How to maximise my design budget
Nobody likes the 'b' word...but budgets are something we have to deal with every day! So how do we get the most out of our budgets and ensure it's spent in the best way possible?
#1 Ask yourself - is it realistic?
Whether it's 10k, 100k or 1M, there is always a budget. The most important question is — is it realistic? Having an idea on how much you'll spend and the realities of building materials / contractor costs can be very different, so it's important to ask around for quotes to make sure what you're planning on spending will get you the result you want. If you have people in your network that have done something similar, even better, ask them! Because it's all too easy for costs to creep if you don't have a handle on them. Plus knowing what you have to play with will make it much easier to allocate.
#2 Know your market
It sounds obvious, but having a clear picture in your head of who your target buyer is tells you where to spend money in a property, and where to save. And it should go deeper than an age range... I would go on about this but I feel this picture sums it up!
Both Charles and Ozzy are in their 70s and on paper could be the same person (even down to similar holiday destinations!) — in reality they have very different lifestyles and will want different things from a property. They will also have different problems and challenges, which is really what we want to identify. From that you can gauge what's most important to them and make informed judgement calls on where to spend money...or stop wasting money on things that won't matter to them.
#3 Plan ahead
We like to talk about the design triangle being time — cost — quality...with you only being able to have two at any one time. Put simply, planning ahead is the easiest way to get the quality you want for the best price. Time means you can plan for sales, order supplies early to allow for inevitable price increases or give yourself enough time to find a better priced alternative.
#4 Build relationships with trade suppliers
Property is all about people, and working with suppliers is no different. High street brands will only go so far, so putting in the work with trade contacts at different suppliers is a great way to get a heads up for any upcoming promotions, new stock supply or to get preferential deals (if you're ordering multiple kitchens for example). The added bonus is they're also more likely to help you if you're in a bind and need things quickly, or can often store things on order and deliver at a later date, so that you get their best price — particularly useful when things are constantly on the rise!
Don't be put off by trade websites, they may not be as shiny as the brands but often the products are exactly the same for a much better price.
#5 Know when investing a little extra is worth it
It's all very well keeping costs down, and there are so many creative ways to make a budget item look and feel more expensive. However, sometimes a little splurge is what's necessary to create a 'wow' for your buyers — that sells the property within 24 hours, for the highest price on the street. From our experience (and aside from practical things like heating systems) this is anything that makes the property different to the competition; could be lighting, a bold material choice or upgraded kitchen worktop or floor.
Bonus Tip! Outsource A good designer will take the headache of managing your budget off your hands and do everything mentioned above. This is not a shameless plug as we don't mind who you choose, BUT the figures don't lie, investing in design reaps rewards both in cost saving AND profit increase.
If you're looking to do it yourself but worried about keeping track of your budget, our free Refurb Budget Tracker download is for you! If you're struggling with where to spend or want to bounce some ideas around, I'm always on the end of an email — email@example.com — or reach out and book a free 30 minute design discovery call and we can help get your refurb off on the right foot!
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