What to do if you realise your budget is unrealistic

What do you do if you realise your budget is unrealistic for your renovation or new home project?

Have you realised your budget is unrealistic for your project? Here’s the warning signs to avoid, and how to get back on track.

There’s a saying that goes something like this …

“A new home or renovation will always cost twice as much, and take twice as long, as you expect it to”

It’s usually given as a warning to those embarking on their project. And often it’s handed out at school gates or BBQs or in the workplace … where well-meaning friends and colleagues who’ve been through a project of their own, share learnings from their own experience.

However, in my opinion, there’s a big issue with this piece of advice. What I actually find is this:

Homeowners in fact start their project expecting that it will take half as long, and cost half as much as it actually will.

I don’t know how expectations and reality got so far apart. Perhaps it’s a diet of reality TV programs and big shed hardware stores.

So, let’s look at what can happen when you realise your budget is unrealistic, and how to get yourself back on track so you can keep going on your project.

There are four main areas where I see homeowners run into trouble and discover their budgets are unrealistic for what they’re seeking to build or renovate.

These 4 main areas are really categorised by red flags, or warning signs, so I’m going to talk about them in that way so you can keep them on your radar for your project.

These 4 main warnings or red flags are:

  1. Looking for magic pills
  2. Not understanding the impact of your decisions (and this extends to those you’re working with not advising you either)
  3. Not listening to warning from your professional team
  4. Not tracking your budget

So, is your budget unrealistic for your project vision? Listen to the podcast now to get help on what to do if it is – and keep you moving forward towards your finished home.

Links mentioned in the podcast

What will you do with your suitcase of cash?

The Builder’s Wife gives her 5 top tips for pain-free building or renovating.

“I love it! I want it! I can’t afford it!” Here’s what to do instead.

This season, Undercover Architect has a podcast partner: Kiiko LED.

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And so I’ve been able to organise with Kiiko a fantastic UA Community only offer. If you head to their website at www.kiiko.com.au/undercoverarchitect you’ll be able to access a $25 discount to use on your first order.

Check it out, and start building your Kiiko LED strip lighting now!


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  • Danielle Tregenza
    July 11, 2017, 11:22 am  Reply

    Love love love your podcasts Amelia, so helpful and relevant. I love how down to earth you are and your heartfelt desire to help everyday people ‘get it right’ is both appreciated and inspiring!!!
    Budget talks touch most people in some way and it’s easy to feel disappointed when expectations can’t be met. Thank you for inspiring hope and resilience for the journey xx

    • Amelia
      July 21, 2017, 4:12 pm

      My pleasure Danielle – thank you for such lovely feedback. I’m so glad you’re finding them helpful for your renovating journey! x

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