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  • Writer's pictureGwen Canfield

How to Budget for a Renovation

Updated: Oct 25, 2023

If you start early and understand the levers at your disposal, budgeting will be less stressful and you’ll better understand where your money is going.


woman working on budget

Create cost buckets

At the outset, identify all of your potential costs, assign each a value and update them as you learn more. Construction and finishes might be the largest pieces, but there will be many others such as permits, consultants and designers, just to name a few.

Define the project scope

Can you update the bathroom using the existing floor plans, or will you need to move water lines? Be honest about what you are, and what you are not, trying to accomplish, and make sure that is reflected in your budget.

Localize and adjust for preferences

TV shows distort how much things cost. What you spend will be influenced by your neighborhood, type of project, and level of finishes. If you have to have that beautiful range that costs as much as a luxury car, don't budget for the off-brand generic range.

Get a professional opinion

Having clarity around your vision and project scope will inform much better budget discussions. Some professionals charge for initial consultations, so you'll want to make the most of this time by coming prepared with planning materials and your early estimated budget range.

Always include a 10-20% buffer

You don't have to spend this contingency, but unexpected surprises are inevitable. If you don't end up using it, consider it found money that you can save. It's a great way to feel good about staying on track, being prepared, and coming in under budget.

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