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Budgeting Tips and Tricks for Home Renovations

Interior metal wall panel

Upgrading and renovating your home can be fun and rewarding, no matter if you’re diying, finding home advisor or hiring a contractor. However, a project’s costs can quickly add up. It can be helpful to create and stick to a budget when planning your renovations. Here’s a few tips and tricks you can use to budget for your home improvement projects.
It’s important to note that most home improvement projects are based off of “wants,” not needs. Sometimes, emergencies happen and you need to prioritize replacing your roof after a major hailstorm or you need to replace your bathtub because of a serious leak. In regards to this specific article, we’re basing budgeting tips off of non-emergency situations like wanting to put up metal wainscoting in a bedroom or simply painting your kitchen because you want to change the color. It is helpful to have an “emergency” savings for situations that arise spontaneously if possible.

Conduct Thorough Research

One of the best ways to prepare yourself for the cost of a home improvement project is to thoroughly research all the parts that will go into it. Researching everything from material costs to contractor fees can help you create a budget that is realistic. You can also do cost-comparisons between different stores that carry the same materials so you can shop smartly. It’s also important to factor in what may seem like even the smallest costs — paint brushes, nails, sand paper, etc. By knowing exactly what you need and how much each of those necessities are going to cost you can help you create a budget that you can stick to and follow. Plus, then there are (hopefully) no surprise costs.

Establish a Spending Limit

After you’ve determined the relative costs of materials, labor, and other pieces of your project, it’s time to set a spending limit. You should give yourself a little bit of wiggle room in case costs are less or more, but once you’ve set a limit, stick to it. It’s easy to get distracted, so writing down a list can help you stick to purchasing exactly what you only need. Having a set limit for your budget can help you control your spending while still making sure you’re getting all the materials needed to complete your project.

Consider Cost vs. Value

If you’re planning on selling your home in the future, you should keep the return-on-investment in mind when spending on your project. For example, you don’t want to spend half of what your home is worth on renovating the kitchen. Your goal should be to increase your home’s value and not spend more than 10-15% of your home’s value on a single project. Some home improvement projects, like new roofing and new wood flooring, can help you earn 6-7% more when you go to sell your home. Don’t overspend on a project that won’t help you when it comes time to sell!

DIY Whenever Possible

Do the most work yourself as you can to save money on contractor costs. Things like demolition, painting, tearing down drywall, etc. are relatively easy tasks that you can do yourself to save money and reduce the amount of hours a contractor will bill you for.  

Take Your Time with Planning

As excited as you may be to complete your project, take your time with the planning process. Taking your time can help you save money and not make any quick decisions that you may regret later down the road. If you’re doing interior projects, just work on and finish one room at a time to avoid overwhelming yourself or making quick decisions. If you’re working on exterior projects, keep the same thought process in mind — one area/project at a time. It’s easy to start multiple projects and get ahead of yourself, but harder to finish them all. 

Interior metal wainscot

Bonus Tips

Hiring the Right Contractor — Hiring the right contractor can be tricky business. There are lots of businesses out there that claim to be experts. When it comes to hiring a contractor, you should always do the following: research multiple contractors, get quotes from all of them, call references and read reviews, and be sure to communicate your project’s needs and budget clearly! Get multiple quotes from a variety of contractors to ensure you’re getting the best price, too.

Sell Unwanted Items — If you’re replacing big items like appliances, don’t be afraid to try to sell the old ones. Even if you only get a small amount of money for them, it’s more than nothing. Some building/construction materials can even be sold and repurposed. You’d be surprised how many things you can sell to help alleviate some of the costs of your renovations.

Purchase Materials Yourself — If you are hiring a contractor, a super easy way to save money is to buy the materials yourself and then hire a contractor for the labor. You should talk with your chosen  contractor about this and make sure you can make your chosen materials fit the plans. This is a great way to have control of material costs and save some money!

Wait for Sales — Especially with big ticket items like appliances or even tools, wait for sales to make purchases. According to latest information, around different holidays like July 4th or Black Friday there are usually good deals on appliances, grills, etc. The end of summer is a great time to purchase outdoor furniture and other things along.those lines. Don’t be afraid to shop smart!


Budgeting for home renovations can seem daunting, but with careful planning and smart decision-making, it is entirely manageable. By researching costs, setting limits, considering the value of your renovations, doing as much work yourself as possible, and taking your time, you can achieve your dream home without breaking the bank. Remember, a well-thought-out budget is the key to a successful renovation project. Happy renovating!

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