How to renovate on a budget

Homeowners decide to do renovations for a number of reasons, you want your space to be more livable, or you want it to sell for more and for a much quicker timeframe, but one thing is clear, you need to set a budget to ensure you stay on track with your goals.  Maybe you decide that this is the year to remodel your kitchen.  Thirty percent of all money spent on home renovations in Canada are spent on kitchen remodeling, from fancy new marble or granite countertops to top of the line appliances.

We often worry about what the disruption on our lives will be while we take the step to renovate.  Try not to think of the daily nuisances this may cause but what the final outcome will bring to your life and to the value of your home.  Here is a step by step guide to help you along the way.

Figure out what your goals are.

Don’t just write down “Renovate Kitchen.”  Figure out the must haves are, do you want to tile the walls or paint, what kind of countertop you need or do you need to replace them?  Do you want stainless steel appliances, would you like to add more cupboards to create more storage.  Once you have an itemized list it will be a lot easier to estimate costs which will help determine your budget.

Determine what equipment and professional services you may need.

Once your list of goals are complete, it is time to determine what or if you need to bring in some professional help.  You may choose to do a lot of the work yourself to help shave off some of the added costs, but there are somethings that you may not be able to accomplish.  If you need wiring or plumbing you will need to bring in an electrician or plumber to help complete.  You may not be handy at all and will need to hire a contractor to complete the whole renovation.  You may want to hire a designer to help with what paint or tiles to use.

Your local equipment of hardware store is the best choice for renting tools and equipment for whatever project you have in mind.  Just keep in mind once you start doing the work on your own it may cost more to bring someone in later to complete, so make sure you know what you are getting yourself into.

Figure out your budget.

Now that your wish list is complete and you have a better idea of what and who you will need to complete the job you can figure out what you can afford.  The average kitchen renovation costs $20,000 and a bathroom renovation can run you anywhere from $5000-$15,000 depending on what you need done. The more square footage the higher your total bill will be.

It is wise to always add an additional 20% on your budget for any added costs that may occur.  For example you may find a family of termites behind that wall you tear down which in turn you will need to pay an exterminator and perhaps damage repair.  It is better to plan to spend more and not need it than to under shoot your expenses and have to find the money later.


Get Estimates

Now that you have your list of what you would like to accomplish and the budget you would like to stay in it is time to get some quotes.  You will want to call three professionals of every type to get cost estimates.  Don’t worry this is part of their jobs even if you do not end up choosing them in the end it is important to make sure you are getting the best price possible, and they are able to meet your time frames.

Make sure you provide the same list of work to be done so that the estimate are accurate and you can compare without having discrepancies.

You will want to make sure you do your research on them as well.  Ask friends and family for references, look at their reviews online.  Renovations cost a significant amount of money and you want to make sure you spend it wisely.

Renovation can be cost and time consuming but remember if you want to get the most out of your living space, or the most out of the resale of your house they are a necessity.  An updated home is much easier to live in and to sell.  It is important to do your homework so you go about it the right way.  You will be thankful in the end.  Hope these tips will help you make the best decisions for you and your home.


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