Our Project Budget Worksheet and a Freebie!

Budgeting for projects around our house, has become inevitable.  It is what we do, it is what we love.  We are on a quest to turn this builder grade home into a personalized, forever home, and whether that means purchasing some storage or renovating an entire room, it is important to budget for that dream frequently.

Did you see our bathroom reveal last week?  Oh. Em. Gee.  I seriously LOVE that makeover.  It is one of my favorites yet.

And throughout the process, people started asking, how did you budget for this project?

So a few things came to mind that I haven't really gotten into, and it is a process we are always tweaking:

  • We have a home improvement line within our budget, and we build that "account" over time.  If we know a huge project is coming up, we put more to the budget and cut somewhere else.
  • This budget is used for home improvement projects and supplies big and small, and is also meant to act as a reserve if our furnace goes out {yep, that happened this spring}, or our dishwasher dies.
  • We use a budget worksheet for larger projects, to ensure we don't drain our home improvement budget on a single room.
  • Although the bathroom seemed like it was done on a whim {the entire install happened in less than one week}, we actually knew it was coming a few months ago when our toilet died.  So, we have been planning on it and purchased a few of the items over time, vs. all at once.
  • We already had the tools we needed on hand for this particular project, but if we hadn't, those items would be included within the budget as well {paint supplies, sanding blocks, utility knife, etc...}

Because this bathroom was a larger project, with a larger budget and quite a few items to purchase, we whipped out our budget printable.  It is something I put together a short while ago, and a few projects later, we have been loving it.

But of course, I just printed the one above for a pretty example of what it looks like when we get started.  At the end of a project, it looks more like this one I used for the recent bathroom project:

To get started, I list out all of the items we believe we will need for the project.  When it came to renovating the bathroom, we needed quite a few new things since everything was 12 years dated:

Flooring, Molding, Paint for Walls & Vanity, Counter/Sink, Faucet, Mirror, Lighting, Hardware, Shelf, Frames, Toilet, Towel Hooks, Rug, Shower Curtain, Towels, Storage and Accessories.

I also listed any details I already had in mind {this is where I should have measured for our mirror}, and where I planned on finding specific pieces.  I also give myself a limit to try to maintain for each item in order to reach our end all budget.  Knowing bathrooms can be expensive, and that things come up, we added in a miscellaneous cushion line for random supplies we may not have thought of.  In this case, that included the register cover, adhesives and caulks, plumbing parts and outlets/switch plates {replacing the bone color with white}.

I didn't originally give myself a budget for a mirror or storage as I knew I had a mirror {or so I thought} and I could get creative shopping our home for storage.  I later needed to purchase a mirror because the one we had was a few inches too long, however, we had some budget "saves" which we were already seeing on the worksheet, so I knew it would be OK.

Throughout the process, the numbers may change and get crossed out and fixed, but it still works and keeps us on track.  Once the mirror idea switched, that impacted the lighting.  We originally had purchased a single vanity light for over the mirror, but after we found the tall and long mirror, we had to return it and grab two side sconces instead.

As you can see, the paper is folded and wrinkled.  That is because it is used and abused throughout the course of the project, and also tucked within an expandable file I found in the dollar section of Target a few months ago.

The file not only holds the budget printable, it also holds all of the receipts we have used throughout the process, so we can double check our numbers.

I just used some Washi tape and my label maker, to create labels on each section of the expandable file.  The front pocket holds receipts, the next holds the budget printable and the last holds receipts for items that we need to exchange or return.

The expandable file gives us plenty of room to hold everything, yet is small enough to carry with us when we are out shopping for items and supplies.

So that is about it.  Again, we don't use this every time, like if we are recovering a box with fabric, however, for larger projects, it has become our "go to" for keeping us on track.

And of course, I know many of you love a good project or DIY, so I am sharing the printable with you fab friends as well.

{click HERE to download your free Home Project Budget Worksheet}

Now, back to another project {oh yes, we have a new one up our sleeves}.  Happy home projecting and....

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