Home Design Services

How to Budget Your Home Renovation Project

As entertaining as HGTV is to watch and get unique home renovation ideas from, it is not the best source for judging project budgets and time frames.  Every home renovation project is different and seldom will they go down just like they’re portrayed on TV.  Along those same lines, we’ve had many people ask us to ballpark a square-foot estimate.  That’s a fair question for a new construction or room addition, but it still depends on the components that are being included.  Basic flooring and wall prices won’t break your bank if you want to remodel your kitchen or bathroom, but once you start installing appliances, furnishing, and vanities, then the cost will vary drastically.

Nathan Burress

Nathan Burress
Design Consultant

Pre-plan Your Renovation 

It’s easy to dream and start putting ideas down on paper, but we recommend starting out by consulting with a general contractor and getting bids from various vendors.  A big mistake people make is to spend significant time upfront drawing up designs and wish lists just to later discover that it will run them 50% over their budget.  That turns into even more time spent on designing because sacrifices have to be made.  So do your best to attain as clear a picture as possible on what your renovation will cost.  Then, assume you’ll need even more.

Estimate Conservatively

It’s hard to say exactly what percentage increase to expect, but the old cliché of “over budget” cannot be truer.  Extra tasks will crop up.  Painting can lead to window replacing.  Pulling up floorboards could reveal bug and water damage that needs to be restored.  You could even discover that any window, bathroom, or fireplace project will require addition work to meet current code standards.

Home Renovation Plan

Borrow Within Your Means

Whether someone is taking on a home improvement project, buying a car, etc. there are usually two types of people: People who borrow what a bank will lend them and people who borrow what they can afford.  It most situations, those are very different amounts of money.  It was less than a decade ago that America found itself in a depression based on families over borrowing to purchase homes they couldn’t actually afford in the end.  Just because a lender pre-approves you up to a certain amount doesn’t mean it is wise to borrow and spend the full limit.  This can be difficult to keep in mind when suddenly you are faced with an offer that will comfortably cover all of your desired renovation ideas.  However, it could be a costly long-term mistake.  If you follow our first two recommendations, then you will have a firm understanding of your need and what budget is within your means.  That will help make it much easier to hold true to your final budget recommendation.