How to Budget for House Renovations

Budgeting is essential for renovating your dream home with minimal stress. Read our blog to learn budgeting tips for your renovation project.
Amabel Polglase
January 30, 2023
min read

Learning how to budget for house renovations will make your project easier and considerably less stressful.

That’s why we’ve decided to put together this home renovation budget planner to help you work through the essential costs associated with home improvement work and how you can alleviate some of the financial stresses associated with such projects.

However you look at it, budgeting for home renovations is essential, given that approximately 77% of homeowners invested in their properties in 2021.

So, if you’re looking to make substantial improvements to your home in 2023, here are some helpful tips that will help you budget accordingly and make smart financial decisions to ensure the project can be completed successfully.

Budgeting for home renovations

Working our costs for your home renovations is like budgeting for anything else. You must begin by deciding how much money you have available for the project, before diving into the costs associated with each phase of the work to be carried out.

Specifically, the following tips will help you plan how to budget for house renovations:

Work out the highest costs first

When preparing a budget for home improvements, it makes sense to start with the highest costs first. Depending on the scope of the project that you’re undertaking, some of the most significant costs will include the following:

·  Strip out and remove old fixtures, fittings, and debris.

·   Structural work

·  First fix work like plumbing, heating, and wiring.

·  Plastering and flooring.

·  Second fix work (as above).

·  Fitting of appliances.

·  Decoration, including painting and finishing touches.

·  Labour costs for specialists and tradespeople

While you might not be able to predict exactly how much each of the above tasks will cost, you should be able to assign a rough estimate to each expense, enabling you to predict the bulk of the cost of the work to be undertaken.

This will help you fill in the gaps and work out the finer details associated with the project, as we explain below.

Work out the finer details

When considering how to budget for house renovations, it’s easy to overlook the finer details as you focus your attention on the bulkier expenses associated with the project.

But in reality, the finer details will help bring the project to life, as they enable you to add the finishing touches to the work to beautify your home.

When budgeting for home renovations, the finer details include light fittings, spotlights, skirting, wallpaper/paint, and any hardware and fixtures you wish to add to your space upon completion of the main building work. These are actually easier to budget for, as you can search for various items online and make a budget for yourself.

Although the finer details are unlikely to make up the bulk of your project costs, you do need to plan for them, as you won’t be able to finish the project without them.

You can find some helpful tips for budgeting household expenses in our recent article, and you can extend your savings to include items that will add the finishing touches to your house renovation project.

Take it step-by-step

When completing a home improvement project, it’s really tempting to run through it at break-neck speed to try and get everything done right away. But from a budgeting perspective, it’s helpful to work out a step-by-step plan, and you can even split the project into specific phases. For instance:

·  Phase one: Strip out and remove old fixtures and fittings.

·  Phase two: First fix, plastering, and flooring.

·  Phase three: Second fix and fitting of appliances.

·  Phase four: Painting, decorating, and finishing touches.

Breaking down the entire home renovation project into much more manageable phases means that you can save up for each respective part of the project without completely emptying your savings. Try using our savings jars to budget and save for specific project phases.

Approaching the home renovation project in phases also could take some of the pressure off, as you don’t necessarily need to complete everything in a super tight timeframe.

Carry out DIY work yourself

While it makes sense to hire professionals to help you with the biggest undertakings associated with your home renovation project, carrying out some DIY work is a great way to save on the cost of labour.

Of course, the work you feel comfortable doing depends on your experience. Still, things like painting, decorating, and adding the finishing touches to the project are things you can take on without a great deal of hassle.

Another thing to think about is how you source the products and various items you will use throughout the project. Buying items like paint and fittings through suppliers will tend to be more expensive due to their markup. So, if you head online, compare prices and buy the supplies yourself, you can save money, even if you need to hire someone to fit them for you.

Take time to find deals

There’s always the temptation to buy brand-new expensive items for home improvement projects, given that you want the work to look as good as possible.

But in reality, there are lots of deals to be found online if you’re willing to search for them and think outside the box. This will certainly help your budgeting for home renovations.

For instance, rather than buying brand-new appliances and furnishings for your home improvement project, look for second-hand items in good condition. You can use eBay and Facebook Marketplace to your advantage and find great deals that offer significant cost savings.

Another option is to look for end-of-line deals and items from previous seasons. While they might not be the newest or latest products, they can still look great in your home and are well worth investing in to save some money.

Plan for the unexpected

Home improvement projects are notoriously difficult to plan for, as there are many different things to think about. And even if you are careful and considerate with your financial planning, you might spend more than you had initially bargained for when laying out your initial budget.

Therefore, saving perhaps 10% more is helpful than you think you will need to plan for unexpected costs associated with your home renovation project.

Our Savings Jars can help you plan for different projects simultaneously and are a great help when planning for big expenses like home improvement work. We’ve also put together a handy blog post explaining the importance of planning for unexpected costs to help you work out how much you need to set aside.


Budgeting for home renovations will help you to complete your home improvement project without putting yourself under financial pressure.

We recommend starting with the most significant expenses before splitting your project into distinct phases that you can work through methodically.

It’s also really important to have a little bit extra saved to cater for unexpected costs, which are part and parcel of all home improvement projects.

Ultimately, if you plan and put together a well-thought-out budget, you can significantly reduce the stress associated with house renovations and complete the project within your financial means.

Amabel Polglase

Chief Marketing Officer

Amabel has diverse experience in business, marketing and entrepreneurship, including founding her own successful startup. She served in several senior leadership roles prior to joining HyperJar including Zilch and Curve Card where she led brand, marketing and communications. Before joining the fintech revolution, Amabel was a managing global client partner at Facebook and prior to that at McCann-Erickson, the world’s largest ad network. She volunteers at Girls Out Loud, a charity created to empower and inspire teenage girls, and is also a mentor at The Girls’ Network. She received her MA in history and international relations from the University of St Andrews.

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