Creating a Budget

Creating a Budget

Here we are coming to the last days of summer. I hope yours was enjoyable. We should still be able to count on some lingering summer weather to finish up our outside projects and fun. As September approaches and we go back inside it is time to think about projects that can be done before the holidays. Refreshing our spaces does not require custom ordering but if you are considering anything like new cabinets, furniture or draperies most of these items requires a 6-10 week lead time.

It seems like the biggest question my clients have is how to calculate a budget for their project.  What I try to do when we meet is go over the list of needs and then assign a dollar amount to it. For example a living room is going to need at least 2 chairs, a sofa, coffee table or ottoman, 1-2 end tables, extra’s are a TV cabinet, a rug and so on.

Step One: To create your budget, make a list of everything that is needed; don’t forget the small stuff like area rugs, lamps, artwork and some accessories.

Then assign an amount in a range of prices: sofa $1500-3000, chair $500-1500 and so on. You will want to spend the most money on the big ticket items and long lasting pieces. You can add in a lump sum for the accessories and lamps, ect as those can be added into the room slowly.

Step Two: Do some homework. Shop at retail stores or online and get a good idea of what your dollars will buy for certain items. Remember to always compare “apples to apples” an IKEA sofa will be less than a Lee sofa.

Step 3: Factor in some extra dollars for the unexpected. There will things like paint and wallpaper or millwork, either a repair is needed or some details added.

Step 4: Time- how much time will all this take and what is it worth to you. Do you want to do all the legwork or have someone help you?

This process works for rooms in a house but is more difficult with a kitchen or bath. But you can still get a good idea of costs by shopping for appliances, cabinets and hard surfaces. To calculate tile or granite costs add up the square foot price (Length x Width) it at least will give you an idea of whether you will do granite or laminate. It is difficult to know what labor costs will be without selecting some products and getting an estimate. But hopefully when someone comes to do a consultation, you won’t be completely unaware of what the costs will be. I have had people who want to spend $10,000-15,000 on a kitchen remodel when you can hardly do a basic kitchen for less than $25,000-30,000. I’ve also had a client tell me they wanted to do an entire room and window treatments for a $5000 budget. There is a lot you can do for a low budget but you can’t complete an entire room, maybe just buy some quality items that you can add onto later.Design-Photo's-188

I hope this will help you start to look at budgeting for your projects and if you need a little help just call and I can get you started.