open concept floor plan where living room melds into kitchen


Renovations usually end up costing a lot more than the home or business owner expects, and it is unfortunately not uncommon for them to just run out of money before the project is completed. Serious cost overruns can be avoided by careful planning, however.

Here are some tips to help you keep your renovation project under budget:

A detailed budget. Create a detailed budget. Be clear on the contractor/architect fees, and be sure to note if those fees include materials of any kind. Make a room-by-room spreadsheet of all items to be purchased, and research prices. As work progresses, you will see if the prices you budgeted were either too high or low, and note these differences. This will allow you to keep track of your actuals.

Additional costs. Don’t forget additional costs, such as taxes and shipping. Lots of the major purchases you will be making will require delivery fees, and these will need to be accounted for.

Make sure your budget spreadsheet includes a column just for taxes across the board, as well.

Mistakes. Mistakes will always be made, and that will add to your renovation costs. Reserve a predetermined amount within your initial budget to be used specifically for mistakes and unforeseen issues.

Changes. As your renovation progresses, you may end up deciding to add things you hadn’t originally considered. Maybe you decide to go with more expensive bathroom pieces, for example, as you realize that the savings from their energy-efficient features will end up benefiting you; having financial allowances “baked in” to your budget will enable you to have some flexibility in such instances.

Delays. Budget for delays because they will happen. If you are renting elsewhere while work is done, allow for more time to be spent there. You may be pleasantly surprised if the project is completed ahead of schedule, but you may not.

Limits. You may be thinking that a splurge or two may be reasonable as your project begins. But these can add time spent in addition to their actual cost, and that can add up. Decide now to be careful and frugal and not to get carried away. Budget for your splurges! Also, be clear from the beginning about your financial limits with everyone involved. Others may be financially incentivized to complete your project at the high end, but you are the one who will have to live with the result.

A sharp eye. Go by the job site often. This will help you catch things that may be happening that weren’t in the original plan, preventing expensive changes that may have to be made.

When it comes to your renovation project, Ascension General Contractors is here to help!