Home Reno Safety Tips That’ll Ensure You and Your House End Up in Good Shape

10 Home Reno Safety Tips That'll Ensure You and Your House End Up in Good  Shape | Home reno, Home renovation, Renovations

Choosing to renovate your home is a big undertaking. Sure, Chip and Jo make “demo day” look so fun, but the reality is that renovations can take a toll on your physical and mental health—and can be dangerous, too, without the right precautions. Whether you are personally overseeing your home renovation or outsourcing the project to licensed experts, it’s likely to be a stressful process either way. Here are a few ways to ensure that you stay safe, healthy, and (reasonably) un-frazzled while you’re renovating your home.

1. Make sure your home structure is secure before you start

“A lot of times, when renovating an older home, the structure could be compromised before you start the rehab,” says Lance Massey, Project Manager at Rehab Specialists of Tennessee, Inc. Some homes might have foundational issues due to previous flooding or water build-up. “Have a structural engineer write a report on the current structure recommending the best practices to secure,” says Massey.

Kevin Anundson, Director of Business Development at NARI, says that when looking for visual signs of structural failure, you can start in the basement. If you see cracks in the walls, or mold and mildew, these are signs of water intrusion and could mean that the wood might be rotted above it. 

Know the floor plan of the house—inside and out. This includes gas lines, water lines, electrical lines, load-bearing walls, etc. If you have the original floor plan of your house, you might gain access to that information. Otherwise, you’ll have to play detective by pulling down some sheetrock and doing a little digging until you find these lines, so proceed with caution, as drilling into one of these could be dangerous and costly to replace.

Credit: PhotoAlto/Odilon Dimier/Getty Images

2. Have a clear plan for your renovation before beginning

“Have a clearly determined scope of work for the renovation before the project starts,” advises Anna Karp, co-founder and COO of Bolster, a design-build firm in NYC.  “Renovations can often morph into larger projects midway through construction if the pre-construction stage is not handled adequately. This may lead to expensive, rushed, and potentially unsafe decisions.”

“A big part of pre-construction involves probing to understand the details of how the building was constructed. The safety hazards you can encounter are pre-existing illegal conditions and work that was done in the property before your time,” says Karp.  Top ArticlesREAD MOREDyson’s Black Friday Sale Is Here and It Includes TheirMost Popular Stick Vacuums

So when you decide you want to redo your kitchen, then halfway through that process, you decide you’d like to go ahead and re-do that entire floor of your home (and quickly, please! We’re staying with my mother-in-law!), you’re more likely to have potentially dangerous mistakes due to rushing or due to unwelcome building surprises.

“We have seen everything from bricks turned to ash, to lead heavy homes and structures built on top of rotten decks and worn out cloth wiring, which is very typical in pre-war buildings,” Karp says.

3. Separate your living space from the remodel zone

Although it is ideal to stay in another space while you’re renovating your home, not everyone can afford that luxury. “We have done many apartment combinations where the homeowners have lived on one side of the property during the reno,” says Karp.

“We have created cocoons that shield one side of the apartment from the other. However, even if the reno does not result in a safety hazard per se, it can certainly become unnecessarily complicated if the homeowner resides there.”  

If you’re going to be living on one side of the house while renovating another, she says to be prepared for constant construction traffic. Don’t bring kids to the site at any time, and make sure all items are properly boxed, not just covered with sheets. “If the property is empty during the renovation, work progresses faster and that in itself is a major risk mitigator,” she adds.

4. Know when to bring in the experts

“You’ve got to know your limits, because there’s potential to get hurt,” says Heath Thompson, PA at Jackson Clinic concentrating in internal and family medicine. Thompson has also done several home renovations himself. “If you’re trying to save money but you don’t know what you’re doing, and knock down a load-bearing wall…”

Well, that would be bad

“Don’t be too prideful to consult an expert, because accidents happen and you can be injured,” Thompson adds. You might think it’s worth cutting costs to take on the electrical wiring of your home, but if you accidentally cut into exposed wiring and spark a small fire with your creative cost-cutting solution, you could not only endanger yourself, but also those around you.

Credit: Johner Images/Getty Images

5. Keep your worksite clean, and wear the right gear

Occupational Safety Tips - Workplace Safety - SLMA

“Basic rules never grow old,” says Karp. “Always keep a clean site and always wear appropriate clothing.” A clean site should be organized, with all the tools in one location, as well as all materials properly labeled and protected. If applicable, permits should be displayed, and there should be an appropriate “office area” with paperwork and rules such as how to dispose of trash properly for the building or area.

As far as appropriate clothing goes, Karp recommends gloves, pants that cover the legs, belts to protect the waist if you are moving heavy things around, as well as a construction hat and steel-toed boots for any intense demo or construction projects. It’s wise to include a pair of safety glasses in your tool kit, too, to protect your eyes from flying dust.

She adds: “For die-hard DIYers: tools are to be handled expertly and they are to be kept in one place. Be sure to always check that tools are unplugged before you pick them up when starting your construction shift.”

6. Make sure your carbon monoxide detectors, smoke detectors, and fire extinguishers are in working condition

Yes, this might seem obvious, but it’s especially important during this time that all household safety items are in working condition. “If the contractors are cutting concrete, in a basement renovation for example, one has to be concerned both about dust/silica exposure, and the carbon monoxide produced by gasoline powered tools,” says Brian W. Christman, MD, and spokesperson for the American Lung Association. “It would be important to isolate the area as much as possible with plastic sheeting and keep a carbon monoxide detector active if the family is trying to live in the home during renovation.”  

Thompson adds that gas leaves the house through either a chimney or pipes, and if you’re moving things around during a renovation, you might accidentally block that airway, so having those detectors in working order is vital.

Credit: AleksandarNakic/Getty Images

7. Identify when dust has become a problem

“Often the biggest problem occurs during the early demolition phase when drywall is coming down and there are large amounts of dust. The main risk is to those with sensitive airways,” says Christman. “That includes babies and small children—due to the small caliber of their airways and developing lungs—and patients with asthma, COPD, and congestive heart failure.” He recommends changing the air filters often during this process. 

Thompson advises to always wear a mask when dust is flying, and that while light sneezing or coughing might be normal, if you develop a cough with sputum production and fever, it’s time to seek medical help.

“Dust control is very important and there is specialty machinery to deal with it during the renovation. The neighbors will thank you,” says Karp. 

Of course, sometimes flying debris can be more than just run-of-the-mill dust. Karp says to always do testing for asbestos and lead prior to starting renovation. 

“Speciality firms deal with asbestos abatement and the appropriate air monitoring services and sampling that is required,” says Karp. “While Bolster carries our own certification for lead-safe practices removal, access to the home is not allowed during hazardous material abatement.”

