One of the most disappointing experiences for homeowners occur when they finally find the flooring they want, fall in love with it, do the numbers, measure their home, and realize the choice is well beyond what they can afford. Folks often drop the project altogether or down-scale it to something they are not really pleased about, which sets the stage for other problems later on. Budgeting for a floor project is an early step that should probably come right after agreeing the project is needed and worth pursuing. That’s because once a person knows for sure what can be spent on the project, it makes all the following decisions a lot easier to fit into expectations.
Preparing your Renovation Budget
A key factor in budgeting is cost which is predominantly driven by how much flooring will be needed. Room measurement and sizing are basic bread and butter data one has to have to get started. After picking the rooms to be installed, an easy way to measure would be to section off the areas in squares or rectangles. Simple masking tape can make it easier to know where cutoffs occur and smaller hallways and alcoves can be treated as rectangles. Draw the floor layout on a piece of paper and then measure sections with a measuring tape. Multiply the length times the width of each area in feet, and that will be the square footage needed to cover the floor. Then, for baseboard treatment, measure the length of the perimeter around the room, and that will be how much baseboard is needed when flooring is complete. Throw in paint to finish the walls, and you’ve probably addressed most of the project materials for the job. It helps to write down everything on grid paper or use a computer spreadsheet. Take the total aggregate square footage for the flooring and divide that into the most you’re willing to spend less $1,000 (you will need the $1,000 for baseboard, wall paint and sales tax). The resulting figure will be what you can afford as a maximum per square foot in flooring. Some people might afford $10 a square foot, and some might afford $2 a square foot. If the total spending limit is not going to change, then the answer is the flooring price ceiling. Each price point has multiple flooring choices, so there’s plenty to work with if one looks around. And this approach really makes budgeting a lot easier and less frustrating with sticker shock at the last minute.