Everything should be transparent when dealing with finances. This image is a budget for one of our projects based on renderings we received from the Architect. We have also contributed costs allocations prior to receiving money from this client. Our clients are able to login and view the finances and details associated with the projects we are completing for them 24-7.
When you are seriously considering a new home or remodeling project you should put thought into the entire design. Know the cost as you design so you do not over design or over build for your neighborhood.
Stage the work based on financial decisions and how you have to live during the work. It may be better to move out short term or work on one floor (or area) at a time.
Make certain you know what is included by the estimate and not what someone is speaking to you. Have everything listed with a value, this makes changes later much easier. Tile to plumbing fixtures, cabinet design and drawer count, hardware to ceiling light counts. Details, details, and more details.
Give yourself time to plan and then execute the work, we spend more time planning the work then executing the work. Who wants to live in a construction zone longer than needed? Plan ahead of time as this saves you the most money and grief. Transparency, if your contractor is not transparent then stay away and part ways. To often clients listen to the sale of the project and jump into contracts that have no real explanation or detail of what the work includes. Some contracts have pages of what is not included and how the contractor is not liable for anything. That is a sign to stay away and pump the brakes. You can easily end up paying a deposit or your first invoice that reflects 50-70% completion of the contract work and only have 5% actually finished on site. 5-10% deposits are standard anymore than that beware. Progress payments are for progress. If there has been no work on your property then you should pay nothing. Be Careful to pay only for what you have received or what has been completed on your home. Do not over pay your contractor and only pay for what was completed.