Creating a Budget for Decorating and Home Renovation
With all the excitement of presents, tinsel, celebrations and decorations out of the way and Christmas and New Year over, this is the perfect time to plan your decorating and home renovation projects. There is always something to be done around the house, from decluttering, renovating to maintaining or upgrading, and this is the best time to plan these projects because it might never happen if you don't plan for it.
Velvet trend - Source: Pinterest
No-one wants to talk about the elephant in the room, that is your budget, so list out your decorating and renovation priorities first, and then carefully plan how you are going to allocate, spend and make it all happen.
If you are decorating from scratch, start with the list below. If you are looking to update your decor or your home, scroll down.
Decorating From Scratch
- Work out your decorating style. Use Pinterest, Instagram or a mood board to collect your ideas. If you love a mix of styles, go eclectic and enjoy the process.
- Create a plan for your home decorating room by room. This helps you plan out your strategy, creating priorities and necessities.
- Ground your room and its style with acquiring the biggest piece first. Whether its a bed, dining table, or mirror, anchor your room with something you love and speaks to you.
- Keep researching with looks you love from magazines, experts, social media and on line catalogs.
- Paint is the cheapest and easiest way to change the look and mood of your room. Its the easiest go-to when you are not sure where to start whether its the latest gray, neutral or bold hue.
- Layer the decor of each room and do it over time. There is no rush.
- Its best to start with backgrounds and surfaces such as walls, floors and ceilings, built-in shelving, furniture, fabrics, lighting fixtures and accessories.
Budgeting for Decorating and Home Renovation
1. Design Wish List
Pretend that money is no object, and give your imagination the freedom to go wild. Create a Wish List with everything you'd like to do and buy. Go deep. Its not enough to have kitchen cabinets on your list, would you prefer only lowers, or uppers, do you want open or closed cabinets and in which style.
2. What is Your Spend?
If the funds don't exist yet, relax, this could be the right time to start your savings fund, sell some items around the house to pay for it or plan for another way. This is not the time to give up but to keep going. There is still a lot to do.
3. How Much? Know Your Prices
With you Wish List in hand, look at store prices, catalogs and online stores to see how much parts of your Wish List will cost. Don't be overwhelmed if the prices look high, if not downright outrageous. Sofas can cost anywhere from $50 for a garage sale win to $5000 depending on the design, fabric, brand and quality.
4. Purchases or Labor?
About now your Wish List will have some costs next to them and your total budget might look more like the National Debt. You can still have everything on the list, maybe just not all at once. You might trade wallpaper or stone feature walls for a bold paint. Either way, this will help you work out your priorities, room by room.
Don't forget ancillary costs like skilled labor or shipping. Add 15-25% for labor, for example, if you decide to reupholster existing chairs instead of buying new ones, add money for workmanship, unless you are doing it yourself.
Source: Kailee Wright
5. Decorating and Renovation Draft Plan
Its time to develop your Wish List into a decorating or renovation draft document that outlines what you would like to achieve. Some items will be completed this year, others in one or two years.
With the priorities in order, list the work to be done, purchases, what is being replaced or recycled, and the cost estimates of each one. Add a timeline for each one according with purchase, delivery or installation dates. A computer spreadsheet will help you add these for a total budget, against what you will actually spend so you know when you can move on to the next project.
6. Room Features
7. Small Cosmetics
These are generally easy to switch out later and can help you update your look at any time for very little money. You can make a big impact and update a room, but keep your eye on the bigger projects.
8. Expenses Versus Investments
Juggling your budgeting, decorating, renovating and maintaining are an ongoing process. Constantly look at your list and adjust it with choices you can live with.
If hardwood floors take up most of your project budget, work out if zoning part of your floor with tiles might make a difference without hurting the look of your renovation.
9. Budget Alert Watch List
There are always blow outs with any decorating or renovation so its good to keep a percentage of your total budget for unexpected expenses in the range of 10-20% of your budget.
Create a lower priced budget if you can to make sure you'll have money in reserve for tradesmen, electricians or plumbers when things go wrong. There are other things to put on your Budget Alert Watch List.
Extraordinary Not On the List Impulse Buys
When you are in full flight action mode, its easy to buy things that make the vision more complete, but that are not on the list of must-have. This can destroy your budget. To keep to your budget, keep it with you at all times and only transgress if you can't find what is on the list or if you get an incredible deal on something on the list, but that you were planning to purchase later.
Shipping and Delivery Costs
These hidden charges can add up and add to your bottom line. Be vigilant. Ask manufacturers or retailers if they are willing to reduce shipment costs by combining other orders to your town, assuming you are happy to wait.
10. It's All About Timing
Don't worry if you can't do all your decorating, renovation or maintenance all at once. This is the time to spread the costs and plan what you would like to achieve this year. Do you projects in phases. Take your time and enjoy the process.