out before commencing the project than in the middle or even worse, the end. One solution might be to actually engage with the contractors (if the project involves a lot of building work) after finalising the concept and trying to get an idea of the cost as early as possible, especially if you decide to run the project management by yourself.
Don’t hide your budget away, especially from your builder or interior designer. Why? Because otherwise we can’t use our expertise to assist you. If you say your budget is let’s say 50K to redesign the ground floor of your house and fit a new kitchen, your designer, will suggest materials and finishes that fit into that budget. If it then turns out it’s actually 20K less or 20K more, if affects the design to say the least.
Do stick to your plans as much as possible. As an interior designer, I have seen this happen on a few projects; designs have been approved, construction or implementation phase has started, and the clients changed their mind; even small changes take time for both the designer and the subcontractors to execute, which always takes extra time. Of course, sometimes, changes are necessary to bring the design to the level where you’re entirely happy with, but it’s at the same time being aware that any change will incur extra cost and time. TIP: if you struggle with decisions, take your time; ask the designer or the architect for extra options and extra time- usually we prefer our clients are entirely happy with the design and we can implement everything as planned, even if the planning stage takes more time than usual.
Don’t shop around, especially if you find it difficult to make decisions. This is one point I partially disagree on with Denise who wrote about 8 Golden Rules when managing the project budget- I agree that “for the items not covered in your contractor’s price, it’s a good idea to get quotes from a number of different suppliers”, but it’s important to check what’s included and not included in the quote. Sometimes there’s a reason why there’s a substantial price difference per item or per material.
On the positive note, it is possible to stick to your project budget, but I would strongly advise being realistic and collaborating with industry professionals in order to achieve that.
Below a bit of inspiration and some ‘Before’ and ‘After’ images of projects completed by Katie Malik Interiors. Enjoy and happy redesigning in 2018!