• Don McCuaig

Budgeting for a reno doesn't have to be scary.

Updated: Oct 9, 2019

Some of this discussion was covered in a previous post, but if you’ve jumped around my website and ended up here, I’ll go over a few important things related to budget.


It is important to have realistic goals and to anticipate that there might be complications.


While ORG strives to eliminate the possibility of issues during a renovation project, we can’t always know what’s behind the walls until we open them up. If you have an older home, this is more of a concern.


When settling on a budget and saving your money, think about what you want to see in the space you’re renovating. Research the price differences between different finishing materials. Get a feel for the differences in flooring, and what you’d want for the long term. Or, conversely, if you’re simply updating your home for resale value, be programmatic and strike a balance between basic finishes and high-end options.


Once you know where your renovation is heading, you’ll have a better idea of how much you should be saving for your project.


For example, 20k can get you a nicely finished bathroom renovation, but a comparatively minimal renovation to a kitchen with lower-end finishes (and that’s assuming you are using Ikea cabinetry over other competitors).


A lot of homeowners tend to underestimate the cost of things they cannot see. So remember that a whole bathroom renovation is not just a vanity switch-out, dropping in a new tub, and uprooting the toilet for a new one. It means dry-wall repair, potentially new flooring, new plumbing fixtures, caulking, painting, screws, nails, trim, a new tub usually means new shower tiles — which in turn means, mud, grout, tile-spacers, tile edging trim, additional time is required for inset shelving, and more.


While none of the above items, on their own, seem costly — It can be shocking to see all the little things add up.


I have found that it's best to decide on your must-haves list for materials or uses, and then make a second list of things you would be happy to get but are not necessary. For example, if you want a really high-end custom cabinet for your vanity, you may need to sacrifice the tub style you also had your eye on.


Just because a renovation may require compromise does not mean the end result won't be spectacular!

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