Tips for Keeping Your Project on Budget

A project budget is the first step to tackle when planning a remodel or renovation project. The budget sets the maximum amount you can comfortably spend without taking on debt or hurting your financial situation. A budget can also help determine which wants and needs are realistic for your project. However, even with a budget, it is still possible to exceed it if you are not careful. These tips can help you maintain your budget as best you can.


Make a Plan


Know every detail before the work begins. Work with your contractor to determine materials, for textures, colours and finishes. A contractor can use their expertise to guide you through the various materials and finishes to choose from based on your budget. Planning ahead can also give you the time to shop around at different suppliers to find the best quality materials at the best prices. If you wait too long, you may end up having to buy the more expensive flooring option you didn’t really want, and push your budget overboard.


Combine Projects


If you have a few smaller renovations on your radar, maybe they can be done at the same time. If you are replacing the flooring in your kitchen, but also plan on doing the remaining floors down the road, having them done at the same time can save you money. To do the entire floor instead of just one room is more efficient and you may be able to benefit from bulk discounts on flooring.




You will need to have clear communication with your contracting team. It is crucial for a successful renovation. A lack of communication can lead to misunderstandings, missed items, wrong choices, unnecessary adjustments and other issues that can inflate the budget. Don’t leave out any details on your needs and expectations, and ensure your contracting team is clear with you on what they are doing to meet your needs.


Leave Wiggle Room


Sometimes issues arise with renovations. You should never max out your budget before work begins. Leave a barrier that can accommodate any unforeseen expenses, permits, inspections, taxes, etc. You don’t want a renovation to uncover hidden damage that needs to be fully gutted and there goes half your budget. You’ve probably seen it happen on renovation shows, and it does happen in real life too! Allocate at least 20% of your budget to fixing these types of issues.


Also, if your renovation is going to make it hard for you to cook, you may end up taking out or eating out more. You may also want to stay in a hotel while the renovation is ongoing. These items should also be in your budget so you can make sure you don’t go overboard.


Get Exact Costs


Get a clear breakdown of all renovation costs from your contracting team. If there will be any taxes or fees, ensure they are accounted for as well. Many contractors provide a Detailed Schedule that will break the project down into materials, milestones, fees and work expected so you know exactly what they are doing and how your money is being spent.


Be Prepared to Compromise


If your budget is really tight, you will want to consider options to help ease that stress. Have your contractor discuss lower-cost finishes that can save you some money. For example, you can go with a composite counter that looks just like granite but comes at a much lower cost. Allocate more spend on highly desired items. If you really want that granite counter, maybe you can settle with vinyl or laminate flooring instead of marble tile or pure hardwood. 


You can also save your budget by finding used or refinished items/fixtures. Refinishing an old bathtub is not only budget-friendly but also eco-friendly. You can also shop around at vintage, salvage, or consignment stores for fixtures and fittings to finish up your space.


You don’t always need to go the custom route, either. Sometimes a prefab vanity unit will look just as great as that custom unit you had drawn up, at a fraction of the cost.


Can You Help?


If you have a bit of DIY experience, perhaps you can help with your renovation in some way in order to save. If there are tasks you are comfortable doing yourself, feel free to take them on so you do not need to hire someone. Further, if your contractor charges for cleaning up the site afterwards, that is probably easy enough to do on your own without having to spend the extra dollars.


Watch Your Expenses


Keep track of all your expenses to stay on schedule. Know what you’re spending in relation to the budget as each milestone passes. This will help you be aware if spending is in line with your plan or not.


Stay on Schedule


Although scheduling renovations can be hard to keep on track, it’s important to stay on schedule as much as possible. Some issues arise that cannot be prevented, and oftentimes it may not cost you much extra. But, in the case, a renovation goes overtime and can hurt your budget, that can put you in a difficult situation. Thus, it’s best to maintain your schedule to the best of your, and your contractor’s ability. And, openly communicate with your contractor to ensure work is completed on time.


These few tips will definitely help keep you from breaking your budget on that renovation project you are planning. Our team of experienced general contractors works with you to ensure your renovation’s final result is the look you always dreamed of.

Written by Aaron P

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