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Tips for staying on budget during home renovations

With home shows like Love it or List it, Property Brothers, Holmes on Homes, Fixer Upper and Masters of Flip (to name a few), everyone seems to want to turn their old home into a new and improved masterpiece.

Home renovations can be a great way to get the house of your dreams while avoiding an over-inflated mortgage. But home renovations come with their own stresses and financial demands. There are many things to consider so you can keep your expenses manageable while creating your dream home.

To help you stay on budget during home renovations check out these tips.

Know what you need

Making a list of everything you need for your reno will also help you identify the not-as-fun necessities you might forget about, such as new outlets, updated electrical and floor trim. Here’s a list of things to consider:

  • Plumbing – high-efficiency products, sink, faucets
  • Electrical – new outlets, lighting fixtures
  • Cabinet hardware
  • Appliances
  • Flooring
  • Drywall
  • Mud
  • Tape
  • Paint
  • Trim
  • Tile
  • Decorations

It’s important to have a clear vision of what you can afford. Once you have your list, create a spreadsheet with two columns – your expected spend and your actual spend – and update it as you make purchases. If you’re below budget on some items, you may be able to spend more on others.

Book the professionals

While you can save by completing home projects yourself, hire the professionals for the big stuff. They’ll know when and where they can save you money. And, they’ll help you avoid creating damage you’d need to call them to fix. Home renovations can be stressful and letting the experts do what they do best will help.

Know your limits

Set a budget and stick to it. If you always choose the highest price item, your expenses will add up quickly. It’s important to have realistic expectations too. Home improvement shows are backed by a lot of money. Homeowners get outstanding results, and you can too, but keep your stress low by sticking to your budget.

Sometimes it helps to create a dream list. Take a good look at the list and see what you can compromise on. It will help you see the cost of what you want, and you can decide whether the high-priced item is worth the cost.

Plan for the unexpected

In older homes, unexpected expenses can hide behind the walls. Contractors recommend putting 10 to 20% of your budget aside for unexpected expenses.

The great thing is – if you don’t use this money, your project will either come under budget or you’ll have more money to spend on finishing touches.

Repurpose old pieces with DIY décor projects

Pinterest makes it easier than ever to be creative with your old furniture. With a simple coat of paint or new hardware, you can give your furniture a whole new look to match your style. The best part? These savings can be huge. Repurposing just a few pieces instead of buying new can save you thousands of dollars.  

Pay more now to pay less later

Consider budgeting for high-efficiency products. They may cost more but in the long run they’ll save you money on your utility bills.

If home renovations are on your to-do list, your financial security advisor can help you create a plan.

The information provided is based on current laws, regulations and other rules applicable to Canadian residents. It is accurate to the best of our knowledge as of the date of publication. Rules and their interpretation may change, affecting the accuracy of the information. The information provided is general in nature, and should not be relied upon as a substitute for advice in any specific situation. For specific situations, advice should be obtained from the appropriate legal, accounting, tax or other professional advisors.

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