Home Renovation Budgeting: 7 Tips on How to Save Money

a green bathroom with rattan vanity sink, botanical wallpaper and green panelling.
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Every household invariably has a room that could benefit from a revamp. The idea can be somewhat intimidating, and the thought of a total home renovation can feel incredibly daunting.

On the bright side, if you’re confronting a renovation endeavor, there are several straightforward methods to adhere to a renovation budget while still being delighted with the outcome.

Importance of Home Renovation Budgeting 

a bathroom with tiled flooring, grey walls, metro tiles, pink bath and grey vanity unit
Our bathroom renovation was planned on a budget!

Without careful financial planning, what begins as a dream project can quickly turn into a monetary nightmare. Having a home renovation budget is not just about preventing overspending, but also about ensuring that your funds are used effectively, giving you the best value for every dollar spent.

A well-structured home renovation budget provides a clear roadmap of the expenses to be anticipated, helping homeowners to make informed decisions. When partnering with renovations by Veejay’s, this meticulous budgeting approach ensures that your project is not only efficient but also tailored to your specific needs and preferences.

Furthermore, a budget helps in setting realistic expectations. By knowing how much you can spend, you can tailor your home renovation plans accordingly, avoiding disappointments that arise from unachievable aspirations.

The potential pitfalls of not having a clear financial plan include: 

  • Overspending can lead to accumulating unwanted debt or depleting savings that were meant for other priorities.
  • Running out of funds before a home renovation is complete can result in living spaces that are unusable or unfinished for extended periods, causing inconvenience and dissatisfaction.
  • In an attempt to stretch an undefined home renovation budget, homeowners might opt for cheaper, lower-quality materials or labor, which can lead to problems in the long run and even cost more in repairs and maintenance.
  • Without a clear financial plan, there’s a risk of the project’s scope expanding beyond the initial vision.
  • Small additions or changes can accumulate, increasing costs unexpectedly.
  • Financial uncertainties can lead to increased stress, disagreements between family members, and overall dissatisfaction with the home renovation process.
  • Without careful home renovation budgeting and planning, you might end up investing in renovations that don’t significantly increase the value of your home, leading to a poor ROI.
  • Taking on debt without a clear repayment plan can have long-term consequences, affecting credit scores, and placing strain on future financial plans or goals.

1. Acquire Numerous Quotations

person using laptop computer

A home renovation is a significant undertaking, both in terms of its impact on your living space and its financial implications. One of the primary steps in ensuring that your home renovation doesn’t break the bank is to get multiple quotes from contractors or suppliers.

Assurance of Fair Price

By having multiple quotes at your disposal, you can compare the prices for similar services or materials. This comparison provides a better understanding of the average market rate and ensures you aren’t paying excessively.

When you’re equipped with information about what other professionals are charging, you have the leverage to negotiate. A contractor or supplier is more likely to offer competitive pricing if they know you’re shopping around.

Understanding Market Rates

Another reason for shopping around is that different contractors might break down the scope of work differently in their quotes. By getting multiple quotes, you can get a clearer picture of what the complete job entails and what aspects might have been overlooked by one or another provider.

In addition to labor costs, the quotes can give you insights into the current market rates for materials. This can be particularly valuable if you’re considering sourcing materials yourself.

Some quotes might include additional charges or hidden fees. By examining multiple quotes, you can identify such discrepancies and opt for contractors who are transparent with their pricing.

Quality Assurance

Different contractors bring different expertise to the table. While comparing quotes, you’re not just looking at numbers but also at what each contractor offers in terms of skills, experience, and specialties.

It’s worth noting that the lowest quote isn’t always the best. An extremely low quote can sometimes be a red flag, indicating potential compromises in the quality of materials or workmanship.

Having multiple quotes helps you identify outliers that might be too good to be true.

Don’t Forget Home Insurance!

People Discussing a Home Insurance Policy

Aiming for cost-effectiveness requires some extra effort. This entails exploring various options and obtaining a variety of homeowners insurance quotes.

While you may believe you’ve received a reasonable quote, it’s astonishing how much leverage you can gain by securing an additional quote.

Procuring multiple homeowners insurance quote for each home protection phase can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. It’s recommended to gather at least three quotes for each task, investigating and scrutinizing reviews of the service providers’ past performance.