8. Be on the lookout for black mold

“There is also some risk of disturbing and aerosolizing significant amounts of mold that could trigger airway narrowing or sinus problems in allergic folks,” says Christman. According to the Centers for Disease Control, black mold spores can cause flu-like symptoms such as stuffy nose, wheezing, skin and eye irritation, while longer exposure can cause fever, shortness of breath, or nausea.

Black mold looks black specks and might be found behind your bathroom wall, for instance. If there is a small area to be treated, Anundson says you can wash it away with a good bleach solution and encapsulate it with a mold cover paint, while Thompson recommends calling a mold removal professional to eradicate it.

Credit: sturti/Getty Images

9. Turn off the electricity when working on the electricity

How to Turn Off the Power in Your Home | Better Homes & Gardens

“And always turn the power off when dealing with electrical work!” says Thompson.  He adds that it seems obvious, but is worth the reminder. So here’s another one: Turn off the electricity from the circuit breaker when you’re working on electricity.

10. Take care of your mental health by keeping an otherwise normal routine

Sure, there’s going to be a lot going on during a renovation, but it’s important to prioritize your mental health. “Don’t disrupt previously established healthy patterns because the reno is stressing you out,” says Beth Livingston, LMSW Therapist at The National Institute of Psychotherapies. “Keep the things you need to access most to maintain your sanity at your fingertips, not buried in the chaos of the renovation.”

Whether that’s your yoga practice or fitness routine, volunteering at your favorite organization, making time to have coffee with a friend, whatever it is that makes you feel healthy and balanced, keep doing it.

And perhaps most importantly: Manage your expectations. Doing the research upfront, budgeting for potential problems, and knowing when to seek help (professional or medical) is key to maintaining your physical and mental health during a renovation.

Find A Contractor: 7 Tips For Finding Reliable Home Renovation Contractors

Secrets to Finding a Home Renovation Contractor You Can Trust | Reader's  Digest

Hiring a contractor can be difficult — especially when an important home renovation in your house depends on the abilities of someone you just met. Renovations can also become costly, and wanting to ensure the job is done well is a reasonable request. When you’re in the process of hiring a contractor to work on your home, have these things in mind to find a contractor that can tackle your home renovation with professionalism and a solid skill set.

1. Ask For Referrals
Websites that offer referrals for contractors can be a great tool if you don’t know where to find someone for the job, but also be wary. A contractor can have seemingly stellar reviews, but unless you’ve seen jobs they’ve completed in the past and spoken to people who have worked with the contractor before, you shouldn’t trust everything you find online as your only source. Experienced contractors don’t need website referrals; they’ll have real contacts for you to contact who can attest to their integrity.

2. Seek Out Active Communicators
Communication will play an important role in the renovation process, so look for someone you can get along with. Problems and challenges can arise at any point of a home renovation project, and when they do, you and your contractor should be able to communicate and work through the issue together. Choose a contractor that seems able to remain calm and also keep you calm while finding a solution to any  problems.

3. Look For Solid Contractor-Homeowner Contracts
There is no way around having a contract between you and your contractor; it’s part of their job description. If a contractor is not willing to write up a contract for your job or if the contract is incomplete, then it is likely unwise to proceed with the home renovation project with that contractor. All contracts should include every detail of the project:

  • Start time and end time
  • Cost estimates of all materials being used
  • A list of all sub-trades
  • An explanation of what would happen in the event of a change of order
  • A payment schedule that revolves around project stages instead of dates

4. Don’t Fall For Free Quotes
When a contractor offers you a quote, they’re giving you a breakdown of costs for the project at hand. Even though it may seem like a positive thing for a home renovation contractor to offer a quote for free, it can also be a negative sign. The best contractors typically charge for quotes because they are busy with their jobs. If contractors taking the time to look at your home and discuss the project with you, it usually means that they are serious about working on your home. If you are paying for the quote, it usually indicates that you’re serious about getting the job done. One way to find contractors who are more likely to do a good job on your home renovation project is to be skeptical of those offering free quotes.

5. Look For Contractors Giving Realistic Cost Estimates
Quotes are necessary, but they probably won’t give you all of the information you’ll need in order to properly choose a contractor. Before you hire someone, you’ll need to pay for a detailed estimate. This estimate should contain every aspect of the project, including specific materials and required permits. Proper estimates are pages-long and should answer every question you have about the renovation — even ones you didn’t necessarily think of. Be cautious about proceeding with the contract if a contractor tries to give you an insufficient estimate and you can spot price discrepancies or a lot of missing information.

6. Look For Contractors Who Don’t Blatantly Overcharge

Do you know how to find a qualified house remodeling contractor?

Experienced contractors are not going to ask for a deposit or upfront retainer of more than 10% for the average project. Inexperienced contractors who do charge higher fees upfront might not have the money to get the job started, which could signify a lack of projects on their calendar. Try to hire a contractor with a healthy business that seems to have a lot of work in progress.

7. Make Sure Your Contractor Can Get The Permits
Permits are expensive, but building officials can actually shut down a job if it does not have the correct permits. Permits are a necessary expense when it comes to home renovations, and better contractors are aware of the consequences of not having them — which is why they’ll always make sure to have a municipal building inspection done before starting their work on your home renovation.

Renovating? Here’s How to Navigate a Co-op Board

Make it easier for a co-op board to approve your home renovation with a few key steps

Co-op buildings have unique ownership structures. C-op owners technically lease the space an apartment occupies. A co-op board, and its representative, the management company, have power over any renovations you’d like to do. Because the board’s role is to protect the interests of all of the owners, the process is less in your control than you’d think. However, by following a few key practices, you can put your co-op board at ease for your desired remodel.

Simple renovations may not need co-op board approval

The most basic work done in kitchens and bathrooms is known as “rip and replace.” This work includes updating finishes, replacing porcelain plumbing fixtures, and upgrading appliances in their existing locations. For this, your building may not demand a permit; saving you money, time, and general red tape.

How your building will evaluate your plan

Your building is likely to use its own architect to evaluate any renovation plans you submit. This process is known as an alteration review. Expect to pay for this service, typically in the $1,000-$2,000 range. The architect may flag aspects of the design which seem only tangentially related to your renovation objectives (e.g., relocating the intercom). As a result, communications can drag on for months. However, the principal concerns of this review will not be aesthetic. Rather, the building architect is charged with protecting the building from liability, plus advising the board about building code requirements. Overall dimensions of rooms, and door openings, may need to be enlarged as part of gut renovations. In other cases, wet areas, like bathrooms and kitchens, may be required to stay within the pre-renovation footprint. This requirement is also known as “wet over wet.” These rules act to protect a downstairs neighbor from flooding after a bathroom upstairs is enlarged over, say, a bed. Also remember that with new plumbing, the building may also require you to replace branch lines all the way back to the main water lines. This may result in additional demolition and expenses.

