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6 Insider tips for smart renovation budgeting

During the recent “GTA Home and Reno Show” we sat in on a trade presentation for home renovation professionals. While much of what was presented was specifically intended for individuals working in the home improvement industry, we were able to take away some vital insider tips on smart home renovation budgeting. So of course, we are going to pass those tips along to you!

Splurge Where it Counts

One of the big themes of the presentation was knowing where to spend and where to save. According to the experts, when it comes to splurging on materials and finishes for your home, lighting and flooring are two places where you may want to invest a little more of your budget. These are two areas where people often try to cut corners, and it can detract from the overall look of your renovation.
Flooring is a particularly bad place to try and cut corners, because it not only reduces the impact of the renovation, but poor quality flooring can also take away from a home’s resale value.

Be Quality-Conscious When Shopping for a Bargain

If the price of what is perceived to be a high-quality product seems too good to be true, it probably is. Renovations are expensive. We all know that. That’s why it’s only natural for homeowners to try and save money wherever they can. Unfortunately, this also means that there are some dishonest companies out there that try and take advantage of the desire for high quality at a low price.
In the presentation, flooring was once again used to illustrate this point. An example was given of a certain business passing off imported wood flooring as being 100% Canadian, complete with the maple leaf stamped all over their boxes. This flooring does not stand up to Canadian standards and has a tendency to split. The result is thousands of dollars wasted on ruined floors.

To prevent yourself from being taken advantage of, always do your homework. In the case of wood floors, look for more than just a Canadian flag. Look for certified products. FSC certification is one of the credentials to be on the lookout for.

Make Sure the Bones are Timeless

Trends come and go. To keep your home looking current without having to remodel year after year, the experts suggest that you keep the “bones” neutral. That means ensuring that things like kitchen cabinets and flooring don’t speak to any specific era. Leave trends to lower commitment aspects of the overall design.

Always have a Contingency Budget
No matter what your budget happens to be, it’s imperative that you have some extra funds tucked away in case anything unexpected happens. When walls come down, surprises are often revealed and you’ll need to have a contingency budget to deal with them.

The recommended amount should be 10 – 15% of your budget, depending upon the nature of the project.

Plan for Hard Costs and Soft Costs

When working out a renovation budget, most homeowners know to account for the hard costs. This would be construction, finishes, appliances, flooring, etc. However, what tends to be overlooked are the soft costs associated with home renovation projects. These are the additional costs such as tree removal permits, storage rental, taxes, and the previously-mentioned contingency.

Here is a more detailed look at the hard and soft costs that should go into your renovation budget:

home reno budget from

Count on an Experienced Professional

The best way to ensure that your budget contains all of the necessary line items is to work with an experienced contractor. Your contractor can sit down with you at the beginning of your project and help you to figure out a budget that takes into consideration all of the essential expenses.
To connect with a home renovation contractor in your local area, be sure to browse the listings on
Copyright: andreypopov / 123RF Stock Photo

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