Making Home Improvements on a Budget

Making Home Improvements on a Budget

Home renovations can drain your wallet fast.

Home renovation or improvement costs can add up very quickly. For example, if you’re planning to replace your cabinets, you may quickly find you need to replace your counter tops too. Although, some home improvements can increase home value by more than 25 percent, according to The Washington Post. It is important to set a budget for your home improvements so that while you’re adding value, you’re not draining your bank account.

There are many factors that make up the cost of a home renovation, including room size, type of work needed, cost of materials, and the overall size of the project. The good news is that there are smart ways to cut costs and stick to your budget, without cutting too many corners. Here are eight tips to help minimize the expenses and maximize the value of your home improvement costs.

Focus on Efficiency Instead of Size
The cost of revising a space compared to expanding it can cut expenses over 50 percent! Instead of knocking down walls to make your kitchen larger, consider upgrading cabinets, drawers and storage to create more space.

Consider Resale Value
Revamping a house with the intention to sell is a different ball game than creating your unique forever home. If you do plan to sell, you should consider the potential return on investment and only make updates that would increase the home’s value.

Consider realistically what your house is worth. It would not make sense to install a $50,000 kitchen in a home that is valued at $200,000. Forego your personal preference for updates proven to increase value. Also, opt for popular paint colors such as oatmeal or light gray, rather than bold personal statement walls.

Make Cost-Effective Material Choices
While it’s not necessarily a good idea to choose cheaply when it comes to products or materials, there are ways to ensure you stay within a moderate budget and make your home look high-end. You might choose a quality vinyl flooring over tile, or to reface your existing cabinets rather than purchasing new ones. There are more opportunities than ever to get the look you want to achieve without breaking the bank.

New Isn’t Always Necessary
Open to using slightly used or recycled materials or fixtures? You could save big. Check out:

  • Habitat for Humanity ReStores (400 nationwide)
  • C2C reselling sites like Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp and Craigslist
  • Estate Sales
  • Building Supply Auctions

Do What You Can Yourself

If you have the time or skills, you could save yourself potentially thousands by taking care of any the following:

  • Demolition (which can be a fun way to relieve some stress)
  • Cleanup, this could potentially save you up to $200 a day
  • Smaller jobs such as a kitchen backsplash
  • Painting
  • Picking up materials instead of delivery, even renting a truck for a day is better than some delivery fees for palettes of materials

Budget for Surprises
It is always a good idea to set aside 10 to 15 percent extra in the case of hidden expenses (such as mold or poor electrical work).

If nothing that needs attention is found, then you’ll be ahead with extra cash. Ideally, start planning well in advance so that you can determine how much you should save each month to be ready for your remodel.

Resist the Additions- For Now
It can be tempting to want to add in new fixtures or even appliances. If they are in good working condition, there is no need to add onto your expenses by purchasing everything new.

Also, adding extras will increase the labor costs too. Part of your planning should include items that can be upgraded later on, after the large renovation job so that you can spread out expenses.

Donate or Sell What You Discard
Your trash might be someone else’s treasure. According to This Old House, around 85 percent of a house is reusable. Donating is a great (tax deductible) deed.


If you have financial planning questions or are in need of a holistic financial plan, please schedule an appointment on Bayntree’s online calendar by selecting the date and time that is most convenient for you! You can also always reach us by emailing

Bayntree Wealth Advisors provides comprehensive financial planning and wealth management. The Bayntree team specializes in all aspects of financial health, including retirement planning, risk management, investment advice, tax strategies, estate planning and insurance.

Bayntree does not provide specific legal or tax advice. Please consult with your tax advisor or legal professional for guidance with your individual situation.

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