Bring in your own architect

For larger jobs, you’ll need your own architect or engineer. Some offer advice on style and design at a premium price. Others will produce a basic set of drawings that can be submitted to the co-op board or management. They may also file renovation plans with the city, in a service known as “architect of record” and “expediter.”

Larger renovations requiring a city permit

A permit for a larger co-op renovation can sometimes be a judgment call. In extreme cases, your board may decide to make you file for one after work has begun. (Be aware: this can possibly result in fines and other city penalties!) The city will also require you to produce a certificate documenting asbestos tests for areas of the apartment that will be demolished. Asbestos can be found in many places: in plaster or joint compound, in caulking, in linoleum flooring, or even impregnated in the underlayment for wood floors. Should asbestos be present, you will be asked to plan for removal by specialists, or encapsulation. The latter is usually cheaper, leaving asbestos undisturbed and adding new finishes on top when space and aesthetic considerations allow this.

Legal considerations & co-op rules

The co-op board or building likely has already published and distributed alteration terms or as “house rules,” which should be reviewed closely. They often cover things like requirements for working hours, deliveries, and protections mandated for common areas during debris removal. Even in jobs that do not require permits, you will want to provide management with a written scope of work, listing the various upgrades you propose and requesting written permission—at least over email—to proceed.

What is an alternation agreement?

When you submit your plans, the co-op board may ask you to sign an “alteration agreement.” This alteration agreement can include provisions tailored to your particular job. It is not uncommon, especially in blue-chip buildings, for these agreements to encompass punitive regulations. Provisions like time limits for renovations, and daily penalties imposed when jobs are not completed as requested by the co-op board, are not uncommon. These agreements may also—not surprisingly—seek to shift liability for construction to the apartment owner. In cases of particularly punitive agreements, however, you may choose to engage a tenant’s lawyer to negotiate more favorable terms with the building’s legal representative. Typically, you will need to acknowledge the agreement in exchange for the co-op board’s or management company’s signature on your building permit application.

Avoiding problems in a co-op renovation

Your proprietary lease may allow inspections, so the building architect or superintendent may ask to have a look around your apartment, should any questions arise about your proposed renovations or even work underway. For this reason, it is worth keeping the apartment clean and tidy, whether you are living there through the renovation, or not. An environmental testing firm may visit the apartment to monitor lead levels as part of a regular inspection. (This is most likely if your building has a history of lead.) Don’t panic—especially if you have an advance warning. State environmental agencies recommend cleaning with a HEPA vacuum for soft surfaces, or soapy water and paper towels for hard surfaces.

Managing relationships with your co-op board

Staying in the good graces of your co-op board, and particularly becoming friendly with the board president, can short-circuit potential miscommunications and suspicions based on building gossip. The co-op board has the ultimate discretion to direct the building management in matters regarding the schedule and procedures around your renovation. And if you are hoping any exceptions will be made, neighborliness—to say nothing of cookies or Champagne—may help. Good luck navigating the co-op board to fulfill your renovation dreams!

Reach out to your neighbors before a renovation begins. Begin with a considerate letter and end with a glass of wine and a smile.

Kitchen Renovation Prep: 10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Your Remodel

Before you tear down any walls, look at this list

You need to be fully prepared—both financially and emotionally—to take on a renovation project. Sometimes, they can go haywire, as you never know what you’re going to find when you start poking around behind the walls and ceilings. Even if there are no major mistakes made along the way, renovations are prone to going over budget or taking longer than you ever anticipated.

Though kitchen upgrades are sure to increase your home’s property value and improve your quality of life over the long term, they also come with plenty of challenges. So when heading into a kitchen renovation, it’s best to come prepared by asking yourself these key questions, which were previously shared by contracting professional Mike Daddio in an event hosted by AD. “If you have these questions answered before you call the contractor, then we’ll be able to have a much more productive, streamlined conversation,” he says. 

Plan Kitchen Remodel | HouseLogic Kitchen Remodeling Tips

1. What is your objective?

Being clear about your ultimate goal will help you and your contractor focus on what matters—whether lasting solutions that will turn your kitchen into an efficient workhorse or less costly design enhancements that will help you land a good price when it’s time to sell.

Daddio advises asking yourself: “Are you planning to sell your apartment in three years? Are you intending to spruce up for that sale? Or are you looking to have all the bells and whistles?”

2. How long do you plan to live in the home?

“If you’re going to be living there for one or two years, you probably want to consider a different type of renovation, something that’s maybe not as costly or something that’s more timeless and traditional in the aesthetic that’s chosen by your design team,” says Daddio. “If you’re going to be living there a little bit longer, then naturally you’ll be spending a bit more and designing something that you really love.”

3. Do you have children?

“If so, where are you going to store everything? Are you going to have a kitchen with a magnetic board? Do you hang your children’s artworks?” Resilient, easy-to-clean materials, whether wood or stone, are also ideal for kid-friendly kitchens, so it’s helpful to keep your children’s needs in mind from the beginning.

4. Do you have allergies and health issues to consider?

If someone in your family suffers from asthma or other breathing issues, let your contractor know. “Things that are important to stay away from if you do have any of those concerns are high-gloss lacquers and urea and phenol-formaldehyde, which are used in the adhesives of most plywoods,” Daddio says.

5. Will you be living in your home during the renovation?

Do You Need a Kitchen Remodeling Permit in Sacramento?

“It adds to the lead time and the construction duration, so that’s something that’s very important to know,” he continues. “It also adds to the level of protection and cleanliness that needs to be maintained in the renovation.”

6. What is your budget?

“This question has to be something that’s first answered for yourself, so you understand what amount of money you want to spend, but it’s important, to be honest with the people on your design team, and your contractors, about what that number is.” Once you have a budget in mind, add a 10 to 20% contingency, because things often don’t go quite as planned.

7. What have people in similar homes accomplished, and what has been their limitations?

“What I always encourage on first meetings, in New York City especially, is that you invite your building’s superintendent,” says Daddio. “Getting to the answer of ‘Can we do it?’ sooner rather than later is very, very helpful in the process.” Research local zoning laws, landmark preservation rules, and yard setbacks.

8. Can you remove that wall to open up the kitchen?

“It’s very easy to ask the building’s superintendent or other people within the apartment that may have completed renovations. It’s also great to schedule walkthroughs with those people to see what they’ve done.”

9. What’s behind those walls?

Be sure to ask: “Are there utility risers that limit the amount of wall that can be removed safely?”

10. When can we get started?

How Often Should You Remodel Your Kitchen?

“I always say that a well-planned project is a well-executed project,” says Daddio. “Take the time to properly plan everything that you’re doing. Source your long-lead materials and purchase them in advance.”

If you feel ready to move forward with your kitchen renovation, you’ll need to secure a trustworthy design and build a team to help you get the job done. Ask your contractor to share details about their communication style, license and insurance, go-to subcontractors, and more so you can make an informed decision about who you are entrusting with this important project. Once you both have established that you’re on the same page, it’s time to get to work!

