Creating a Budget, and sticking to it: the task of creating a budget can be daunting, but is an absolute must.
Creating a Budget, and sticking to it.
Whether you’re considering a renovation, revamping furniture, or starting from scratch with a new build, the task of creating a budget can be daunting, but is an absolute must. I often advise my clients to take a ‘top-down’ approach, which ultimately means deciding on a dollar figure that you’re comfortable with, and deducting estimated costs from there, to make sure it is realistic.
For example, if I’m looking to undergo a renovation on my main floor to open up my living space including the kitchen, living room, and dining room, along with redoing the powder room, I first need to prioritize the spaces. Once quotes begin to stream in for products, fixtures, appliances, labour, permits, etc., deduct these from the initial budget to ensure you are on track. Once these numbers have come in, add an additional 15-20% - this is your contingency, or, in other terms, your cushion. This contingency absorbs additional fees not included in quotes, such as shipping, delivery, freight, etc., and should leave you with some room in the event of unexpected costs. Many people don’t like to include this percentage as it involves numbers that don’t exist yet, and can seem quite high. Let me assure you, this is necessary, and you will thank yourself later.
Now that you have this number – how is it? If you’ve been able to stay within the initial figure you considered, great! If you are over budget, at least you now have an idea of how much it will cost to complete everything on your wish list. This is why the list of priorities is necessary, so you are able to eliminate areas off your list to stay within budget. I am a firm believer of the saying ‘if you’re going to do it, do it well’ – this applies to so many situations in life, including the design and aesthetic of your home or workspace. Rather then working on all rooms with half the budget/effort/love they require, pick just one or two rooms, and make them amazing.
Sticking to it.
Seems simple once you have followed the top down approach and have all the estimates and figures you require to complete your project, and guess what – it is! Stick to your initial design, and don’t sway in another direction. I have found that some of my clients start adding items and details to their scope of work once deposits are made. There is nothing wrong with wanting more and adding on, but everything adds up in the world of interior design, and you need to make sure you’re keeping tabs on everything you approve. Not doing so, even for the minor add-ons, can creep up on you and result in financial stress. Lifestyles shouldn’t be negatively affected by budgets that you’re in control of – just make sure you stick to your preliminary planning, and enjoy the process – it will be worth it when you’ve created the space that you love and feel joy from.
Alex works as an Interior Designer in Vancouver, Canada, with over 10 years experience. Leading her own design firm, she specialises in residential renovations and new builds. Her passion lies in design forward functionality, as she understands the value of creating spaces that are both esthetically beautiful and custom to every family’s lifestyle.
Credits - Alex Dampsey