How to Budget for a Home Renovation

Not all home renovation projects are created equal.

With now being a popular time to start planning remodels or renovations, there may be projects you want to complete and projects you need to complete.

Renovations don’t guarantee returns, and spending more on an upscale renovation isn’t necessarily a better investment than spending less on a midrange project. Some upgrades costs more than others, and the average cost of renovating a home depends on a number of factors, including the size and age of the home.

How Much Does It Cost to Remodel a House?

According to HomeAdvisor, it costs an average of $18,347 to remodel a house that’s less than 1,000 square feet and $36,121 for a home that’s 3,000 to 4,000 square feet. Also, renovations to an older home tend to cost more than a newer home, especially if all the wiring, plumbing and other features aren’t up to code.

Overwhelmed yet?

Well, rather than looking at the, excuse the cliché, big picture, you’ll first want to establish a plan, much like Ryan and Kim Woodward do before they invest in a home or rental property.

“Any project that needs to be done in the house gets put on paper, and then we start to map out a timeline and budget. We typically rework this list several times to be in the order we are planning.”

Kim Woodward I NewlyWoodwards

Budgeting for a Home Renovation: Where to Start

What you want and how much you can actually afford don’t always agree with one another.

Before you dive into your renovation project, come up with a wish list of features and finishes you want in your home, then figure out how much money you have available to spend.

Where to spend your money really depends on, well, you. However, the big money areas of any home renovation tend to be the rooms that offer the best return on investment (ROI) and ones that potential homebuyers tend to be drawn to.


Image Source: “Kitchen“, John Blue, CC by 4.0.

Start With the Kitchen

A kitchen, for example, is one of the most popular rooms in any home and considered to be the heart of the home.

According to the 2017 Cost vs. Value Report published by “Remodeling Magazine,” the national average for a minor kitchen remodel costs $20,830 and has an ROI of 80.2 percent.

If you’re planning on renovating the kitchen, Kate Riley says to be realistic with your budget.

“Budgeting for a kitchen remodel needs to include all the expenses from cabinets to countertops, appliances and fixtures, labor, and all the tiny details in between.”

Kate Riley I Centsational Girl

To avoid going over budget on your kitchen makeover, check out our beginner’s guide to remodeling a kitchen on a budget.


Image Source: “Gutted Bathroom“, Sarah_Ackerman, CC by 4.0.

Don’t Rule Out the Bathroom

A bathroom remodel is another big money area which, similar to a kitchen renovation, comes with varying costs depending on the quality of cabinets and other fixtures you choose.

The average cost for a bathroom remodel is $9,348, but if you do the work yourself you could save between $1,000 and $3,000. If you want to cut down costs on your bathroom renovation, consider painting, updating light fixtures and keeping the plumbing where it is.

Get Quotes From Contractors

If you plan on choosing a contractor, make sure to factor those costs into your home renovation budget as well. Before you go fishing for quotes, though, determine exactly what it is you want. The more information you give the contractor the more accurate of an estimate you’ll get.

If you’re under budget, good for you. If you’re over, consider scaling back a bit. Laminate countertops as opposed to granite countertops are just one of many low-cost alternatives available.

Get a Permit


Image Source: HomeAdvisor

When coming up with a budget, it’s important to not overlook permits (see average costs above). Much like the size and age of your home, permits are another consideration that will affect the cost of your renovation.

Make sure you or your contractor check your municipality’s rules and regulations about what permits you need for your renovation. Permits not only protect your home and your safety, but will help you avoid having to redo any of the work.

As with any home renovation, it’s best to have the project fully funded. The last thing you want is to run out of money in the middle of a project. To avoid busting your budget, add up your expenses before you start.


A dumpster is the perfect solution for getting rid of construction debris.

Don’t Forget a Roll Off Dumpster

Home renovation projects come with a fair amount of unwanted construction debris. From drywall and furniture to shingles and tile flooring, most don’t consider the cleanup process as part of the budget.

Rather than drive truckloads of debris back-and-forth to the dump, rent a dumpster. For a dumpster rental that won’t break your home renovation budget, call Budget Dumpster at 1-866-284-6164.

Header Image: Remodel Works, CC by 4.0.