4 Current Trends in Home Renovation

Owners of existing homes choose to remodel for several reasons. Homeowners may want to create a home that uniquely suits their preferences while, at the same time, there is also a desire to improve the functionality and efficiency of the home. Finally, older homes often require upgrades and repairs as original systems age. The good news is that, when this happens, the homeowners have the opportunity to seize new advances in home renovation to make their home even better than before. Here are four of the current trends in home renovation that can allow you to do just that.

Home renovation

Window replacement is a popular home renovation project.

Window Replacement

Window replacement is a popular home renovation project because it not only improves the efficiency of your home but has a dramatic impact on its aesthetics. The advances in window technology over the past several decades gives homeowners both great options and incredible returns on their investment. The Weather Shield products offer customers five levels of energy-efficient glass, called Zo-e-shied, which keeps your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Even better, there are many styles and colors to choose from to suit each homeowner’s particular tastes.

Solar Roofing

First introduced about ten years ago, solar roofing systems are now very popular and surprisingly affordable for those who wish their homes to be more eco-conscious. Solar shingles double as conventional shingles and the biggest name in solar roofing is Dow Powerhouse. This state-of-the-art roofing system uses Copper Indium Gallium Selenide solar cells that generate 12 watts per square foot. The company reports that homeowners who install a typical system, for which incentives are often available, can slash their household electric bills by 40-60 percent.

Home renovation

The cost of solar roofing systems are becoming increasingly affordable.

Metal/Hybrid Roofs

While metal roofs used to be a thing of generations past, they have seen a resurgence in popularity in the past several years for numerous reasons. Metal roofs last much longer than traditional asphalt roofs. While an asphalt roof may last up to 15 years, metal roofs have a lifetime up to 60 years, meaning you may never have to replace a roof again. Metal roofs are also more energy efficient as they reflect the sunlight and heat away from the home, instead of absorbing it as asphalt roofs do. In cold climates, snow won’t accumulate on a metal roof which could cause damage from excess weight. You can finally ditch that roof rake for good! Finally, metal roofs look sharp! There are many colors and styles to choose from to suit each homeowner’s and home’s particular style.

Home renovation

Metal roofs can last for many, many years.

Insulation Upgrades

In case you have missed the pattern here, all of these renovation trends have one central theme – energy efficiency. In fact, according to Harvard University’s latest study on Emerging Trends in the Remodeling Market, projects that boost energy efficiency remains the most popular home renovation improvements. One such project that raises the energy efficiency in a home substantially is upgrading insulation. The best way to determine your current home’s insulation effectiveness is to undergo a home energy audit, which is a free service that can tell you where deficiencies exist and provide you with the insulation options to fix them.

Home renovations can bring a fresh and trendy look and feel to an existing home. Yet, one trend that will never go out of style is saving money. Year after year, some of the top home renovation trends point to bringing greater efficiencies to homeowners, and this is what we aim to do with our services as well. If you are ready to start saving money in the new year with some of these home upgrades contact us at our site or call us for more information or to schedule a free estimate.

Top 25 Home Renovation Blogs You Should Be Following

Planning a home renovation is no easy feat. And with so much information on the internet, it becomes even more difficult to filter out the relevant and authentic content. To help you out, we have put together this list of the best home renovation blogs online.

Whether you’re looking for inspiration, DIY ideas, or unique solutions to common issues, the below content offers great advice, tips, and designs. Not to mention these blogs are written by professional builders and renovation experts to the DIY fixer-uppers and handy homeowners.

Read on to uncover the 25 best home renovation blogs you should be following.

home renovation

25 Home Renovation Blogs You Need to Follow

home renovation, home renovation blogs1. Remodelista

From an amateur to a professional, the Remodelista blog has something for everyone. That is to say you will find useful guides on every aspect of your home renovation under the Remodeling 101. Certainly you will also find inspiring ideas and latest trends under the Get Inspired section on this blog.

2. Ask the Builder

Tim Carter at Ask the Builder is an expert at practical advice. The blog offers ‘how-to’ tutorials, tool reviews, checklists and tips. As with the step-wise procedure and details, they are both very useful to renovate you home all on your own.

3. Houzz

Houzz is a goldmine for inspiration and home renovation ideas. From furniture and fittings to materials and trends, you’ll find all the information you need on one website. In this case your can customize the projects and designs to match your needs and viola! Your masterpiece will be ready in no time.

4. Sweeten Blog

If you’re looking for in depth posts on home renovation, you can’t go wrong with the Sweeten blog. Its Home Reno 101 provides cost and process guides for every step of your home renovation.

5. Family Handymanhome renovation, home renovation blogs

Family Handyman takes a simplistic DIY approach to every project. It has step-wise tutorials, video instructions, and how-to guides. You too can take charge of your renovation because of the detailed material checklists, cost sheets, and expert advice on it.

6. Bob Vila

Bob Vila is a powerhouse when it comes to ‘how-to’ guides. The information is very extensive. It especially has descriptive instructions on how to ace every aspect of every renovation project.

7. Ugly Duckling House

The Ugly Duckling House scripts an inspiring remodeling blog for any DIY enthusiast. Markedly the home tours give comprehensive information on complete house projects. You’ll also find renovation tutorials, DIY ideas, and information on woodworking.

home renovation, home renovation blogs8. Centsational Style

If you’re in need of remodeling ideas on a budget, Centsational Style is the perfect blog for you. On the flipside it also curates aesthetic styles and inspiring ideas for a magnificent remodeling experience. And it doesn’t even put a strain on your pocket.

9.The DIY Bungalow

The mantra at The DIY Bungalow is merging the old and new to make a house a home. Notably it is all about DIY home renovations. From simple decorating tips to complex power tool wielding projects, they’ve got all your remodeling needs covered.

home renovation

10. Grandma’s House DIY

Put together by a self-confessed DIY fanatic, Grandma’s House DIY blog is an inspiration. It chronicles the story of a 100-year-old home renovation in progress. You can learn how to add character to your renovation without losing the old charm of your architecture.

11. Emily Hendersonhome renovation, home renovation blogs

Author, stylist and TV host, Emily Henderson runs a remodeling blog that offers inspiration for every room. You’ll find inspiration in the before and after pictures from the house tours and the many tips on remodeling your homes.

12. Newly Woodwards

If you like DIY, you’ll definitely love the Newly Woodwards blog. It started as a blog profiling the journey of couple’s first home renovation. With crafts and DIY décor, it offers a unique blend of minimalism and budget home remodeling.

13. Home Design Key

A hub for DIY décor projects, the blog at Home Design Key will help you decorate and furnish your home even after the renovations. It’ll also inspire you to think creatively. Whether it’s the bathroom fittings or the flooring in the living room, design is the key!

