Home renovations are inherently expensive. They also tend to throw some costly curveballs along the way, creating challenges for even the most stringent of budgeters.
Renovating your home on a limited budget requires care and attention to detail. Here are some practical tips to help you spend your budget cleverly to get the best possible return on investment.
As a homeowner, you should be able to make your space look and feel however you want. Unfortunately, being a homeowner also means evaluating the difference between needs and wants.
If you have a limited budget, consider what items are necessary upgrades before spending money on renovations. For example, adding an extra bathroom is typically a want over a need. It may feel like a need when your teenager is in there for ages, but you can survive without one if the budget is tight.
Changes like repairing the roof or replacing a moldy wall are needed. These issues have a direct impact on your health and safety, as well as the integrity of your home.
When working with the confines of a limited budget, take an objective approach and determine what things must absolutely be renovated.
Consider Overall Value
Another consideration when allocating your home renovation budget is the impact on your resale value. Some upgrades ultimately pay for themselves when you go to sell. Others have less resale value and a lower return on investment.
For example, one of the best returns on investment is upgrading the kitchen. Swapping out outdated cabinets for some modernized RTA cabinets (you can learn here about those) and upgrading the appliances will attract buyers if you plan on selling in the next few years. Creating an open floor plan and upgrading appliances also has a positive impact.
Consider how long you plan on staying in the home and which renovations add the most value when allocating your budget.
Create a Priority List
Once you have the needs and value sorted out, you can start to prioritize the wants. Sticking to a home renovation budget means making some compromises. As mentioned before, you should also have the freedom to incorporate personal touches that make your house feel like home.
Create a list with three categories: must-have, would be nice, and added bonus. The things you really want, that would make you feel sad not to have, go in the "must-have" column. In the "would be nice" column, include the things that you'd feel moderately disappointed about losing, but it wouldn't be a deal-breaker. Finally, the "added bonus" column will include the dream things that you know you probably won't get, but you'd like to if you find room in the budget.
Creating this priority list helps you spend your budget wisely while preparing to compromise.
Plan in Advance
Finally, give yourself lots of time to plan in advance when preparing for home renovations. Doing so will allow you to save more money, use some savvy deal shopping skills, and add to your renovations over time.
Remember that not everything is set in stone when it comes to renovations. You may not like the cheap faucet you chose to save money on renovations, but you can always replace it with something else later.
You have years to transform a home into what you want when you own a home. Be strategic with your renovation budget, and you'll eventually get the features you desire.
Published by Mike Johnston