Knowing that you want to improve your bathroom space is the easy part. However, figuring out how much you can afford is more challenging. You will need to know this before you get started. There are four parts to breaking down a budget and preparing for your remodeling project.

Estimate the Costs

The first step in creating a budget is estimation and price shopping. Visiting stores in person or online, like Victoria Plum, will give you a rough idea of what to expect to spend on each item. However, it is generally safe to assume you will spend about $200 per square foot of space. If you want to make sure you have enough money for any unforeseen issues, add an extra $50-$75 per square foot.

Figure Out Your Available Finances

Once you have your shopping list and rough cost list, you are ready to look at your available finances. If you are only paying with cash, you may need to break the remodel project into phases. However, if you are looking to borrow using a personal loan, there is more to factor in. You will need to know how much to ask for, the amount of monthly payments you can afford, and how long you will be paying on the loan.

For most homeowners, you will want to apply for a home equity line of credit or HELOC rather than a home equity loan. They are secured loans, qualify for lower interest rates, and you can deduct the interest on your taxes. In addition, they allow you to withdraw money as you need, much like a checking account. You will want to consider paying more than the minimum payment each month because that is only the interest. The best method is to create a repayment schedule by dividing the principal over the number of years you want to have the loan and then add that amount onto the interest payment. If you realize that you cannot make that payment, adjust your project to fit within what you can afford.

Consider Contractors

Review all of the details of your project and consider the assistance of contractors. Many items you can do yourself, such as changing out taps or showerheads. However, if you want to add new counters or change the plumbing, you will want a person with experience and training. If you do decide to go with a contractor, make sure you do your research. Talk to your friends, neighbors, and family members to find recommendations. You will want the company you choose to show you recent work and give you a breakdown of costs. Always follow up on their references to make sure they are a good fit for your needs. Whenever you work with contractors, you will want to factor in a cushion for surprise problems that may pop up along the way.

Create the Milestones

Using your numbers, create milestones starting with the most pressing projects first. Each section should have a maximum budget allotted to it and trim as you need. As you finish each portion, you will have a better idea of financial needs moving forward. You may need to downsize in areas if problems arise early in the remodel. You can always refinish items instead of replacing them when money gets tight. Finally, always purchase materials and appliances yourself to eliminate the contractors’ profit added to their costs.

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