14. Building Modern

Building Modern focuses on renovating old homes with DIY repairs and updates. Their step by step pictures of renovation are truly inspiring. Check it out for remodeling ideas to achieve that modern look.

home renovation, home renovation blogs15. Three Birds Renovations

Three Birds Renovations blog has complete remodeling projects from start to finish. It has an aesthetic website filled with inspiring photos, DIY hacks and lots of tips. It’s sure to give you inventive remodeling ideas.

16. Love & Renovations

As the name suggests, Love & Renovations blog celebrates a love for DIY projects with visual stories. You’ll find inspiring content, interesting remodels and great ideas for your home renovation.

17. Renovation Angel

Renovation Angel blog follows a unique concept to “renovate responsibly.” That’s because the Angels support various charities and believe in recycling materials from old kitchens. You, too, can donate your old appliances and buy new ones at budget prices.

18. Morse Constructions

Morse Constructions serves as an exhaustive information center on home renovations. Furthermore, the blog supports decision-making by providing useful insights on trade-offs, trends, space, and materials.

19. Young House Love

It’s filled with tips and practical advice for you to choose from. Young House Love compiles additional information from renovations and DIY home projects to create a fun and interesting blog.

20. Hammerzonehome renovation, home renovation blogs

Project after project, the blog at Hammerzone is a DIY enthusiast’s haven. The detailed content provides actionable tips on how to take on your own home renovation.

21. This Old House

From how-to videos to DIY smarts, This Old House is a one-of-a-kind blog. It gives practical solutions on just about any home renovation project. You are sure to get inspired with their Pro2Pro advice.

22. Kitchen & Bath

Kitchen & Bath focuses on every aspect of the two most important rooms in a home: the kitchen and the bathroom. Not only do they help you decide whether it’s time for a renovation, but the website also offers exhaustive tips on how to finish these rooms the right way.

23. The Kitchen Master

Unlike the name, The Kitchen Master details the look, design and remodeling of every room in your home. In particular it is a mine filled with ideas and trends for your home renovation.

24. Peak Constructionhome renovation, home renovation blogs

From decks to garages and kitchens to roofing, the Peak Construction blog covers every corner of your home renovation. Similarly you’ll find great tips and concise information for projects around the house.

25. My House Design Build

Home renovation designs and builds come together at My House Design Build.  More so, the information and ideas are circumspect in every aspect of remodeling.

Hire Premier Remodeling to Get Started on your Home Renovation Project

Renovating your home can be a simple and stress-free process when you use the right remodeling company. Premier Remodeling has been remodeling Houston home for over 16 years, and our skilled team is here to serve you. Contact us today to schedule your fast in-home consultation!

7 Things You MUST Know Before Starting Your Home Renovation

Even if you’ve renovated in the past, each project brings unique twists. Here are some tips homeowners wish they knew or had done before they started remodeling.

You know you want to renovate your house, but you don’t know where to start, right? Well, you’re not alone. Many homeowners dive into the renovation process with no clue of what to expect. It’s only after they suffer through renovation mishaps that they regret not having a plan. Without preparation, the home renovation process can be full of disappointments because unlike building a new house, you aren’t starting with a blank slate. There can be unforeseen expenses and issues that make the process complex. So before you go down the twists and turns of the renovation path, here are seven things you must know before you start remodeling.

painted brick exterior of midcentury-modern home with wood front doors


1. Invest in a Key Lockbox

If you’re renovating your home before you actually move into it and live far away, consider investing in a key lockbox. If there are large projects on your checklist that you can’t do yourself, you’ll need to hire a contractor. Remember that contractors start early, so unless you want to drive in morning rush-hour traffic to let workers inside, plan to attach a lockbox or install smart door hardware that allows you to provide entry to guests with a code. It can save you countless hours of time, gallons of fuel, and painful, early morning wake-up calls.

Living room with bookshelves and large USA map


2. Spend Time in the Space

As obvious as it might seem, it is important to hold off on some decisions like paint colors, carpet, and light fixtures until you spend time in the space you’re renovating. For example, if you want to replace dated carpet, the choices can be overwhelming. Dense or loose fibers? Striated or no pattern? What exact shade of gray? The answers depend on the other aspects of the renovation, like choosing paint colors. Paint palettes selected before the renovation started need to be seen on walls and could change as you spend time in the house. Freshly painted walls and new carpet can reveal that some light fixtures just don’t illuminate the space as you thought it would. If you spend a little more time upfront considering how everything works together in the room you’re remodeling, you can save yourself several back-to-the-drawing-board moments.

gray and white master bathroom with double vanity


3. Be Realistic About Your Timeline

Your renovation will take longer than expected, so be prepared and make accommodations to avoid frustration. For example, you might think that replacing a whirlpool tub and outdated double vanity in a bathroom will be quick. Removal of the old fixtures can take a few hours, but locating a new tub and vanity you love can take several weeks. It can be another two weeks before they’re delivered. An expectation of using your new hall bath within a week can turn into a six-week waiting period. Be realistic about the renovation process and timeline and select your new updates before having the existing materials removed.

Kitchen with wooden floors and dark blue cabinets


4. Expect the Unexpected

All homes hold secrets, in the walls, under the floors, and elsewhere. A renovation can bring those to light. Like when your contractor tells you your floors are uneven due to a shifted center joist while measuring for your highly anticipated new hardwood floors. Now you need to deal with the home inspector who missed it and get the floor joist repaired before the new material can go down. This is just one example of how you should expect the unexpected by planning extra time in your renovation timeline and extra money into your renovation budget to allow for unanticipated mishaps along the way.

blue-gray bathroom with red flowers


5. Interview Multiple Contractors

It pays to interview multiple contractors and compare bids. Suppose you want your hot water heater removed from an upstairs closet and a new one installed in the garage. The first plumber you ask says he plans to charge $6,000 and would reroute hot water lines. cutting into your living room tray ceiling to do so. The second plumber said it was too much work. Plumber three plans to finish the job in a day and charge $3,285 with no water line rerouting needed. Without interviewing multiple contractors, you run the risk of paying too much and not getting what you want. It pays to do your homework and talk to several experts before making a final decision.

remodeled modern gray, white, and wood kitchen


6. Renovate Your Kitchen First

Homeowners often want to know in what order they should renovate a house. It’s best to start with the kitchen because these remodels add major value to your home. According to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry’s 2019 remodeling impact report, realtors estimate that homeowners can recover 59% of the cost of a complete kitchen renovation if they sell their home. Plus, if you have an outdated kitchen, upgrading the worn-out space will let you better enjoy the space while you’re home. Practically speaking, you’ll want to do the kitchen remodel first because that work will create the most dust and debris, which you won’t want landing on new paint or finish jobs. It’s always a good idea to isolate any demolition mess by putting plastic over doorways or pass-throughs. Since a large kitchen remodel typically takes several months to complete, you’ll want to set up a temporary substitute kitchen in the dining room, family room, or another adjacent area in your house.

soft palette living room table


7. Be Specific About Design Ideas

You’ll want to narrow down your design preferences before you meet with an interior designer. Get inspiration from browsing home decorating magazines, interior decorating websites, and design shows. Getting a handle on a design direction will help you avoid being talked into a designer’s personal ideas, which might be different from your vision for the renovation. Also, keep your designer strictly on your budget. Don’t allow them to purchase expensive materials and charge you for it later. If you try to stay within a specific time frame, your costs will stay low, too.

