How to Keep Your Renovation Under Budget

How to Keep Your Renovation Under Budget

The biggest concern homeowners tend to have about their renovations is the cost. How much will it cost? How do I keep my renovation costs down? How can I keep it under budget? 

Going over budget is the leading irritant for renovating Canadian homeowners, with 51% of renovators considering it a real issue.

How can you achieve an incredible renovation without breaking the bank and going over budget? 

Plan Your Renovation Budget

A lack of proper planning is one major reason aspiring renovators go over budget. Underestimating the project cost is a common mistake – in all types of renovations. Most homeowners miss the mark when calculating the cost of their entire home improvement project.

4 Tips for Planning Your Renovation Budget

1. Research Actual Costs

Research the cost of materials and labor. Use actual costs rather than ballpark estimates. Ballpark estimates on each item and service on your list can lead to you shelling out a lot more money than you intended to. 

2. Divide Costs by Task

Dividing your costs can also help. Rather than lumping all the costs into one list, divide it into certain tasks (i.e. tiling the floor or replacing the fireplace). 

This gives you a clearer and more organized view of your costs, which will be useful for making an easy-to-manage budget you can tweak and improve as needed.

3. Leave Room for the Unexpected

Leave some room in your budget for unexpected expenses. What if something breaks, or you change your mind on your flooring material, or you open a wall and find something unexpected? A slight increase in the budget gives some wiggle room in case of surprises.

4. Get Estimates from Professionals

Get written cost estimates from professionals. This helps you stay within budget and protect you from financial curveballs that could quickly bump your costs up.

Labor Costs

Unless you’re an exceptionally handy person, odds are you’ll have to pay for labor to complete your renovation. 

If you’re putting in light fixtures, you’ll need an electrician to wire everything, and if you want to move a sink, you’ll need a plumber.

Most parts of your renovation will likely require you to hire a specialist for each task, so labor cost is a vital aspect to focus on during a reno job. 

There are many contractors and companies offering their services, but cost comparisons will reveal little variation. Labor costs what labor costs, so there isn’t much you can do to cut down on this part of your budget.

Material Costs

Here’s the fun part. The possibilities are endless with unlimited options for materials, fixtures, and accessories.

It’s up to you to decide what type of paint you want to use, what type of doors you want to put in, and what types of lights you want to set up. 

But this is also the best place to keep your expenses low.

While the cost of labor is relatively fixed, material prices vary greatly. The materials you use are flexible and can be adapted depending on what you want your budget to be!

Find a good balance between your needs and wants. Where can you afford to pay a little extra, and where would it be best to keep renovation costs low?

For example, you might want to go all-out on room decor in your bedroom and stick to basics in the laundry room. 

Since material cost is the easiest to play around with, it’s beneficial to take a cost-effective approach to things in this area of your budget.

Changing what you can on the materials end will have the most impact on keeping your renovation under budget.

Maintain your renovation budget

Once the budget is made and the project is underway, it’s not necessarily smooth sailing. Unexpected problems can arise when a renovation is in progress.

For example, a wall might need to be knocked out that wasn’t in the original plan, or the supplier might not have the materials you need for part of the reno. 

Be proactive and prepare for issues before they happen.

Set Manageable Goals

When setting renovation goals, make sure they’re both realistic and manageable. In addition to cost goals, there are also time goals that you should set to avoid any surprises.

To get a realistic idea of cost, contact your labor services as well as your material supplier to ensure you have a solid idea of how much everything will cost. 

This also applies to setting a time frame for your reno. If you know how long each job will take, you can have a good idea of how long the renovation will take to complete as a whole.

Experienced laborers know best how long it will take. Be prepared for at least a slight delay in case of unforeseen circumstances. Don’t cut it too close if you’re renovating to prepare the house for a big event or a new guest.

Adjust Your Renovation Budget When the Unexpected Happens

No matter how much you prepare, there’s always a chance you missed something, or a totally unpredictable problem arises during the project.

If costs end up being too high, there are many solutions to prevent overspending on renovations.

3 Solutions for Overspending on Renovations

1. Raise the budget

This is a simple solution – increase the amount of money you’re willing to spend on the project to fit everything you want in.

2. Select different materials

If you want to make sure you don’t pay any more than you initially intended, alterations can be made to the budget to prevent overspending.

Take a look at the materials you’re using and determine whether or not you can afford to switch to less expensive options. This can make a big difference and shave significant chunks off the reno cost.

3. Evaluate your priorities

Evaluate your priorities and look at what jobs are most important. 

It may be necessary to cut out certain parts of the renovation. These may be small details such as siding or paint, or it may be as large a change as cancelling renovation of an entire room that doesn’t need to be completed urgently.

Knocking off high-price jobs and postponing them for a later time can ease the strain on budgeting and leave financial room to improve the jobs you’ve decided to keep.

Don’t worry if you can’t get everything done in one massive reno job! It’s okay – and sometimes beneficial – to break the renovation into chunks and complete it over time. You can always come back to finish a section later. Renovations can be done in steps. An unrenovated room doesn’t have to be permanent.

Balance is Important

Renovations are rarely completed without a hiccup. More often than not, it’s necessary to compromise in order to keep the renovation under budget.

Regardless of how many issues arise, you’re never trapped.

It’s always possible to keep your reno under budget.

A project manager can relieve a big part of the load of managing labor as well as sticking to your budget. They can also help with unanticipated issues during the renovation process, so incorporating the hiring cost for a manager can take a massive load off your back.

To help with your budgeting, contact us today for a free quote for your renovation project.

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