Planning the Costs of Home Interior Design
Having found exactly what should be done in a home, what you would like to do in the way of alterations and improvements, what could be done, and what each operation, service and ingredient would actually cost, you will be in a better position to work out a realistic budget. Even if you are hoping to borrow the money for improvements, you will still have to give a summary of these improvements and their various prices to the bank, so it is as well to have your projected expenditure listed in order of priorities.
When you are decorating for the first time it is difficult to know exactly when to save and when to spend on a home. As a rule of thumb, a large amount of your budget should be spent on items that will get the most wear and tear, and will have to last the longest. The corollary is that savings can be made on less-used furniture and on non-essentials where substitutes will do just as well.
As we have seen all structural repairs come in the spending’ category, as well as any rewiring, pest, damp and rot control, efficient heating, air conditioning if needed, and, any insulation. (To this list could be added – the matter of precautions against burglary.) These can be followed by necessary appliances and furnishings: kitchen and washing equipment (stove, refrigerator, freezer, washing machine, dryer and dishwasher), beds, at least two good comfortable chairs, the best lighting you can afford, generous closet and storage units, and good flooring. Local or national legislation may have an effect on your budget. It is your responsibility to find out if your plans conform to prescribed safety regulations, if the drainage will be officially regarded as adequate, and so on. The easiest thing to do is to pay an expert to find out all these things for you
A good deal of furniture can come in the ‘saving’ category, especially dining tables (which can be cheaper, more adaptable and often a better size when made from a circle of wood fixed to a solid base and covered by a large cloth) conventional window treatments (which can use up vast quantities of expensive fabric), top-quality carpet (when there are all sorts of alternatives), and expensive glass porcelain, cutlery and linen.
Once you have decided on the sort of budget that you can afford for your home, on how much money, if any you can realistically borrow, and on what necessities will have to be provided, thecan be drawn up. However, it is important to be realistic about ideas and to cost them carefully. Most important of all, be clear about your designs, needs and ideas of comfort.
Another important point to bear in mind in relation to any improvements is that you do not over-improve a property in the light of its surroundings. If an area or locality appears to be deteriorating, no amount of apparent luxury will help the resale value of your house. On the other hand, if you are hoping to sell a house within a certain period of time in order to ‘trade up’ in the property market, there are certain improvements that will be worth their weight in gold, or at least in terms of a quick and profitable sale. Most potential buyers are understandably beguiled by properties which have the sort of sound framework we have been discussing, for this leaves them free to spend their money on decoration that will suit their personal tastes and needs. Good, well fitted kitchens and bathrooms are always a sales plus, as are good entertaining space and a handsome master bedroom, while a well planted terrace or climbers growing up a house can add thousands to, the price. You cannot give your house or apartment scenic views out of the window if it is in the middle of a city, or bright summer light if all the windows face in the wrong direction, but you can substitute warmth and cheerfulness for light and particularly interesting colour schemes for a view.
CAN YOU AFFORD IT?
• Have you taken into account all contractors’ fees?
• Have you set aside a sum of money for unforeseen expenditure — for example, eliminating rot?
• Do you have a comprehensive insurance policy?
• Have you been overambitious in estimating how much work you can take on yourself?
• Have you considered the cost of hiring equipment?
• Will your alterations affect the day-to-day running costs of your home?
• Are your employment prospects and long-term plans stable?
• Will your, spending power be restricted or your standard of living affected by the amount of money you intend to spend on redecorating?
• Have you left yourself enough money to buy essential furnishings and fittings?