Okay, I know no one likes the part of the equation that is about money but the simple truth is for a lot of projects you need it and sometimes A LOT of it! In this blog I will address budgeting your projects for 2016 because, let’s face it, money makes the world go round or (in our case, the saws and sanders!)
Now that you have your lists compiled like we discussed in the first blog, it’s time to sit down with those lists and talk about how much each project on your list might cost. There are several factors that will affect that bottom line so let’s talk about three of those right now.
1. Can you do any or all of the work yourself?
Obviously any time the answer to this question is yes, it will give you money toward another project or two. Be honest here though because if you bite off more than you can chew and then still end up having to hire someone to fix your mess, you will lose money that could have gone towards completing other projects.
If you do need to hire a contractor or handyman ask friends and coworkers for referrals. There are also several websites dedicated to this that can help you locate the help you need and will also list out prices so you can get a good estimate of what a particular job may cost.
2. What Materials are Needed and can you wait for sales on those items?
For instance, if you are replacing carpet or other flooring the savings can be significant if you can hit a sale. Sometimes they even include free padding or discounted or free installation so be sure and check before you buy!
If appliances are on your shopping list be sure you not only check for sales but some stores give you bundle pricing if you are replacing multiple items. You may also want to check the scratched and dented section. We bought a fridge that was reduced by about $900 because of a little dent on the bottom side corner and once it was installed, you couldn’t even see that part of the fridge!
3. What other items are needed and can you make any of those or get them secondhand? Craigslist, among many other sites are great places to find secondhand items you may need for a particular project. Lumber, tools, etc. Be sure and check it out if any of those types of items are on your need-to-buy list.
If you are looking for furniture or accessory-type items don’t forget thrift stores and garage sales as well. Many times an item just needs a little sprucing up and then is good to go and you get the advantage of big money savings and the joy of repurposing something! If you have your heart set on new items check the sales area. A lot of times you can find deeply discounted items because of a little scratch or ding. Big box furniture stores often have a whole big space dedicated to clearance and often will include discontinued items here as well.
You will want to make good notes as you try and budget out your projects using a spreadsheet that allows you to really keep track of how much money will go to each phase of a project. You will also want to think about where your money for these projects will come from. For example, your savings or maybe a tax return or bonus money. If you kind of know how much you will have set aside for your projects, this will help you greatly as you plan out your year.
Shameless Plug: If you don’t want the hassle of doing all of this yourself, you can buy a copy of my book: The Redesign Toolkit. In there you will find a really detailed budget as well as a master plan that allows you to really plan things out in great detail. We did all the hard work for you. All you have to do is fill in the blanks! And the best part is, you can use it again and again! It's available now on our website.
Okay, there it is, the big bad budget talk. There are so many things to consider as you plan out your project list for the year but if you really go through your project list and apply the above questions and answer honestly, you will be well on your way to knowing how much DIY your piggy bank can handle in 2016.
TIP: Always, always round up when you are budgeting. There are almost always unexpected things that pop up as you go along through your projects and you don’t want to be caught off-guard when that happens!
Be sure and join me for part 3 of this blog series - Home Project Planning 2016: Creating a Timeline.
Now, what will you do next to love where you live?