How We Afford Our Renovation Projects
This post is in partnership with American Express Personal Loans.
Some of the most common questions I receive when sharing projects or updates of our farmhouse remodel are about cost. How can we afford to make all of these updates and what is our budgeting process? Well, let’s answer all of those questions.
If you have followed the renovation journey of our farmhouse so far, you have noticed that some projects take a few days and weeks, while others can last almost a year. Our budgeting process is categorized or grouped. Jose and I plan out projects based on cost, ability, and time. Over the years and many DIYs, we have found that most projects we are able to figure out and do by ourselves, but that doesn’t always mean we have to. Sometimes the amount of money saved by doing it yourself is negligible, if anything. You have to consider the over-calculations and waste, the higher cost of materials from not buying at contractor pricing, and specialty tools you don’t already have. Also, time is a factor I think we usually forget. A project may take you a few weeks, whereas a contractor could have the project done in a day or two, so there is definitely opportunity cost to consider.
The first type of projects are those quick turnarounds with big impacts. Adding new paint, changing light fixtures, removing/reinstalling wallpaper, are “minimal” effort projects with low cost, that add an entire new look to a space.
The next group of projects are those that we can chip away at with a “budget as you go” mindset. These projects are usually larger in nature, but are all items that you may be capable of doing yourself. To keep the overall cost down, you can budget a set amount of money weekly or monthly and only allow yourself to spend that much per week or month on the project. While this can stretch out the project, it also helps keep all financial areas balanced and maintains a healthy wallet. When we installed shiplap in nearly the entire lower level of our home, we tackled one room at a time and purchased the shiplap in bulk to get a lower price. The overall project took a few months, but we did it ourselves and never felt like we were stretched thin financially.
However, the last set of projects are the big ones. The statement makers, those once-dreams-now-a-reality type of projects. I’m talking those wall-removing, window-replacing, cabinet-installing overhauls. These usually hit the budget for months or years to come. When renovating an entire home, you typically have a few of these on the books, hopefully not all at once. In our first year on the farm, it was the kitchen. We went for a complete tear-down and update. While the project itself can seem daunting and scary, the end result is always worth the work. So… how do we budget for these types of projects? We mitigate any extra cost by doing the demolition ourselves, saving and re-purposing any items that make sense, driving down the expense as much as possible. Even with all that, it still may take financing.
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We’ve been so happy with our kitchen remodel and we wouldn’t want anything to stand in the way of your next renovation!
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