Renovation Tip #3 Do the leg-work to set a realistic home reno budget

Tip #3: Do the leg-work to set a realistic home reno budget

Still, in order to avoid unnecessary or unexpected costs when it comes to home renovations, you must first start with an accurate, honest budget. Here are four tips to get you there:

No. 1: Get multiple quotes

Never settle on a contractor before first interviewing and getting a quote. Better still, ask what their contract covers and how they handle ongoing communication and potential problems (remember, surprises can mean extra costs, so you want a clear-cut plan of how this will be handled, before it happens).

No. 2: Stop comparing your home to HGTV

Nobody renovates their kitchen, never mind their entire home, in just two weeks. Yet, the home shows on TV can leave us with the impression that renovations can be done either quickly or cheaply or both. If you find your the type that likes to compare your house with the glossy mags the home reno reality shows then stop. Turn off the TV and put the magazines away. Now, consider why you want the renovation and what problem it will theoretically fix. Answer these questions and you’ll have a much better idea of what needs to be done and what budget you can afford.

No. 3: Answer questions honestly

Are you handy? If so, you could cut some costs by doing the work yourself. But be honest with yourself: Do you have the time or the aptitude? If not, then you’ll need to pay someone to do the work. That means taking all expenses into account—not just labour and materials, but also permits, as well as additional overhead. Remember, the people you hire will make a profit. That’s their job. If that doesn’t sit well with you, consider learning how to do the job yourself.

No. 4: Always add more

There are always extra costs. That’s because home renovation planning takes a little bit of guess work. How do you know if you have lead pipes or that your oven in a potential fire hazard? To avoid blowing your household budget, due to unexpected reno costs, add a contingency fund. Most contractors suggest adding 10% but larger projects may need a 20% contingency fund. Talk to your contractor for a better understanding of what this extra money could potentially cover.