Less lustrous than a chrome faucet. Dimmer than a light fixture. Budget talks are among the least alluring aspects of a renovation; yet, they are the unavoidable bottom line. Here are five tips we’ve gleaned from pros on how to talk to clients about their remodeling budgets.  
 
No. 1. Know that you are worth your markups. Why? Because you are. As a remodeling pro, your expertise and services are worth the markups that help keep your business humming and food on your family’s table. Be confident in your worth, and your clients will be too.
 
No. 2. Learn how far into the budgetary weeds your clients want to go. Some clients really just want to manage the final number, while others need exact figures on particular products. Understand the level of detail your clients desire, so you don’t waste time parsing out all the details.
 
No. 3. Is your clients’ financing set? Don’t assume your clients have cash in the bank or have been approved for a home equity loan. Ask up front if they are able to cover the cost of your services. If you’ve ever had to wait on a loan approval, then you know banks can delay or even sink a job.  
 
No. 4. Ask when your clients’ homes were built. If it was before 1978, then lead-based paint or asbestos could drastically affect the project’s budget as well as timeline.
 
No. 5. Prepare clients for surprise costs. Unexpected expenses are not uncommon, and the bigger the renovation, the bigger the risk of running into electrical, plumbing or structural surprises. One popular rule of thumb: advise clients to set their overall budget 20% lower than the money they’ve set aside.
 
The budget may not be the most fun topic you’ll tackle with your clients, but it is one of the most necessary. These tips will help you take on the budget conversation with confidence.