Building a home, remodeling, or performing any kind of home renovation can be an emotional task. It is easy to get carried away with ideas, inspirations, vision boards, and HGTV-fueled dreams. But when it comes down to the actual design and construction of your home renovation, reality can be quite harsh. That is why we at Sustainable Design Build aim to be honest and transparent with the financial, emotional, and practical realities of your home renovation project. Let’s break down some of the most challenging aspects of a home renovation project and how one can prepare for it by setting good expectations.
Home Renovation Budget
No matter how well you plan for your renovation, cost tends to be the most prohibitive factor for a project. Homeowners try their hardest to draw a line in the sand and budget the construction costs but with market conditions, unforeseen challenges, and design choices it can be the most difficult criteria to set. Even more frustrating is the emotional strain that comes from going over budget and more worrisome the possibility of ending a project over financial burdens. Let’s take a look at what can affect the financial requirements of a home renovation project and how we can use that knowledge to set better expectations on what your home renovation can be.
Construction material costs can be volatile
Labor and material go hand in hand with construction estimates, however, labor tends to stay stable in rates over time while material costs can have the tendency to fluctuate. Becuase of this, homeowners reviewing estimates from subcontractors might be surprised by higher price tags. Oftentimes, these costs aren’t based on the skilled labor but rather the sudden price changes of materials needed to perform the job. That is why homeowners looking to perform a home renovation should research about current market conditions to get a better idea of what material is in demand or in surplus of for the construction industry.
Following the pandemic, the economy has seen prices of materials and goods go up and down in a matter of weeks to months. Most notably, lumber prices have seen some of the highest price increases in recent years. In fact, in 2021, lumber prices skyrocketed due to supply chain issues and other economic factors resulting in a high price of $1,418,50 for the commodity in bulk. Fortunately, that price has since crashed back down to somewhat reasonable prices ($420.20 as of Jan. 2023). But for those who were in the middle of building a home or renovating, their budget was greatly affected.
Aside from volatile costs, following all of the unique economic conditions – homeowners in Denver can expect an increase in overall costs in their project. The average price for construction-related costs in Denver has increased by about 25-30 percent. Other trades such as concrete, electrical, and plumbing have seen even more increases.
Ballpark price per square foot costs and low-ball estimates
Sustainable Design Build has found that being open with clients at the beginning stages of a project helps set a realistic goal. A rough ballpark for renovation costs is around $150/sqft to 300/sqft while new construction costs are starting around $300/sqft and more. This information should only be used as a loose prediction for a project. Remember, there can be numerous existing conditions with a home that can dramatically affect its project scope. Sustainable Design Build has the responsibility to ensure a home is safe and up to code, if Denver’s Residential Building Department requests updates while construction is underway there is little a homeowner can do to avoid it.
When searching for design-build firms and construction companies to undertake a home renovation project, it is essential to exercise caution when presented with pricing that appears too good to be true. Homeowners should avoid being swayed by the lowest estimate and offer when comparing different companies. Such estimates often lack the necessary attention to detail and scope of work, indicating a lack of due diligence on the part of the company. When an estimate is provided over the phone or quickly without an on-site visit, it is likely that little or no research has been conducted. This can result in an incomplete estimate that fails to consider all the project requirements, leading to unexpected additional costs for clients. In some cases, unforeseen project needs and a change of company may end up costing more than an initial, comprehensive estimate.
Plan a contingency in your home renovation budget
It’s advisable to set aside some contingency funds regardless of the size of your home renovation budget. Sustainable Design Build suggests adding 10 to 20 percent to your budget to account for unforeseen expenses that may arise during the renovation process. To possibly reduce the occurrence of unexpected costs, SDB proposes conducting initial site surveys, like soil tests and structural assessments, to identify any potential issues at the outset. SDB helps organize these items and include them throughout our project Design Service. This way, you can be aware of any unknowns and plan for them accordingly.
Don’t wait on Finish Selections
A great tip for homeowners getting started on their home renovation project; decide on the details immediately. Selecting finishes for the project as soon as possible helps not only secure a more accurate project budget but also secures the finishes from going out of stock and risking the project completion date.
Sustainable Design Build’s Process Guides Clients
All of these concerns and common pitfalls mentioned so far are easily avoidable, especially when working with Sustainable Design Build. Our design-build process has been tailored to help guide clients through a thoughtful process to guarantee no detail was forgotten and no question is left unanswered. When working with SDB, clients will understand there is a higher level of service provided to ensure the journey of renovating a home is not lost and the goal is attainable. To learn more about our design-build process or any other general concern about taking on a home renovation project, please visit our website or contact us!
Connect With Us
Planning your next renovation, or maybe you are looking to do a complete remodel for your home? Whatever the task, it can’t hurt to ask. Reach out to our team through this form.
We can schedule a free consultation and discuss everything you need to get your project moving in the right direction. Did we mention, it’s absolutely free?