For some homeowners, the scariest thing about jumping into a home renovation is the amount of money you have to spend. Everyone seems to know someone or have ‘a friend of a friend’ who had a nightmare reno that went way over budget and lasted weeks longer than expected.
Staying on budget is a challenge when there are so many factors at play, so we’re sharing a few key tips to remember for when you’re budgeting your next home renovation! Before jumping into the tips, it should go without saying that you need a plan. Identify what you need from this area of your home, decide what needs to be done, and take the necessary steps forward.
DIY when possible
Depending on your skills and available time, you can save a lot of money doing certain things yourself. For example, painting, changing cabinetry hardware, and caulking windows are all pretty simple tasks you can likely do yourself. Contractors typically charge for materials and labour, so the more time you put in yourself, the more money you’ll save.
It’s important to remember that you should know your limitations. For example, if you’re not an electrician, don’t run any wires. If you’re not a plumber, don’t install your new double vanity sinks. Skilled trades require a licensed professional!
Get multiple quotes
If you require contractors to completely renovate a room like your kitchen, get at least three quotes and timeline estimates from different vendors. But remember, the lowest price isn’t always your best option. If you find a price dramatically lower than the others, that may be a bad sign. Perhaps they’re cutting costs on materials or not paying their workers well.
Communication with your contractor is also key - you need to be as comfortable as possible making suggestions, problem solving, and brainstorming with them. If that means spending a bit more, then so be it.
When you’re giving your home a refresh, you’re getting new stuff, and it’s okay to want that stuff to be high quality. You just have to make sure you’re doing it in a way that keeps your budget at a comfortable level.
There are two ways you can go about it; you can splurge on the focal points of a room or on the small details. For example, if you get the stunning, forest green quartz countertops, maybe cut back on the cabinetry hardware and other small pieces like baseboards and door frames. Depending on how big you go, you may have to cut back on other large pieces, too.
If you end up going with modestly priced countertops and appliances, maybe you can splurge more on the smaller appliances and other accents like hardware, baseboards, and door frames. It’s all about whatever balance works best for you and the money you’re comfortable spending.
Sell anything you can
You can sell almost anything to anyone when it comes to parts of your home. There are people and contractors who will buy your countertops, baseboards, flooring, sinks, appliances, doors, tile, etc. It may look like scrap to you, but someone else may find a good use for it. The more you sell, the more money you have to put towards your home renovation.
Have an emergency fund
Like you heard from a friend of a friend, something always goes wrong with a home renovation. Maybe you discovered mold. Maybe one of your appliances broke. Maybe there was a fire. Anything can happen. Sure, you have insurance, but working with insurance companies can take a long time before you get a payout. And not all extra costs are covered by insurance. If you discover wiring issues, you’ll have to get that fixed before proceeding with your reno. Best practice is to have at least 15% of your project cost set aside for emergencies and any other unexpected costs.
We hope these tips help you prepare for your home renovation!