If you’ve ever watched an episode of Fixer Upper or spent blissful hours clicking through Pinterest, it’s possible you’ve thought about realizing your own home renovation dreams. The reality is, you have to have a budget for a home renovation.
While Chip & Joanna make it look easy, it’s important to create a budget before picking up a hammer. Here are some tips on how to budget for a home renovation.
How To Create A Budget For A Home Renovation
The first step to creating a budget for a home renovation is determining the scale of your project.
Ask yourself: What specific items need to be addressed? Generally, your project will fall into one of these three tiers.
Tier 1: Minor/DIY Remodel
For rooms that just need a little refresh, you can make a big impact with a small budget. Tier 1 projects are entirely possible to DIY.
Here are some examples of projects that fall within a minor renovation project:
- A fresh coat of paint on walls, trim, and/or flooring.
- Replacing hardware, such as cabinet drawer and door pulls.
- Replacing sink, shower, or tub fixtures.
- Look at replacing lighting fixtures.
- Replacing window treatments.
- Replacing switch plates.
- Installing shelves.
P.S.- Here’s a guide on how to choose and use basic tools.
Tier 2: Moderate Remodel
Moderate home renovation projects are entirely possible to DIY, but take a lot more time and skill. You may decide it’s worth your time to just go ahead and hire a professional.
If you are up to the task, all it takes is a little research, patience and gumption!
Here are some examples of projects that fall within a moderate renovation project:
- Installing new flooring or removing carpet and refinishing underlying hardwood.
- Replacing countertops (see how we made our own concrete countertops!).
- Refinishing cabinets.
- Replacing the bathroom vanity.
- Look at replacing the bathtub.
- Replacing one or two appliances, such as a toilet or any kitchen appliances (refrigerator, stove, dishwasher).
- Replacing or moving windows. (See our blog post on Questions to ask before you buy new windows)
Tier 3: Major Remodel
Major renovations will be the most costly, and likely require the help of a licensed contractor.
It might be tempting to run the project yourself. However, for large scale remodels, this can be a costly mistake.
A contractor can help you determine the best use of your budget and hire the right team for the job. A typical construction team can get work done very quickly, saving you money in the end.
Here are some examples of projects that fall within a major renovation project:
- Replacing kitchen cabinets (this will also require replacing countertops).
- Major structural changes, such as moving walls.
- Moving plumbing.
Average Home Renovation Costs
The next step in budgeting for a home renovation is determining a ballpark range based on average remodeling costs. Remember, these figures will vary by location and home type.
Kitchen: $100 – $50,000
- Minor/DIY Remodel: $100-$1,000
- Moderate Remodel: $1,000-$6,000
- Major Remodel: $6,000-$50,000
Kitchens are commonly the most expensive rooms to remodel. Here are a couple of ways to keep costs down:
Refinish Kitchen Cabinets
Replacing your cabinets is a notoriously expensive endeavor. You can cut costs by painting or refinishing your cabinet surfaces.
It’s entirely possible to DIY this (like we did!), though incredibly time-consuming. Even if you hire a professional to help, it’s still often cheaper than installing new cabinets.
Keep The Current Layout
Remember- the more you change the structure, the more expensive the remodel will be. Keeping the integrity of the layout intact will save you money.
You can make a huge impact by replacing finishes such as backsplash, flooring and even high ticket items like countertops.
For before and after inspiration, check out our kitchen remodel blog post here!
Bathroom: $100 – $20,000
- Minor/DIY Remodel: $100-$1,000
- Moderate Remodel: $1,000-$5,000
- Major Remodel: $5,000-$20,000
The Simpler, The Cheaper
The same principle of simplicity that we mentioned with the kitchen applies to the bathroom. You can freshen up the look of your bathroom with paint, new hardware and new light fixtures.
Replacing your toilet, bathroom vanity or bathtub will add to your budget, but still won’t be as expensive as re-doing plumbing or changing the bathroom layout.
Bedroom: $100 – $10,000
- Minor/DIY Remodel: $100-$1,000
- Moderate Remodel: $500-$3,500
- Major Remodel: $1,000-$10,000
Remodeling a bedroom is significantly less expensive than a kitchen or bathroom, because you’re not dealing with major appliances or plumbing. You can do a cheap and easy refresh with a coat of paint, some new furnishings, light fixtures and window treatments.
If you make major structural changes (expanding the room size or changing the shape of a closet or changing/replacing windows), your expenses will go up.
Cost-Saving Tip: Consider swapping out your closet organization system rather than knocking down walls to build a walk-in.
Next Steps In Creating A Budget For A Home Renovation
Once you’ve determined your ballpark range, you’ll want to follow these steps:
- If you’re hiring a licensed contractor, get a quote.
- Set aside money in a designated account to be sure you don’t accidentally dip into your remodeling funds for separate purposes.
- Consider alternatives such as a deferred interest credit card (many companies such as Lowe’s and Home Depot offer this) or a home equity loan or line of credit.
- Create a spreadsheet with projected costs for each aspect of the project. Keep a separate column for actual costs and update as you go along.
General Tips For Saving Money On Your Home Renovation
Here are some of my best tips to save money.
You’re welcome 😉
Stay Ahead Of Costly Issues
Will your home need to be completely gutted to the studs? Look at your home inspection report or hire a professional to do an assessment.
Old water damage may require the sub-flooring be completely torn out and replaced. Addressing the problem now is crucial in preventing costly disasters later on.
Consider Simple Finishes
Subway tile is attractive, timeless, and best of all – inexpensive. Embracing it can save you a ton of money.
As a general rule, look for the highest quality material within the lowest price tier. For example, the most realistic looking vinyl flooring will cost a fraction of hardwood.
The Power Of Paint
Paint is a low cost material that has a huge impact. Painting one accent wall can transform a room and cost next to nothing if you DIY.
You can also paint kitchen cabinets or your bathroom vanity and save thousands of dollars.
It’s smart to shop around for materials and pick them up ahead of time to save on shipping costs. If you must have something shipped, planning ahead can save you a lot of stress. Having materials onsite and ready to install can help prevent costly delays.
Ordering a dumpster before the project starts will also keep the construction site clean(er) and better organized.
Budget Extra Money AND Time
Be sure to pad your budget an extra 10-20% for unexpected costs. Surprise issues will pop up.
It’s also smart to budget extra time. Renovations ALWAYS take longer than you expect.
Living in your house during the remodel has its own challenges, but it can be done. Here are some helpful tips!
Best Piece Of Advice: Have Fun!
Home renovation projects of any scale can be overwhelming. Taking some extra time to budget for your home renovation project can help you keep your sanity! Above all, remember to have fun and enjoy the process.
More Posts To Read
- Our Backyard Redesign and Remodel Plans
- Our Bath Remodel With Brushed Gold Fixtures (Before and After)
- Hall Bathroom (Before and After) + Remodel Plans