There are the big questions – How should I find a contractor? How long will the project take? Do I really want to do this? – then there’s what Baeumler says is the biggest question of all, the fundamental starting point: How much are you willing to spend?
More often than not, the people Baeumler meets at trade shows tell stories of going 50 per cent over budget, if not more. In some cases, that could be a symptom of getting scammed. But more likely it’s indicative of a failure to plan properly. “If we’re going over budget that often, is it possible that we’re under-budgeting to begin with?” he asks.
A good rule of thumb, Caruk says, is to budget for $200 per square foot. “That gets you a good job,” he says.