DIY / Home Improvement

3 Simple Rules to Keeping Your Reno on a Budget

When it comes to renovating your space, coming up with a brand new layout and color scheme is the easy part. What’s harder is making sure these upgrades fit with a realistic spending plan.

If you’re worried about going over budget, check in with this guide for help. Here are three simple rules to keeping your reno on budget.

1. Use Financing Wisely

New walls, paint, and fixtures go up; your credit rating goes down. A lot of homeowners believe this is the natural order of renovations, but this isn’t necessarily true.

Don’t give up on figuring out how to positively impact your credit history just because you’re taking on a reno.

The impact your project has on your credit history depends on how you use your account.

Here are some important tips you should remember before you reach for a personal line of credit:

  • It’s your safety net in an emergency — like if you discover there’s black mold unexpectedly growing underneath your shower wall.

  • Charging cosmetic upgrades to this account ties up your limit, and you may not have enough available if a true emergency comes along.

  • If you do rely on your personal line of credit in an emergency, always pay your balance on time.

  • Paying more than your minimum balance may help reduce what you pay in interest.

2. Inflate Your Budget

Home Advisor reports the typical range of a multi-room renovation costs between $18,474 and $75,358. But this is just a ballpark figure. To find out the true cost of your project, you’ll have to do two important things:

  1. Tally the exact cost of materials, labor, permits, and any other aspect of your project.

  2. Add another 10–20 percent of this total on top of your costs to create a realistic spending plan.

Why do this second step?

It gives you some flexibility should you run into any speedbumps that tack on extra costs. You can tap into this extra money before you get a personal line of credit.

You can use these savings to cover unexpected repairs, accidents, or even lost hours at work if you have to stay home longer than you plan.

3. Prioritize Your Tasks

Making a list of all the things you want to change is a great visual tool that can help you control your spending. It gives you some perspective on just how large your project may be.

It can also help you narrow your focus, so you aren’t spreading yourself too thin.

To do this, write down everything you want to accomplish with your reno, then rank them in order of importance.

The items at the top of the list should be those that improve the safety or comfort of your home. Think of these as your essentials. Any cosmetic work that you want to take on for fun should rank lower.

Once you’re done, compare it to your budget. Your money should go first to the most important task. Only move onto the lower ranking design upgrades if you still have cash left over.

Bottom Line

While a reno promises to bring safety, functionality, or beauty to your space, these changes may come at a cost to your finances.

Weather these financial challenges by following the rules you learned here today They may help you restore order to an otherwise chaotic time for your budget.