Preparing for costs during building or renovating

You are building a new house, renovating your existing home – what could be more exciting?

There are so many beautiful products available for home interiors; I often wonder how people make decisions on their project.

In the decision-making process it is easy to overlook the embellishments and minute (yet vital) items that you need to complete your projects yet if they are not carefully considered they can add up over the course of the job.

I have seen a consistent list of items that homeowners overlook during their project planning, if these things are accounted for it can save you some frustration and unexpected cost in the long-term.

The first piece of advice I will give you is that almost everything is an upgrade.

When you enter an agreement with a builder or contractor, they have usually priced a basic package for lighting/cabinets/flooring and appliances.

It’s simpler for a builder to ascertain costs for a project if they keep the choices limited and it is certain that you will want to add your personal touch to the interior/exterior choices which will add to the cost.

When you get a price for a project from a contractor, pad that total by about 25% to allow for the extras unless you are content with basic choices.

The most common things people fail to budget for are window coverings.

Blinds and/or draperies are one of those items that come to mind near the end of a project (right around the time you see your new windows being installed) yet this product can cost several thousands of dollars.

Window coverings will average about $40-$50/sq. ft. and it is a good idea to price this in at the time of placing the window order; try to include the cost in the window budget. Specialty shapes and sizes in windows can drive the average price up by 50% and will often limit the type of window coverings you can buy.

Other items that are often forgotten are wood trims and heat vent covers for hardwood. Often when clients are purchasing hardwood they get caught up in the colour and price of their wood and overlook the matching mouldings and trims which finish the job and make it look professional.

Some hardwood manufacturers do not make accessories and it can be frustrating at the end of an install trying to find stair nosing or matching veneers to complete toe kicks and stair risers. I have seen many fed up homeowners trying to match transition pieces to their already installed hardwood while their installer impatiently waits on the job site. It is a shame when they have to settle on a trim piece that does not quite match their beautiful new hardwood just to get the job completed.

Another thing to keep in mind is the protection and maintenance of your new interior.

Purchase the correct cleaner for your new floors; the felt pads to protect your hardwood from furniture scratches and the sealer for your grout and tile to keep it from staining. Be sure to clean your carpets on a regular basis to maintain your warranty and wash your floors with the recommended cleaning products from the manufacturers.

There are endless details to keep in mind when working on a home interior venture and it can be helpful to consult with someone who can keep these items straight and keep the project on track.

Kim Meckler is an interior designer in Red Deer with Carpet Colour Centre.

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