3 Steps to Creating a Renovation Budget

Budgets. This is generally the scariest part for our prospective clients. And while creating a renovation budget isn’t rocket science, it does require (1) detail, (2) experience and (3) the ability to juggle.  These 3 steps to creating a renovation budget are key to ensuring a successful (on budget) renovation project.

Kitchen Renovation Elevation | Range hood and shelving with cabinets | Dallas interior design renovation | ML Interiors Group

Most clients come to us not really knowing what their budget “should” be for the scope of the project they wish hire us for – and look to us for guidance. It is important to know the home’s current market value, as well as the value of the comparable homes in the neighborhood. It is just as important to spend wisely and not overbuild for the market while also providing the client with their wants and needs. We ensure all of these details are discussed in advance, so we have a jumping off point. From there, the three renovation budget steps fall in place.

Renovation Budget Step 1: Construction Labor Quote

Our 16 step design experience includes a specific Trade Day. This is where we meet with our General Contractor on the project site to discuss our general renovation design wishes. We encourage our client to be on site during this meeting so they get a general idea of the design vision. This also provides the opportunity to ask questions and understand some of the expenses that go into the final results.

Labor quotes are always a good chunk of the budget, and this component is not something we can control or dictate. We’re fortunate to have some outstanding General Contractors (GC) who provide us with exceptional workmanship and competitive pricing. As a GC, they are relying on their sub-contractors for pricing. Therefore, there is rarely any wiggle room in this portion of the budget.

As we wait on the labor cost calculations, we are working on the exact construction specifications of the renovation in our software. These specifications are “loose” and will be finalized in Step 3. And once the details are revised and finalized, these drawings will be dialed in to the inch and become the actual construction documents.

Renovation Budget Step 2: Sourcing Products

The second step to creating the renovation budget is sourcing (shopping) for the actual pretty stuff. Once we have a general idea what the labor will cost, we can back into the remainder of the cash on hand for the stuff you’ll see. Lighting, faucets, backsplash, countertops, cabinetry, appliances, and anything else applicable to the renovation.

Creating a renovation budget | Kitchen design | ML Interiors Group | Dallas Designer


Creating a renovation budget | Kitchen design | ML Interiors Group | Dallas Best Interior Designer

In most instances, we narrow down the choices and provide the best option that honors the budget, style and quality. There is room for revisions in our contract, so we can always go back and switch out a selection or two.

At this point, we connect back with the GC and confirm we have the proper calculations for the hard materials. For example, the square footage of the backsplash tile needed multiplied by the selected material gives us accurate budget numbers. The same goes for the number of slabs for the countertops times our selected material, and so forth.

Renovation Budget Step 3: Juggling

This is where you cue the circus music and watch the fun begin.

In a perfect world Step 1 + Step 2 = SPOT ON BUDGETING. But in reality, it often comes in higher than expected. So what do we do? We juggle.

  1. Reselect product to come in on budget
  2. Review the scope of the project to see where some work can be cut to save labor + material cost
  3. Increase the budget to get it all done

Internally, we start by reviewing the product selections to see if we may be able to find other great solutions that saves on cost.

If we can’t get to budget with new selections, we take a look at the scope of the project and see if there were some splurges that may not be necessary. These are generally discussed in advance with the client some “Plan B” options. We will also discuss various solutions with the GC to see if he (or she) has suggestions for a more cost effective material / approach / result in any area.

And finally, there is the choice of increasing the budget to get it all done. This is always the last option, but it is always the client’s decision.

In mot instances, we walk through our re-selected products and the revised scope together with the client. It is important that they understand they are in full control of how they advise us to proceed. When it’s effective, we create options for the clients based on all of the information / wishes / dreams / desires they have provided us to date. We also act as the voice of reason when clients are overwhelmed and need to stay on track making smart decisions.

Contact Us

Are you ready to discuss your own interior design or renovation project? Using an interior designer provides you with not only the best possible outcome for your renovation, but also an advocate for your dreams AND your budget.

Let’s schedule a time to “interview us”!  We have years of experience creating happier and more efficient homes. We begin every project with a (free) in studio Meet & Greet. Contact the team at ML Interiors Group today at 972-248-4733 or via the website contact form. We offer interior design services in all of DFW and beyond.