The Practical Guide to Remodel Budgets


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The Practical Guide to Remodel Budgets

Whether you just bought your first home or have lived there 20 years there will always be projects you are looking to complete on your home. Dreaming of a beautiful patio, new kitchen, finished basement or new landscaping all require prep to take from dream to done. If you are planning major remodels or minor renovations you need to figure out what materials will be used and how much they will cost. Building a solid plan is often overlooked, which is why over 60% of renovations go over budget. In fact, only around 3% of renovations are completed at or below budget. Here are a few tips on building a plan to complete that remodel at or below budget.

Get an Idea of Costs

Before you start any project, you need to get a basic idea of costs. Say you are planning a kitchen remodel, you may start with a $30,000 budget in mind. That seems like a pretty good budget for a kitchen until you start digging into costs. If you have a medium sized kitchen, $20,000 to $25,000 could be devoured by kitchen cabinets and countertops alone. That doesn’t leave a lot for appliances, flooring, lighting or any of the finer details like cabinet pulls, paint or backsplash. According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, up to 40% of the overall budget can be consumed by cabinets and countertops.

Now your $30,000 initial budget doesn’t seem like it will be enough! Using our tools, you may be able to stretch that $30,000 further than you think.

Build your Budget

Before going out and getting bids on your project build a list of materials you need or items you would like in the new space. For example, if you are looking to remodel your kitchen get ideas on cabinets, countertops, flooring and lighting before getting bids on the project. Having materials already defined will help the contractor properly bid the project cutting down on scope creep and unplanned costs. In addition, you may be able to save some money by purchasing the items yourself and having the contractor install them.

Use Home Renovation Hub’s budget tool to build a hypothetical materials list with costs. Create different project folders with assorted materials so you can compare items. Use the different project folders to help decide what materials you want to purchase and the items that mean the most to you. Use our Snap Budget to snap pictures of items you find while out shopping and add them to your budget entries. This is a great benefit when searching for cabinets, counters, lighting and flooring. After adding pictures and prices while shopping pull them up later to review.

Now that you have materials in different project folders you can start reviewing and start on your project.

Find the Must Have’s

Are there certain aspects of the build you must have? Perhaps you have been dreaming about an island with a farmhouse/apron sink. Possibly, your vision includes a pantry with a barn door entry, or you found the perfect cabinets while browsing another website. Maybe your friends have a kitchen island you have always dreamt of? Take a picture of your wish list items/designs or copy the link and save them to your projects Inspirations. Home Renovation Hub’s tools allow you to stockpile ideas in your project folders for review later. Your Inspirations can come in handy when working with your designer. Show them some of the things you like and they can start to form an overall style for your dream space.

Cut Costs by Doing-It-Yourself

You can save thousands of dollars by doing things yourself. If you are comfortable tearing out the old cabinets, counters and flooring, work with your contractor to figure out how this might reflect a cost savings for your budget. Money saved can then be used to upgrade some of the finishes. If you really enjoy the DIY activity, Home Renovation Hub has a several features for saving how-to information. In the How-To Videos section, you can save links to YouTube videos you may use later to get instructions or demonstrations to help you tackle the project. In the Inspiration section, you can save links or pictures of how to install a garbage disposal, wire a light switch or anything else. These tools allow you to save your research for retrieval later.

Identify your Priorities

Now that you have identified your project materials, must have’s items, and tasks you are taking on yourself it’s time to start scheduling the work. Using Home Renovation Hubs task and punch list features, you can build a schedule of who will be working on what and when. If you are taking on some of the project yourself you can build a schedule of your tasks you need to complete before the contractor can get in and complete their tasks.


With careful planning and taking on portions of the renovation yourself you may be able to build the kitchen of your dreams for under $30,000. The tools provided by Home Renovation Hub can help stretch your budget even further with the proper planning.

Using Home Renovation Hub’s full suite of tools can help you find cost savings to come in at or below your budget. It will sure feel nice to be included in the 3% of projects that end up under budget.

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Why we created Home Renovation Hub

The goal of creating is to give homeowners tools they can use in real world renovations to help manage their project budgets, keep home improvements on course, and to track investments that build equity in your home. Since we use the tool extensively for our own personal remodels we are constantly tweaking and updating features to make it the most useful tool available to the DIY homeowner. If you are going through a remodel we would love for you to give us a try. In addition, we want your feedback as we build a collection of tools to help home renovators.

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