How to Renovate on a Budget


Renovating can be expensive! From the cost of materials, labour, the condition of your existing space and any unforeseen issues, the cost can add up and exceed what you have originally budgeted for. If you’re new to renovating or looking to save some extra money on your next project, read our tips below to help you save on the bottom line.

  • Define your project.

There are many types of renovations and we don’t just mean a kitchen renovation versus a laundry renovation. For those of us watching the budget, the important first distinction to know is whether you’re undergoing a structural or cosmetic upgrade, or both. Structural renos involve changing the floorplan, adding rooms, changing wiring/plumbing and significant upgrades or repairs to the bones of the home. Cosmetic renovations include changes such as furnishing, paint, fixtures, flooring, basic hardware and décor. If you need structural changes your renovation will cost more. Many renovations will combine elements of both so detailed and itemised quotes will be your friend and you can balance or change the purpose of your renovation to suit how much you can afford.

  • Let’s talk value

Cost and value are not exactly the same thing, but often people think of the terms as interchangeable. Something can be good value if it is low cost, but can also be good value at a higher price point. For the sake of renovations, a lot of what value means is linked to function and quality. Lower quality finishes or installation can cost less, but not last long, making them poor value. Some high quality products can also cost far more than what their durability is worth, especially if you are paying for a luxury brand name. The solution? Know your product and seek good value. If you don’t really have the time for research, get an expert to consult for you – good ones will work to your budget and make sure the best products and quality are selected on your behalf. That is value!

  • Calculate, then calculate again

Another way to keep the dollars to a manageable level is to budget properly. Yes, this takes time, but if you need to be strict on cash, it’s well worth it. Consider the cost of labour, appliances, cabinetry and hardware and balance these costs. Get a range of quotes from people who will be doing the work such as cabinet makers, plumbers, tilers and electricians. There’s little point in spending all your cash on gadgets and having to neglect another area like cupboards. If you have your whole design costed and it’s still too expensive, you will have to make some compromises. It doesn’t mean you’ll never have your dream bathroom or kitchen, but maybe plan it in stages. If this is your situation, we recommend cost prioritising the most structural items (like plumbing) first, especially if you’re planning to live at home or doing DIY. Over time you can add the extra appliances or fixtures that you’re dreaming of, but get the foundations right first.

  • Shop Around

Once you have your design and products selected, you can opt to bargain hunt. Another time-dependant exercise, but discount outlets, end of year sales and even second hand options can help you save big dollars on great quality materials, fixtures and hardware that will reduce your kitchen renovation cost. Online auctions and local buy/swap/sell groups can also be a goldmine for renovation supplies.

With a little research and commitment to your project, you can save on costs without sacrificing quality. Happy renovating!

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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1 month ago

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1 month ago

Good post. We make renovation at the kitchen now, there will be new furniture..I have been waiting for this for a long time!!

11 days ago

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Last edited 11 days ago by jimlow1990