Home   >   Articles   >   Design 101: Tips for Renovating on a Budget

Design 101: Tips for Renovating on a Budget

by Stephanie Koathes Apr 15, 2019

Share this

Couple renovating their house.

Whether you’ve undertaken renovating a dilapidated home or you really want to spruce up where you’re currently living, the money can add up fast. It is possible to renovate a space without drowning yourself in debt.

The following tips will help get you on track for your budget renovation.

Keep track of everything

It is important to assign every dollar in your renovation budget. Create a budget spreadsheet detailing estimated material costs and labour. Be sure to set aside some money in your budget for any surprises.  As you go along, update your budget with the actual costs and see if that frees up funds for other parts of the renovation or if you have to cut anything.

Get help

Does your brother-in-law really enjoy painting? Is your best friend into woodwork? You likely know someone who is good at a particular aspect of the renovation you’re undertaking. Reach out to your family and friends for help. Most people enjoy sharing their talents.


Be prepared to do as much as possible on your own. It might not be your idea of a fun weekend, but doing things like installing tiles ,repainting, varnishing etc, on your own can really save money.

Couple preparing to paint their home.

Know when to hire someone

If something is outside of your skill set, such as plumbing or electrical work, it’s better to hire a professional. It can end up costing more if you mess up the job the first time.

Hire carefully

Always hire reputable contractors.  Get quotes from multiple contractors and ask for references.

Wait for sales/discounts

Be patient and wait for sales and keep an eye out for discounts when shopping for your renovation project. Know when to shop. For example,  in January, there are often sales on electronics and furniture because retailers try to clear out old stock to make way for new models.

Buy Used

Furniture including shelves, tables, hard chairs, and even kitchen cabinets can be bought secondhand, saving you a good chuck of change. Make sure to properly inspect the used furniture you intend to buy. Also, please avoid buying  mattresses and other upholstered items secondhand.

Update instead of replace

Some things can easily be refreshed with paint, trim, and other light cosmetic fixes. You can completely change the look of a room with simple changes like new wall tiles or a fresh coat of paint.

Sources: How to Build It, Making Sense of Cents, This Sold House