Remember, the least expensive quote isn’t necessarily the best choice. Consider all factors before finalizing your decision.

2. Pay in Cash

While it may seem straightforward, utilizing funds you already possess for your project can result in considerable savings that you’d otherwise spend on interest from a loan or credit card charges that aren’t promptly paid off.

If your goal is to renovate with the intention of selling your home, financially, it might be logical to obtain a loan, especially if you anticipate a significant return on your investment that enables swift loan repayment. 

However, cash payments remain the superior option. Utilizing your savings for house renovations can be a smart investment, transforming your living space while potentially increasing your home’s value.

If it’s currently unaffordable, consider re-evaluating your household budget to identify potential savings that can be allocated toward your project.

3. Do-It-Yourself (DIY)

a white bedroom with pink accents and a large jute rug under the bed
Simple things like painting the walls and adding decorative touches are all easy DIY jobs

Tackling home renovation tasks by yourself can be a rewarding experience, both in terms of personal satisfaction and potential savings. For those new to the DIY world, starting with beginner-friendly tasks can help build confidence and skills, such as;

  • Painting walls and ceilings
  • Basic landscaping such as regular mowing, edging, and planting flowers. 
  • With some patience and careful measurement, tiling can be a beginner-friendly task, especially for smaller areas like backsplashes or bathroom walls.
  • Installing floating shelves or wall-mounted racks can be a straightforward task with a level, drill, and some brackets.
  • Swapping outdated or worn-out knobs can instantly uplift doors or cabinets.
  • Replacing old ceiling lights or wall sconces can make a significant difference in a room’s ambiance.
  • Sealing gaps around windows, doors, or bathrooms can prevent leaks and improve insulation. Caulking guns and silicone sealant make this a straightforward task.
  • Using wallpapers, wooden panels, or decorative stone, you can create an accent wall that becomes the focal point of a room.

Should you consider yourself skilled in DIY tasks, taking on some larger aspects of the home renovation yourself might be beneficial. This is an effective and guaranteed method to cut down on renovation costs.

However, professionals should ideally handle certain parts of the remodeling process. For any plumbing or electrical modifications, it’s advisable to seek expert assistance.

4. Understand When to Splurge

a light blue kitchen with wood worktops and glass cabinets
Splurging on things like custom cabinetry in the kitchen is always a good idea.

When on a strict home renovation budget, it’s easy to try to minimize expenditure in every area. While this is beneficial in terms of money-saving, there are instances where spending a bit more is warranted.

Aspects that directly impact the safety of you and your loved ones should never be skimped on.

As mentioned above, allocate sufficient funds for tasks such as electrical work, plumbing, and structural modifications, which can pose potential health risks. Engaging a competent and qualified professional for these jobs is imperative to ensure they are done correctly and safely.

Moreover, there are aesthetic elements where investing a little more in a superior quality product can significantly enhance the visual appeal. For instance, if you’re employing someone to install a backsplash, the labor charges will likely be the major cost.

Opting for a slightly pricier tile you adore won’t considerably increase the overall expense, yet it could elevate your kitchen’s look beyond the standard subway tile.

Knowing when to splurge on a home renovation can make the difference between a successful investment in your home and unnecessary expenses. Here are guidelines and situations where spending a little more might be justified:

  1. Long-Term Value: Historically, kitchens and bathrooms offer a good return on investment. High-quality fixtures, appliances, and finishes can boost your home’s resale value.
  2. Energy-Efficient Upgrades: Investing in things like quality insulation, energy-efficient windows, or solar panels can lead to savings on utility bills in the long run.
  3. Frequency of Use: If it’s a space or item you’ll use daily, like a kitchen faucet, showerhead, or primary living area, it makes sense to prioritize quality and comfort.
  4. Structural Integrity and Safety: It’s worth spending more on essential structural elements of the home, such as the foundation, roofing, and electrical systems. Cutting corners here can lead to costly repairs and safety hazards down the line. Utilizing a comprehensive roof inspection checklist can help identify potential issues early, preventing costly repairs down the line. This proactive approach not only safeguards your investment but also enhances the overall durability of your home.
  5. Customization for Specific Needs: If your family has unique requirements or if you have specific needs, like accessibility features for someone with disabilities, it’s worth investing in customized solutions.
  6. Maximizing Space: In limited spaces, consider spending on smart storage solutions, built-ins, or multi-functional furniture to make the most of what’s available.