Contact us for more information.

10 Tips to Renovate your House Beautifully yet Economically

10 Tips to Renovate your House Beautifully yet Economically

You are renovating because you want your house to look more beautiful and feel more comfortable. Consider your home renovation plan as a business plan or as your special project you are starting from scratch.

If you hire an architecture he plan for you, but if you want to save money the first step is to take charge of the project and do it to yourself. In this article we are sharing some DIY ideas on, how to renovate your house on budget?

The key to renovating your house on budget yet beautifully is primarily to plan the entire process effectively. The following sections will demonstrate how you can divide your entire renovation plans into sub-plans, according to the space you have and renovate your home effectively. If you are looking to find out top 10 ways to renovate your house beautifully yet economically then read below: 

Divide and Conquer

As mentioned earlier effective planning is the key to effective renovation. If you are renovating yourself then you need to focus on both the bigger picture and the smaller parts. You might have heard the phrase “whole is greater than the sum of its parts”, you can apply the same strategy to your home renovation project and devise a renovation plan for each area in your house. If you hire an architect for renovation, he will assess your requirements and then renovate accordingly. In this case since you’re in charge, you will brainstorm your requirements, write your end goal for each space in the house and decide the overall goal, and then move on to:


Since you want to renovate your house economically it is important for you to decide the total expenditure requirements/limit. It is important to remember in budgeting that you cannot overestimate your budget, keep your budget underestimated and then move on to researching for things you need.


You will be surprised at the number of options you have once you start your research. The beautiful lamp that you liked at a high end store can be purchased at a lower price from elsewhere as well. So, when renovating your house on budget please remember that if you research to find the furniture you like, paint you want or the decorations you would like in your house, you are likely to find most of the supplies at an inexpensive price. Take advantage of online shopping, thrift stores and second hand furniture shops and see how far you will go. For step by step instructions on how you can decorate your house beautifully yet economically please read below:

Doors Create the First Impression

The first impression of your house is your door. If you are unable to change the door completely and if your existing door is in a good condition then you should repaint your door. Your doors could also affect the lighting of your room, and you could benefit from this great technique interior designed Amy Lau uses, “When dealing with a dark room, whatever color is used on the walls, I paint the ceiling, trim, and doors the same color but 50 percent lighter. Too much of one shade can overpower a space.” So, when renovating on a budget if you are repainting your door try to use different shades according to the concentration of light in your house to optimize the lighting of your house the way you want to.

Paint Affects Lighting

As mentioned earlier painting affects lighting and when renovating your house you might opt for a new paint. In that case if you are already on a budget purchasing different colored pallets might seem counterintuitive. If you are on a tight budget then opt for a black and white palette, it will give your house a modern sophisticated look and you will have the guarantee that you can never go wrong with white or black.

Small Rooms don’t have to Look Small

If you are renovating to make a small house look bigger than an inexpensive and beautiful way of achieving that goal is to use mirrors. It’s an inexpensive technique but it’s used by one of the most famous architects of his time, Sir John Soane, who used mirrors in the breakfast room of his London house.

Kitchens and Storage

If you are decorating/renovating your house then you are probably trying to de-clutter and maximize your storage as well. Utilizing your kitchen to its maximum capacity can help you minimize your storage problems. In order to do this on a low budget you can either DIY kitchen cabinets or storages from recycled material at your house, or take advantage of thrift shops in your area.

No one knows your kitchen space better than you do and your storage needs building DIY storage kitchen cabinets will not only help you save money and reuse old materials at your house but it will also ensure that you’re building exactly what you need. If you already have cabinets which are enough for storage then you don’t need to replace them you can just repaint them to make your kitchen look as good as new.

Light Comes through the Windows

According to Marc Appleton, “half the experience of living indoors is seeing the outdoors” So when remodeling your house install large windows. However, you might not have the budget to change your windows in that case play around with paint and paint your windows a shade lighter than the rest of the room to maximize the light coming through the windows.

Bathroom Renovation

You would be surprised at the number of inexpensive yet quality products you can purchase to renovate your bathroom. If you are looking to install new toilet fixture you can check our Toto Toilet, and if you are not planning to install any new items, you can fix up your existing toilet by changing the paint, changing cabinet paints and by fixing the pressure of shower etc.

Floor Renovation

 If you are on a budget then floor renovation might seem expensive, and if you cannot find a flooring installation under your budget then you should invest in renovating everything else according to your floor design.

The key to renovating or redecorating your house beautifully yet inexpensively is to devise a goal for yourself, and paint an entire picture of what you want and then step by step renovate each part of your house like mentioned above.

19 Ways to Cut Costs on Your House Remodel

If you’ve weighed your options, and have decided it’s better to remodel your home, here are our tips.

1. Increase Efficiency, Not Size

Drawers for cabinet storage

If you can reorganize and equip your kitchen for maximum utility, you may not need to blow out the walls to gain square footage. Start by replacing space-hogging shelves with cabinet-height pullout drawers 8 inches wide, containing racks for canned goods and other items.

“You’re getting three or more horizontal planes where you might otherwise get only one,” says Louis Smith Jr., an architect with Meier Group, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

You could easily shell out a few thousand to outfit cabinets with upgrades like dividers, pull-out pot trays, and lazy Susans, but you’ll save many times that amount by skipping the addition you thought you needed.

  • Cost to expand kitchen by 200 square feet: $48,000 to $95,000
  • Cost of super-efficient, custom-designed cabinets: $35,000
  • Saved: Up to $60,000

2. Bring in Natural Light Without Adding Windows

Velux light tube in bathroom.

Before cutting a big hole in the side of your house and rearranging the framing, consider less invasive—and less expensive—ways of capturing light.

To brighten up a windowless bath or hallway, for instance, you can install a “light tube,” which slips between roof rafters and funnels sunshine down into the living space.

  • Cost to add a double-pane insulated window: $1,500
  • Cost for a light tube: $500
  • Saved: $1,000

3. Hit the Recycling Center

Various gold door knobs.

Do-it-yourselfers can reap big savings with recycled or lightly used fixtures and building materials. Habitat for Humanity operates about 400 ReStores nationwide, which offer salvaged materials at half off home-center prices.

One caveat: Many contractors won’t work with salvaged items, or homeowner-supplied materials in general, because they don’t want to assume the liability if something goes wrong.

