Top tips for keeping your renovation budget under control

Building or renovating in Auckland can be expensive but with good execution, it will be worth every cent. Whilst the upfront building costs are daunting, home-owners can reap the rewards in terms of increased property values. And let’s not forget, we all deserve to live in our dream home!

Keeping the building budget under control is the number one consideration for all our clients. With over 25 years’ experience in high-end renovations throughout Auckland central and the North Shore, we’ve put together our top five tips to on how to keep your budget (and sanity) in check.

 #1: Take time to get detailed building plans

To get a realistic view of your future renovation budget, you need to put in a bit of effort upfront. Do your research and have a very detailed brief ready for your designer (we can recommend architects and draftspeople). It’s worth hiring a professional early in the design phase as there are so many technical aspects. At the end of the process you will receive detailed construction plans and specifications which will help with council consent (if required) and will ultimately save you unnecessary changes on the next stages of your build or renovation.

#2: Choose a trusted building company in Auckland with good reviews.

Ask your friends and neighbours for builder recommendations and ask if you can speak to previous clients. Most building companies will tell you they can deliver your project on-time and in-budget. Ask them how! What software do they use to keep track of building costs, how much margin do they charge on building materials? Will they do a fixed price or is the renovation work based up on a charge-up arrangement (there are pros and cons for both)?

And beware of ‘a great deal’ that’s far lower than other build quotes!

 #3: Agree on the scope of works with your builder

At Blackbird Projects, we ask all our renovation and new build clients to provide us with a very detailed scope of works. Remember the cost of building materials in Auckland can vary wildly depending on your level of finish so you need to discuss your requirements as early as possible. This will ensure your quote or estimate accurately reflects your expectations. Make sure you agree with your builder on what’s in scope and what’s out of scope before your project begins.

This applies to fixtures and fittings too. A bathroom tap can be as little as $50 and as much as $2000 plus.

#4: Communication with your builder is key

Clear and constant communication should be your number one priority. And this goes two ways – you need to keep your builder informed of any plan changes or delays and they need to do the same. Not only will this keep your build or renovation stress free but it will highlight any budget and timeline blowouts before it’s too late. We recommend you have a set time every week to meet and discuss progress. Make sure any variations with regards to building labour and materials are on your weekly agenda.

#5: Have a building renovation contingency built into your budget

Unexpected costs are inevitable when building or renovating your home in Auckland. Plan for these  (always!). Try to avoid changing your mind too often as this will result in cost increases. We recommend you set aside 5-10% of your build costs for a contingency fund

Contact the Auckland build and renovation experts

For a free consultation, give us a call today on 0800 30 30 11 or fill out our online enquiry form and a member of the team will be in touch with you shortly.

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