6 Ways To Budget Effectively For a Home Renovation

6 Ways To Budget Effectively For a Home Renovation
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6 Ways To Budget Effectively For a Home Renovation

Wherever possible you will want to save money on your renovation. The rewards are huge but it can place a huge strain on your finances in the process. With so much to consider, costs can become unmanageable without clear organisation and planning. Taking care of your budget will be central to the success of the project. If you want to know how to create a budget for a home renovation, read our suggestions below.

1) Keep track of improvements you want to make

Starting a home renovation project is one thing, but finishing it is another entirely. Like any good project you need a solid plan to follow from beginning to end. You wouldn’t dream of just tearing up the floorboards without doing any research on how to do it safely, finding replacement materials or knowing how to install a new system.

Depending on the scale of the renovation there could be a lot going on within the property. If you are hiring specialist tradespeople to handle the electrics and plumbing, you will want to track how they are progressing, and the changes being made as and when they happen.

Even the changes you are making yourself will need to be recorded step-by-step. It’s easy to become lost in the growing list of jobs. If you keep an eye on the various changes as they are being made you can ensure you remain on target to achieve the finished look you intended at the start.

2) Create spreadsheets

Not everyone is a wizard at using Excel or creating spreadsheets. However, you don’t have to be technically advanced to put together a simple spreadsheet that allows you to plan each stage of the project and set out your budget.

This will let you lay out your to-do list so you can start to plan which part of the house you want to prioritise. As each stage, or element of the house is completed, you simply update the spreadsheet.

It’s a great way to keep on top of things and to understand where you are while the renovation is taking place. Sometimes, when you are in the middle of a building site, taking a step back isn’t always easy to do. The spreadsheet will help you maintain an overview of what’s been done and what’s due to start next.

Putting together a detailed budget spreadsheet is just as, if not more, important. Budgets can quickly spiral out of control if you are not keeping a close eye on spending. The spreadsheet should include things like material costs, contractor fees, skip or tool hire, inspection fees, disposal costs and more.

Anything you are spending money on that is related to the renovation must be included. Even items as small as light switch covers are an expenditure that need to be accounted for.

3) Set priorities

When you first come up with the idea of renovating you will no doubt have grand ideas of the type of changes you want to make. While there is no harm in dreaming big, always be aware that the reality of the cost involved might change what you can achieve.

However, you will be comforted by the fact that you will not be alone in this. There are very few people who have an unlimited budget. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still have the set-up you want. It just means making a few changes here and there.

It all starts with setting priorities around the essential changes and purchases that must be made to make it a habitable space, against the more luxurious ones. Setting an agenda will also allow you to dictate the first jobs that have to take place in the property.

In many cases this will be the stripping down of walls, flooring and the tearing out of existing fixtures and appliances. Much will depend on the size of renovation you have in mind. Either way, use the spreadsheet to organise your jobs so you can move methodically from one job to the next.

4) Allocating budget

Breaking down each section of your planned renovation will allow you to get a clear idea of how to allocate the budget for the project. You should also do some research beforehand on how much value each change could add to your home.

Typically, installing a new kitchen can help improve the selling price as it is a feature most buyers look for when they are searching for a new property. The internet also allows you to do in-depth research about the costs involved in renovating. You can quickly look at real examples and case studies from similar homeowners. Visit online stores to check out the costs of materials first hand. This will allow you understand the money that will be involved and how it can be divided across each room or section.

Another reality is that you are likely to use up your budget before the renovation is finished. This is because there are usually one or two issues that arise unexpectedly. A contingency plan is a good way to avoid hitting this brick wall. Add an extra 10-20% onto your existing budget or reduce your budget to allow for this buffer to be available should you need it.

If you are working on a period property, disocover how to budget for their unique challenges.

How to gather and compare quote

Unless you are a DIY whizz, it is likely you will have to call in professional companies to help at one stage or another. This will further test your research ability as you need to ensure you balance good value with high quality work.

A few simple tips to follow when searching for tradespeople are as follows:

  • Check to see they are approved and regulated by their industry.
  • Ask to see references and examples of previous work.
  • Make sure you get a free site survey and free non-obligatory quote.
  • Receive at least 3 quotes to allow you to compare.
  • Ensure each quote is itemised with materials, labour and VAT costs.
  • Find out if they are insured before any work begins.
  • If planning permission is required, ask if they will manage this aspect.
  • Enquire about a start and finish date.


Discover how to start a home renovation, how to renovate a kitchen and five ways you can add value to your property.