Monday, 16 April 2012

Managing your Budget and Wish List

We are very cautious at this stage to try and understand all the costs with the upgrades, so we have been working on getting pricing for as many items as possible, especially large expenses items like brick upgrades, caesar stone upgrades and double glazing etc in our quotes so that we have a better idea on the expected project outcome.

We have even used excel to help with this process, we created two pages in an excel spreadsheet, the first page was just a brain dump and a dump of the "Things you forgot". This was then updated as we thought of new items etc, we used this page to then make decisions on what we needed vs what we wanted as these are two very different things in reality.

We had a status at the end of each item such as "Added" "Add" "Standard Inclusion" "Delete" and "Missing", we then added a comment to the end of that to show what page number and item number it was on our quote. The items we included was everything "non standard" and nearly everything from the link above: e.g. external tap, tap locations, door swing directions, pantry door, sliding or not, larger rear garage door, alfresco gas points, etc,etc etc. Use the link above to help populate yours.

The second page consisted of our Staged Upgrade Costs and we had 5 stages. Stage 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 upgrades, with stage one being the minimal items that we needed and stage 5 being the bee's knees with everything we could think of that we wanted. We put each item on a separate line and search through forums, blogs and quotes to populate the prices. We then sub totaled each section and used this against our borrowing power/budget to work out what we really could afford. This will help when it comes time to tender/contract on quickly crossing out items as we will have already had a discussion on do we really want this or that and can quickly move through the tender and contract rather than get caught up discussing / arguing what we really want.

Everyone is different, but you I believe that you need to come up with a system of sorts to ensure that you don't forget something once the build starts, you need to be comfortable with your upgrades at your budget level, you don't want to be discussing, "can we afford an extra $1, $3k, $5K, $20K" when you are at contract. You need to set yourself a hard limits and be realistic. You also want a second check list that you read through because at times the quotes have items that drop off, or pop up and sometimes duplicates.

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