That said, if you’re doing your own work, you can find anything from prehung doors to acrylic skylights to partial bundles of insulation. (To find a ReStore near you, visit

  • Price of 4-by-5-foot insulated window in a home center: $600
  • Price at ReStore: $300
  • Saved: $300

4. Donate your Trash

Before you begin a remodeling job, invite the local Habitat for Humanity chapter to remove materials and fixtures for later resale. “About 85 percent of a house is reusable,” says B.J. Perkins, Habitat’s ReUse program manager, in Austin, Texas. “We can do a total takedown, or do a cherry-pick job and take the cabinets, the tub, the sink, and so on.”

You save space in the landfill, collect a charitable tax credit for the donation, and help a good cause. Visit Habitat to find an affiliate near you.

  • Cost to trash a suite of bathroom fixtures: $50 to $75
  • Cost to donate: Nothing, plus you get a tax deduction
  • Saved: Space in the landfill (and a little bit of your soul)

5. Do Your Own Demo

Knocking down your home down may not be as costly as rebuilding, you can still shave dollars by doing some of the demolition yourself—as long as you proceed with care.

“If a homeowner wants to demo a deck, well, I am sure they can handle that,” says Michael Winn, owner of Winn Design, in Virginia. “But when it comes to interior spaces, I would dissuade them from doing it unless they have done it before.”

The reason: A reckless wrecker might unwittingly take out a load-bearing wall or, worse still, plunge a reciprocating saw into live wiring or pressurized plumbing.

  • Cost to demo a 200-square-foot deck yourself: $450 (Dumpster rental and parking permit)
  • Cost for a pro: $1,000
  • Saved: $550

6. Consider Long-Term Costs, Not Just Short-Term Gains

If your addition calls for clapboard siding, for instance, you can save more in the long run by ponying up now for the preprimed and prepainted variety. It costs an extra 10 to 20 cents per foot, but “you’ll wind up paying for half as many paint jobs down the road,” says Paul Eldrenkamp, owner of Byggmeister, a design-build remodeling firm in Newton, Massachusetts.

The reason? Factory finishes are applied on dry wood under controlled conditions—no rain, no harsh sun. “I used prefinished claps on my house about ten years ago and the only flaw in the finish is the occasional mildew spot, easily washed off,” Eldrenkamp says. “The paint looks as if it’ll be good for another ten years, easily.”

  • Cost of unfinished siding for a 10-by-40-foot addition, plus two paint jobs: $5,000
  • Cost for pre-finished claps and one coat of paint at installation: $3,750
  • Saved: $1,250

7. Tap Your Contractor’s Sources

When it comes to things like flooring, ask your subcontractor if he has odds-and-ends stock left over from other jobs. While renovating a Civil War-era bed-and-breakfast in New Jersey some years back, contractor Bill Asdal needed wood flooring.

He made a few phone calls and came up with hundreds of square feet of hardwood, in various lengths and widths, that otherwise would have gone into the trash on other job sites. Just by planing it to uniform thickness, then sanding and refinishing it, he saved his client almost $9,000 in materials costs.

  • Cost of new flooring: $19,200
  • Cost to use someone else’s discards: $10,500
  • Saved: $8,700

8. Consult an Architect

Planning home finances

Depending on the scale of your project, you might not need a full-on architectural commission, which involves extensive meetings, multiple job-site visits, and several sets of construction drawings, to the tune of about 8 percent of a project’s construction budget. You might be able to tap an architect’s design savvy by having him undertake a one-time design consultation.

For example, for a $400 flat fee, Baton Rouge architect Kevin Harris will meet with a homeowner, examine the problem, and sketch out a few solutions that could be as simple as opening up a partition wall or moving a door. The homeowner can then give the sketch to a builder or take it to a drafting service, which will charge about $1 to $1.50 a square foot to crank out formal construction drawings.

  • Architect’s fee to design a 300-square-foot home office: $2,250
  • Fee for design consultation only and plans: $580
  • Saved: $1,670

9. Partner With a Contractor

Though the practice is controversial among the trades, some contractors will offer consulting and mentoring services to skilled do-it-yourselfers on an hourly basis.

Chicago-area builder Ted Welch charges $150 per hour for such coaching, with a two-hour minimum commitment. “The most satisfied clients tend to be those who have good manual dexterity, who realize that skills need to be practiced in order to be perfected, and who are willing to risk making a few mistakes and then learn from them,” he says.

  • Cost to drywall one room: $1,000
  • Cost with DIY consultation: $300 (2 hours of coaching), plus materials
  • Saved: $700

10. Make Sweat Equity Count

Unless you’ve got loads of time (and expertise) to spend on your project, the best way to add sweat equity is up front, by handling your own demolition, or at the back end, by doing some of the finish work yourself.

“If you want to save money, dig in and start helping out,” says Tom Silva. “You can insulate, you can paint, you can sand.” Or better still, he says, help with cleanup every day. “Instead of paying someone to pick up sawdust off the floor, put your money into the time it takes to trim the window properly,” he advises.

  • Cost for construction crew to handle cleanup: $200 per day
  • Cost to do it yourself: $0
  • Saved: About 3 to 5 percent of the overall job cost

11. Do Your Own Schlepping

If you’re doing your own project, slash your materials-delivery fees by picking up goods yourself. No pickup truck? For about $400, you can purchase a nearly new single-axle utility trailer online, which you can tow behind your SUV. Get one just big enough to carry 4-by-8 sheet goods flat. Use it for a half-dozen trips, and it’s paid for itself. Find trailers for sale near you via eBay Motors, or try your local classifieds.

  • Cost of 10 deliveries: $750
  • Cost to buy a used trailer: $400
  • Saved: $350, plus you get to keep (or sell) the trailer

12. Don’t Overspend on Wall Prep

If your walls are in such rough shape that it would take a painting contractor days of filling and sanding to make them ready for the roller, consider using materials such as Texturglas, from Deerfield Beach, Florida—based company Roos International.

A breathable, nontoxic wall covering made of fine glass filaments, Texturglas has a similar look and feel to the fiberglass matting used in auto-body work. It’s available in a variety of surface patterns, takes paint readily, and is designed to be installed right on top of existing surfaces, adding strength while covering up dings.

  • Cost to patch and paint a 15-by-20-foot room with heavily damaged walls: $1,525
  • Cost to install Texturglas: $1,050
  • Saved: $475

13. Consider Look-Alikes

Some imitations just make sense: Lumber giant Weyerhaeuser sells a fast-growing natural eucalyptus hybrid under the brand name Lyptus. Sustainably harvested in plantations in Brazil, the clear-grained hardwood looks and feels remarkably like mahogany. It’s sold as toungue-and-groove flooring and in planks and sheets for cabinetry and millwork.

