Budget First, Then Design

Budget First

Why It’s Best to Start with a Budget Before Designing Your Renovation Project

Avoiding the Need to Undo Hard Work

For many years, before hiring our first designer, I worked with clients who had hired very talented designers who would create beautiful drawings with fantastic solutions and excellent fixtures and finishes.

The client would then come to me asking for a cost estimate to execute this design. I would diligently prepare all the numbers based on the work done by the designer and present them to the client. Nine times out of ten, the numbers presented would cause these clients to shake their heads and exclaim, “Oh my gosh, I could never afford that!”

This is when the “fun” would begin. We would need to start hacking through the design by deciding what would not get done and finding alternatives to selected materials.

In the end, I would be stressed by the extensive back and forth, the client would be heartbroken that the idea of what their home could be would not be possible for them, and the designer would be left frustrated that all of their talent and hard work in a project would not be fully realized, or used as a showcase in their portfolio. Everyone would come away from these projects exhausted and unhappy.

Finding a Better Way
A point in time came when I said to myself – there’s got to be a better way to do this!

Together with my team, after much experimentation and mistakes, we developed a detailed, proven process to eliminate disappointment and frustration for all involved. This is what we discovered.

The Solution

Step 1: Establish a Realistic Budget

First, before starting anything else, a realistic budget needs to be determined. And that’s what we do. Of course, this budget is not exact at this point. Typically it will fall within the 20-30% range, but it gives our client a good idea of the investment they will be making.

Step 2: Design Within the Budget

Next, with our experienced team, we design the project to fit within the agreed-upon budget range to the best of our ability.

The price may fluctuate based on client decisions, fixture selections, and discoveries made on the existing conditions during the design phase; however, our goal is always to stay within the budget as closely as possible.

You could spend anything you want on renovations. There are so many options available today! Because we know our boundaries, we watch the numbers closely during the design and find solutions that fit the budget. This way, when the design is finished and we give a fixed price quotation to our clients, they are never surprised or disappointed.

Benefits of Budget-First Approach

1. Realistic Expectations

Starting with a budget allows clients to have realistic expectations about what their money can achieve. This prevents the heartbreak of falling in love with a design that is far beyond their financial reach.

2. Efficient Use of Time and Resources

When we know the budget upfront, we can focus our design efforts on creating solutions that fit within that financial framework. This makes the process more efficient and avoids the wasted time of reworking designs.

3. Stress-Free Decision Making

Budgeting first creates a clear framework for decision-making. Clients can prioritize what matters most to them and make informed choices without the stress of unexpected costs.

4. Enhanced Satisfaction

Clients, designers, and contractors all benefit from a smoother process. When everyone understands the financial constraints from the beginning, it leads to more successful projects and higher satisfaction levels.

Ensuring Client Control;
Informed Decision-Making

Of course, with a budget decided, we must be disciplined during the design, necessitating the designer acting as a budget policeman. Tough choices will need to be made at times. During our inspections, we sometimes find “monsters” (structural or mechanical problems) that can blow the budget. A client is informed about this upfront and given different options for how to proceed.

These options will be presented at a time that is easier for the client to digest – before the house is torn apart and in the midst of renovations. This crucial financial decision is made by the client in a comfortable, controlled environment before they even commit to construction. It is a choice, a decision they get to make, not a forced financial hardship!

Flexibility During Design

Sometimes, the designer or client may come up with great ideas during the design process. Ideas that were not part of the original discussion or scope of work. These ideas might be innovative but they may also affect the project cost. The designer’s job is to inform the clients of how these ideas may affect their budget.

Although this may not be a pleasant conversation for our clients, what alternative do we have? Would it be better to design everything the client wants, incorporate every brilliant idea, and then have the project cost exceed what the client can afford?

Conclusion
By determining a budget before starting design, you start with a solid foundation for your renovation project. This approach helps in setting realistic expectations, efficient use of time and resources, stress-free decision-making, and enhanced satisfaction for everyone involved.

At Sosna Inc., we have perfected this process through years of experience and fine-tuning. Our clients are in control of their renovation from the start, making informed decisions that ensure the final result is something they can afford and will love.

If you are considering a renovation, we invite you to start the journey with us by establishing a realistic budget. Contact us today to learn more about our process and how we can help you achieve your dream home within your financial means.

Andrei Sosnovsky
Owner, Sosna Inc

Get Started with Sosna Inc. Today

Are you ready to transform your home? Contact Sosna Inc. to get started on your renovation journey. Our team of experts is here to guide you every step of the way, ensuring that your vision becomes a reality. With our dedication to quality craftsmanship, personalized solutions, and outstanding customer service, you can trust that your renovation project is in good hands. For more photos of these beautiful transformations, please visit our Facebook page. Want to hear directly from our happy clients? Click Here! When you and your home are ready for an upgrade, we’re the Renovator You Can Count On. It’s our promise. Contact us to get started!