DIY projects need to be planned and budgeted for. Of course, that’s true of any home remodeling job, but it’s especially so in this case, since saving money is a major reason why homeowners do their own renovations in the first place.
Here’s how to calculate the costs of a DIY home renovation, planning for all aspects of the project.
What does a DIY project budget include?
When it comes to creating a budget for your DIY project, it’s important to carefully anticipate and map out all possible expenses. Of course, they’ll vary, but here are some of the major elements of just about any job.
You often have to get permission from your locality before beginning a project — a fact many DIY-ers don’t realize — so construction permits are a good place to start. According to HomeGuide, building permits cost $50 to $300 for small jobs, and $500 to $2,000 for larger ones, on average. So total outlay can get quite expensive, notes Mindy Jensen, community manager of BiggerPockets, an online real estate resource platform that helps investors with topics ranging from finance to DIY projects. Jensen also hosts the BiggerPockets Money Podcast.
“When I worked on upgrading my house, the permit fees ended up costing us $7,500,” she says. That included post-project inspections for the finished job. “It may not be the case that inspections for work completed are included in the [permit] fee, so it’s worth the time to go into the permit office and ask questions,” Jensen adds.
Materials will make up a good portion of your DIY budget — in fact, they’ll probably be the bulk of the costs. Jensen says to carefully consider all the supplies you’ll need to complete the job. Sounds obvious, but there are a lot of things a non-pro can easily overlook. For instance, if you’re installing tile, you’ll not only need the tiles themselves, but grout, mastic and sealer.
So study up on the list of ingredients, or consult someone at your local home improvement store to make sure you know what materials are needed, and in what quantities. Don’t forget to account for delivery or shipping charges, too — even import duties, if you’re splurging on, say, that exotic granite from Brazil.
Tools and equipment
Many remodeling projects require special tools (or at least, the job will go much faster with them). And these can be a bit of an investment. For instance, a high-quality manual tile cutter — vital in the aforementioned tile-laying project — can easily run a few hundred dollars.
Smaller tools or gear you know will be handy for more than …….