While these guidelines suggest situations where splurging might be a good idea, it’s also crucial to balance such decisions against your overall renovation budget. Always prioritize spending based on your family’s needs, the long-term value it offers, and the comfort and functionality it brings to your daily life.

5. Acquire Before You Construct

Another method to ensure your home renovation stays on track is choosing all your materials before construction begins.

Projects often exceed their budget and fall behind schedule when decisions aren’t made promptly during the renovation, triggering a cascade effect that can lead to holdups in other areas.

You can prepare ahead of time regarding materials since items like sinks and stoves typically have prices set at the national level. Begin your research by examining the main fixtures in the space and determining where you want to sit within the price range.

6. Prioritize Your Home Renovations

square frame on cracked wall

Deciding which home renovation projects to tackle first can seem daunting, especially when there are multiple areas you want to improve. However, with a strategic approach, you can prioritize projects effectively.

Before anything else, address any issues that pose immediate threats to the safety and health of the household.

  • Electrical problems
  • Structural damage, such as a compromised foundation
  • Mold, asbestos, or other hazardous materials
  • Faulty plumbing that might cause water damage

Evaluate your current finances. If you’re working with a limited home renovation budget, it might be best to start with smaller projects that offer significant impact. For larger projects, start budgeting, saving, or researching financing options.

If you’re considering selling your home in the foreseeable future, prioritize projects that offer the best ROI:

  • Kitchen and bathroom updates
  • Exterior improvements (siding, doors, windows)
  • Adding living space, such as finishing a basement

Some projects might be time-sensitive due to seasonal considerations:

  • Roofing projects are best done in good weather.
  • Landscaping or planting should align with the best seasons for growth.
  • HVAC replacements or repairs might be urgent before extreme summer or winter temperatures, and that is where your home warranty covering HVAC can provide peace of mind and cost savings.

Consider how long each project will take and the level of disruption to daily life:

  • Can your family cope with a kitchen or bathroom being out of commission for weeks?
  • If certain home renovations require you to move out temporarily, is that feasible?

By systematically evaluating your needs, home renovation budget, and desired outcomes, you can create a renovation roadmap that addresses the most pressing projects first while laying the groundwork for future improvements.

7. Reuse and Recycle Materials

sage green cabinets in the kitchen with oak flooring, a wood dining table and metro tiles
Something as simple as painting your kitchen cabinets can give the room a whole new look

We recently renovated our home by putting in a new extension and moving the kitchen. One of the first things we determined was whether we could use materials from our old kitchen and keep down home renovation costs. 

Repurposing old materials is an eco-friendly and cost-effective way to revamp your space, adding unique character to your home. By giving old items a new life, you not only reduce waste but also create pieces with history and a story to tell.

  • Before starting your renovation, evaluate what materials and items can be repurposed or refurbished. This might include fixtures, fittings, wood, tiles, or even old furniture.
  • Safely dismantle items you’re replacing, such as cabinets, fixtures, or tiles. Store them properly, so they don’t get damaged, making them easier to reuse later.
  • Sanding and repainting or staining kitchen cabinets can dramatically transform their look without a complete replacement.
  • Leftover wood can be used to make shelving, decorative elements, or small furniture pieces.
  • Old tiles can be broken and used to create a mosaic backsplash or garden pathway.
  • Organize a garage sale or use online platforms to sell items you won’t reuse. Alternatively, consider a swap with neighbors or friends who might have something you need for your renovation.
  • Use old wood or other salvaged materials to create open shelving in kitchens, bathrooms, or living rooms.
  • Bricks or stones from an old wall or path can be reused for new landscaping projects.
  • Old wooden beams or logs can become garden benches.
a blue living room with blue chesterfield sofa and button back ottoman

You can cut costs on your impending renovation, but it might require a slightly unconventional approach.

Careful budgeting is the linchpin of any successful renovation project. It ensures that you get the most out of every dollar spent, while also safeguarding against potential financial strains and setbacks.

Start with a clear vision of what you want to achieve, plan your budget down to the last detail, and establish a realistic timeline. The most impactful renovations aren’t always the ones that cost the most; they’re the ones that are thought out and executed with care and creativity.

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