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3 Tips to tackling your home renovation on budget

May 19th 2017 

Planning a major (or minor) home renovation can be stressful.  Whether you bought yourself a fixer upper or just have an old room that needs to be brought into the current decade, achieving your vision while staying within budget is often difficult. Brand new sparkly things can add up and if you are shy on time or skills to do any of the hands-on work yourself you may be spending a small fortune on labour.

After tackling our own renovations here, we thought we would share some tips on getting the renovation you always planned while staying on budget.

1)      Do your research.

Saying you only want to spend $500 on countertops but you want something specific like quartz Cesar stone may not be realistic depending on the amount of countertop you need.  If you know the look you want, call around and get quotes on what different material types will cost.   Once you’ve got all the numbers down, take a hard look at your savings or renovation funds and sort out what areas you can afford to do exactly as you want and what areas you may need to scale back on.

2)      Plan for the unexpected.

Let’s face it. Anyone planning a major renovation should see an episode of “Love it or list It” or “Fixer Upper”.  Any episode will give you a pretty good idea that things rarely go exactly to plan, especially if you are renovating an older home.  Whatever you end up budgeting make sure you have a contingency plan just in case a major disaster occurs.  Whether big or small, you want to be prepared. Over budgeting for things can help you in the long run to be better financially prepared for the task at hand.  Plan 15% of your total budget to set aside in case things don’t go as planned. You may decide on an upgrade that needs to be added in during the process, this is where the buffer can be very handy.

3)      Don’t forget the small items.

It’s easy to budget for the big-ticket items like appliances, cabinetry or new flooring, but don’t forget about small costs that can really add up.  Things like light switches, cabinetry hardware, nails, screws, any tools you may purchase to help with the renovation.  These items are common to get missed but depending on your taste, you want higher end cabinet hardware or specific light switches to be eco-friendly or dimmers, these can really extend your budget, especially if you didn’t have all 18 trips to Lowe’s financially accounted for!

In the end, it’s important to really know what you need to accomplish your renovation and what you just want to have as an extra. It’s okay to have wants, it’s just important to plan for them and be prepared to compromise if your budget is getting too tight.


Planning a future renovation and need help covering the costs? Talk to us about our home renovation loans!


- Amanda Perkins