I can put my hand on my heart and say that we have never had a project go “over budget”. There are four key ingredients for controlling the cost of house renovation. We will talk about them and the whole renovation cost control process in this post.

These ingredients are a taut specification, a fixed price, an appropriate payment schedule, and a figure for the total renovation cost. We spend an age on the first, tie down prices for the second, agree suitable payments for the third, and detail everything for the fourth. You can do the same. You should know that a key factor in controlling the cost of house renovation is a taut specification.

It helps to separate the specification into the contractor’s 5 main trade annexes: structural and building; plumbing and heating; carpentry and joinery; electrical; and decoration. We also reserve an extra annex for “other” which may include works to the garden or patio. We and our contractors find this easier than a room-by-room separation, particularly for larger projects. Each annex effectively forms a package of work for a specific trade (which may be a sub-contractor).

The basics & terms of renovation cost control explained

Each requirement, or group of requirements, in your specification should be priced. Against a taut specification, a contractor can supply a reliable quotation, which will appear in the first section of your pricing spreadsheet. such spreadsheet usually has 4 sections: price for contractor’s work, price for furnishings and fittings, professional fees and risk provision. These 4 sections should give you the total cost of your project. The spreadsheet will help you to manage your figures and to see where you might trade one price for another.

For higher value projects, a competitive tender should help you to obtain better value for money. When choosing your contractor, make sure you are comparing like with like. The more detailed your specification, the more likely you are to obtain a true comparison of prices.

Remember to agree the price with the contractor for any additional work before committing to it and keep an eye on the overall budget. Hopefully, if the risks don’t materialise, you will have a sum available to spend on these further tasks. You need to watch that the cost of house renovation doesn’t increase disproportionately as a result of additional work. Contractors know that you have few alternatives. So, when checking references, ask previous clients specifically whether the contractor priced additional work reasonably.

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Pricing spreadsheet: a key element in controlling your renovation spendings.

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Sandra Black

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Paul Phillips

Thank you for this informative and quite useful post! I’m planning my upcoming renovation and your tips on controlling my spendings help a lot. I hope to hear more from you and read some more blog posts on this topic in the future.

Lisa Smith

I totally agree with you! Bloggers and authors at Rehome know how to save on renovating and their handymen, carpenters, and other craftsmen are real professionals.

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