Planning a major home improvement project takes patience and wisdom. You also need to seek out expert advice early on in the process, especially if you want to avoid these common budgeting mistakes that can effectively shut down plans for Northern Virginia home additions. Realize your dreams and stay on budget by steering clear of the following scenarios:
#1 – Investing in the Design Process Without First Considering the Overall Budget
Northern Virginia offers several top quality architects and home design firms, and many homeowners contact these professionals first. The initial design stage remains vital, and it’s wise to invest in a professional opinion, but not without having the overall budget in play.
How many projects make it through the long design stage, only to be abandoned when the project is put out to tender? Homeowners need to communicate how much they can realistically afford and designers need to stay within those boundaries, otherwise the home addition is bound to stall.
# 2 – Applying for Permits Too Early
Building permits are essential to any major home renovation, and Northern Virginia home additions require several permit stages. But homeowners can waste a significant amount of money on early applications.
Until you are sure of a solid design, avoid jumping to the permit application stage. There is no way to recoup costs for permit revisions or abandoned applications. Most contractors allow sufficient time for this stage, and if you work within the municipality’s guidelines, permit application should stay within the proposed renovation schedule.
# 3 – Having Unrealistic Expectations for Budget and Schedule
Home additions require significant design, labor and materials. Similar to constructing a new house, but involving a long list of other considerations, home additions demand a big budget and an extended schedule. This mistakes ties in with number one above, but also stretches far beyond the initial design stage.
Go into a home addition project with realistic expectations about the budget (which will be substantial) and the schedule (which will be extensive). Understand that wasted time and last minute changes cost more money and dent an already overloaded schedule. Trust your contractor and keep an eye on things, but avoid projecting any uninformed expectations and issues onto the staff working so hard to transform your home.
# 4 – Planning to Salvage Materials Without Examining the Feasibility
Recycling and salvaging existing building materials makes sense, both in terms of your budget and the environment. But many Northern Virginia homeowners assume they can salvage cabinetry, flooring, lighting or plumbing fixtures, without fully realizing the conditions and process involved.
Be sure to talk to your contractor about items that you wish to salvage. Have a plan B in place should those materials not work in the final design. Several factors come into play on a salvage mission, including removal, storage, overall suitability and current building codes. Your ambitious plans to reuse building materials may look like the perfect way to save money, but the renovation reality may be vastly different. Be prepared to boost the budget and keep in touch with your contractor when that stage comes around.
Budgeting for Northern Virginia home additions requires a sharp pencil and top-notch organization. Start the project off right and avoid these common mistakes to ensure your home addition provides the value and living space of your dreams.