This article is about trust – thank you to one of our clients for sharing their concerns! We explain why sharing your scope of work and budget number upfront will help you achieve your goals. We found that many of our clients have a “secret budget number,” which is the $ number in your head that you are not telling anyone else.

You Do Not Want To Share Your Budget Number

Our clients who want to keep their budget number private might have optimistic concerns. Do they resonate?

  • You want to focus on the whole wishlist and decide what to spend. 
  • You need to find out what things cost and are waiting to find out.
  • You want your professionals to tell you what things cost.

We have also heard these anxieties; do you share them?

  • “They” will spend your budget if they know your number.
  • “They” will inflate prices to use up your budget rather than leaving money on the table.

Notebook on a table with a calculator, a piggy bank, scattered coins, a pen, and a cardboard cutout of a house.

Budget Sharing Pitfalls

Not sharing your budget number can lead to misunderstandings and miscommunications between you and your home design team. They will make assumptions about what you can and can’t afford because you must give them the necessary information. Consequently, you may need to change their designs and materials to be aligned with your overall goals; there will be feelings of disappointment for everyone.

  • The quote will be too high because it is exploratory and includes many optional things.
  • The quote will relate to what the other person wants or thinks you want to have and will be high 80% of the time.
  • You will need more time.

Budget Sharing Opportunities

You will succeed if you are straightforward with your design professionals and GC. They will be more likely to come in on or close to your budget and have ideas about how to make adjustments to meet your goals. Sharing your budget and goals lays the groundwork to partner with your team. 

Pro Tip: Being open and honest is a winning strategy in partnerships, and your home renovation is one of the most significant partnerships you will have.

Hands holding 2 pieces of a puzzle, trees are in the background

Share What You Value

Your professionals want to help you meet your goals, and they can do that effectively when they truly know you. You know your relationship to money, economic and social values. When you share your budget, you can communicate what you value. Sharing this information will enable your professionals to support you better.

  • If you know the comps and don’t want to spend more than current similar homes are valued, communicate the amount and explain your math so your professional can partner with you. 
  • If you have a number that “feels” appropriate, have an open discussion to determine what you CAN accomplish for that amount.
  • Being secretive means that you are starting a relationship without honesty and trust. 
  • Be honest and open so you will not feel insulted by the price or the process.
  • Share your idea of your home.

Pro Tip: Share your total budget number and allow your construction professionals to support your goals.

Moving Forward:

Discuss your scope, budget, timeline, and expectations upfront to maximize your benefit from your design professionals. Transparency creates better results. The estimate will be more relevant when you and your architect understand your construction costs, including any fees for their service.

Share your budget number — you will make more progress faster. You and your architect can determine what you want to prioritize so everyone involved can plan effectively and hopefully reap the rewards of home renovation joy!

What are your thoughts about secret budget numbers? Add them below, and we may include the answer in future articles!

About Us:

At AKA, we specialize in transforming homes to increase light views and experience; we focus on our clients’ delight!

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Allegra Kochman

Allegra Kochman

About the Author

Allegra has a BA with Honors from Dartmouth College and a Master of Architecture from Columbia University. She aims to write straightforward and practical content for those who want to gut renovate their homes.