Planning for your next big renovation project can be an exciting time, but it also usually means you’re about to make a significant investment in your property. When it comes to managing your home renovation budget, check out these top tips to help you keep your spending on track.

Watch the home renovation budget masterclass

For helpful tips on how to budget for your home renovation project, watch the Masterclass presentation from Tony Hateley of FMB member company TH Developments Ltd.

1. Find a builder you can trust

Choosing the right builder and forming a successful working relationship is key to a successful project, so it is well worth investing the time. Getting recommendations from friends and family is a great place to start, and always ask to see previous projects they have completed to get a sense of the kind of work they can do.

The FMB’s free Find a Builder service allows you to find tradespeople in your local area who have been independently inspected and professionally vetted to ensure they deliver a high standard of work.

2. Get three building quotes

We always recommend you get a minimum of three quotes for any work you are planning. This ensures you get a sense for the market value and compare a few options.

3. Discuss budgets upfront

Be honest with your builder about your budget. Discussing costs upfront will help you develop a realistic expectation of what you can hope to achieve and avoid wasting your builder’s time preparing a detailed quote for a job that is ultimately well outside your budget.

4. Make sure you are comparing like-for-like quotes

It’s important to understand that an estimate and a quote are not the same thing. A quote should be more in-depth and detailed and therefore a much better indication of how much you can expect to pay. When evaluating prospective builders this is what you should be relying on, and remember, preparing a detailed, written quote also takes time.

Sometimes the quotes provided by your prospective builders can vary significantly in terms of cost. At times like this, it’s important to question why this is the case, and to thoroughly check what is included in the price, for example, is painting and decorating included? Are they quoting for the same fixtures / appliances, or do the cheaper quotes list lower quality options? Where you’re unable to discern why one builder is quoting more than another, it’s OK to ask questions.

For more information on how to approach getting good quotes, check out our homeowner's guide to choosing a builder.

5. Plan your project in as much detail as possible

Developing clear expectations in terms of what you need from your builder and what you would like the finished product to look and feel like is important. Doing so early in the project keeps everybody on the same page in terms of ordering in supplier items, managing contractors’ time and scheduling payments.

6. Sign a contract with your chosen builder

Once you’ve found the right builder for your project be sure to sign a contract covering the full nature and scope of the works you are having done. Here's a breakdown of the kinds of things you should be looking for.

All FMB members can provide a contract for their works. Warranties from FMB Insurance can provide extra peace of mind – speak to your builder or call FMB Insurance on 01353 652760 to discuss.

7. Use a safe payment method

Bank transfers are often the safest pay to handle payments, as they allow you to keep records and receipts that you can reference later on. Never pay in cash and avoid handing over the entire lump sum at the outset of the project. Transferring a very small amount initially can be a good way to verify that you have the correct details before you make larger payments.

It’s also important to refer to the payment schedule set out in your contract and ensure works and payment are taking place as agreed. This is a partnership between you and your builder, so you should be able to count on each other to adhere to this.

Find a Builder

Find vetted and independently inspected Master Builders in your area.