Budgeting For Home Improvement: How Long-Term Thinking Saves You Money

Mon, Jan 5, 2015

Home Improvement Budget

If you own your own home, one of your many responsibilities is doing what you can to improve the place. Although some home improvements are cheap and quick, you may have your heart set on a more ambitious project. In order to carry out this kind of work, you need to approach it with a long-term attitude.

Save Up For Major Work

While you obviously have to deal with emergency repairs as soon as possible, home improvement work is different. You dictate the schedule, so you have the ability to marshal your resources in advance. In order to handle major improvements without straining your bank account, you can take the time to set aside the money you’ll need to handle the job. In fact, it’s a good idea to make this a constant process: Sock away a little home improvement money even if you don’t have a project in mind yet. This will keep you thinking about ways to improve your home’s value and livability over time.

Do Your Homework

Once you’ve taken a liking to a certain home improvement project, research it thoroughly! Learn everything you can before you do any purchasing or make any commitments. Fortunately, the Internet makes it really easy to find out about every part of a particular home improvement. As you become more certain that you want to undertake a particular improvement, start assembling its cost. Factor in all the materials required, any new tools you’ll need to buy, and any equipment rentals that will be involved. Don’t forget to budget your time as well as your money! For major projects you may need to clear a space in your schedule to get the work done properly.

Always Leave A Safety Margin

Every homeowner has a friend that can tell nightmare stories about the home improvement project that refused to end. It’s certainly true that unexpected circumstances can make a project more complicated, expensive, and time consuming than you first expect. A good plan leaves room for the unexpected. Budget a little bit of extra money to handle any surprise expenses as they occur. Be generous about estimating how much time you need to complete the project, too. Although it may seem overly cautious, just remember that any leftover money can go right back into your improvement fund. Any leftover time turns into a little free vacation!

Planning out major home improvements well in advance is a very smart step. If you take the time to educate and prepare yourself before launching a project, you’ll improve your chances of finishing it right dramatically. Getting into the habit of long-term planning also encourages you to make home improvement a happy, constant process instead of a one-time ordeal.


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