  • Cost of 100 board feet of mohogany: $808
  • Cost of same quantity Lyptus: $395
  • Saved: $413

14. Wait Until Contractors Want Your Business

Don’t schedule your reno in the height of summer or between September, when the kids go back to school, and Christmas. “That’s premium time,” explains Lisa Stacholy, owner of LKS Architects, in Atlanta, Georgia. Suppliers tend to be busier, labor scarcer, and deliveries slower. One Virginia-based contractor offers discounts of between 4.5 and 5.5 percent (depending on the overall budget) on projects during his down time, right after the new year.

  • Cost of a major bathroom remodel in peak season: $25,000
  • Cost in January: $23,625
  • Saved: $1,375

15. Skip the Foundation

If local code allows, you may be able to support a small addition on posts and beams, as you would a deck, explains contractor Dennis Gavin, of Gavin Design-Build, in Media, Pennsylvania.

  • 220-square-foot addition with poured foundation: $40,000
  • Same-size addition on posts and beams: $35,000
  • Saved: $5,000

16. Don’t Move the Kitchen Sink

Kitchen with green cabinets and a farm sink.

Or the toilet, if you can avoid it. “That often becomes the biggest part of the plumbing-price increase,” says Richard Trethewey, This Old House plumbing and heating expert. If your new layout requires that you move the toilet, use the opportunity to upgrade the pipes at the same time. “That will save you money in the long run,” says Richard.

  • Cost to move toilet more than 3 feet: $500-$1,000
  • Cost to leave in existing location: $0
  • Saved: Up to $1,000

17. Plan with Stock Sizes in Mind

“Ask yourself, ‘Why am I building something 10 feet wide if plywood comes in 4-foot-wide sheets?'” says Lisa Stacholy, of LKS Architects, in Atlanta. The same applies to stock windows and doors: Use manufacturers’ off-the-shelf dimensions from the outset and you will save the premiums of custom fabrication.

  • Cost of custom doors: $1,500-$2,500
  • Cost of standard doors: $500-$800
  • Saved: Up to $2,000

18. Buy Building Supplies at Auction

Brian Peppel, a homeowner in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, attends one building-supply auction each month in nearby Lancaster County. His recent finds include two pallets of concrete block for $10 and a solid-wood prehung exterior door for $65.

“Their inventory is everything under the sun, a lot of scratch-and-dent, misordered custom items, or new overstock supplies,” reports Peppel. He once watched the auctioneer’s gavel fall on a large, custom-made triangular window with an original retail value that he pegs at several thousand dollars. The winning bid? $1.

  • Cost of solid-cherry wall cabinet at a home center: $300
  • Cost at building-supply auction: $10
  • Saved: $290

19. Make Decisions Early

Start prowling the aisles at the hardware store or home center way before the wrecking crew shows up. Get a good feeling for what you want in fixtures and appliances and what they cost.

If you aren’t absolutely specific upfront about what you want, you’ll have to rely on your contractor’s estimate, called an allowance, and his notion of what is acceptable may be quite different from yours. “Ninety-eight percent of the time, allowances are too low,” says Tom Silva. For instance, you may have had a glass-tile backsplash in mind, but your contractor’s bid was for ceramic.

  • Cost to plan ahead: $0
  • Cost of change orders midstream: The difference in the item price, but also time lost to project delays and communications glitches
  • Saved: Up to thousands

8 Tips for Budgeting for a Home Renovation

8 Tips for Budgeting for a Home Renovation |

Whether you plan to renovate a house before moving in or are preparing to remodel your current abode, we know budgeting for a home renovation can be a tough process. First, you’ll need to determine what it is you really need versus what you simply want. Next, you’ll have to figure out how you’re going to finance the renovation in the first place. Once you have a general idea of how much money you have to spend on renovations (and where that money is coming from), you should be able to make better decisions on finishes, appliances, and other renovation features.

Remember: most renovations end up costing more than originally thought, so be sure to have a money cushion set aside in case of emergencies. This is especially true if you plan to tear down walls and make structural changes, as these projects often end up with unwelcome surprises (think: water damage, mold, or electrical and wiring issues). Many homeowners may also be concerned with ways to cut costs and save money without compromising the quality of the home. For tips on budgeting for a home renovation, check out our expert advice below.

8 tips for budgeting for a home renovation

  1. Decide on your top renovation needs and priorities
    The reason for renovating your home probably has something to do with a need that isn’t being met by your current living situation. Perhaps it’s a need for more space or perhaps it’s a need for an updated bathroom. Whatever the reason (or reasons) for renovating, be sure to write down and prioritize all of your remodeling goals. For instance, a larger kitchen island may be at the top of your priority list, whereas updated appliances may be lower down on the list of needs. Keep your goals in mind and avoid getting side-tracked with smaller projects that can wait for later.
  2. Look at cost vs. value for each renovation project
    Planning to sell your home in the future? Keep the return on investment top of mind when choosing home renovation projects. After all, there’s no reason to pour $40K into a kitchen, if the home isn’t going to sell for more than you originally paid. Once you’ve prioritized your home renovation needs, research each project’s cost vs. value using Remodeling Magazine’s latest Cost vs. Value report. The report includes the cost of common remodeling projects and compares them to that project’s resale value. This should give you an idea about which projects are worth the money and which projects aren’t. For instance, the 6 most valuable home improvement projects of 2018 included an upscale garage door replacement, manufactured stone veneer, the kitchen, siding, and vinyl window replacements and a bathroom remodel.
  3. Figure out how you’re going to finance the renovation
    Now for the hard part: figuring out how exactly you’re going to finance this renovation. First, take a look at your current finances. Do you have enough cash to cover the renovation? If so, great. If not, you’ll need to borrow money for the project. Unless you have a fairy godmother willing to loan you cash, we recommend either using a home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC), where homeowners can borrow money against their home. Many homeowners also use credit cards to finance their renovation projects. This may be a good idea – assuming you have a plan to pay these credit cards off. If you have strong credit, you may also be able to obtain a loan through SoFi, an online personal finance company providing personal loans and mortgages to high-income individuals.
  4. Talk to others who have finished similar renovations
    Discuss your renovation project with someone who has experienced it first-hand. In addition to obtaining knowledge and tips on how to complete a successful renovation, you may also learn how to cut costs and budget appropriately for certain projects. For instance, someone who has renovated a master bathroom before should be able to give you tips on where to find good deals on hardware and supplies. In addition to telling you what to do, they should just as easily be able to tell you what not to do when it comes to renovations. Learning from their mistakes could end up saving you a substantial amount of money.
  5. Create a list of specific needs and goals for contractor bids
    After going over your needs and wants, create a clear list of renovation goals to hand to contractors. This will ensure that your bid (or cost estimate for the renovation) is as accurate as possible. Make sure to include both major structural changes to the home and cosmetic changes. Examples of what to include on a kitchen renovation list include demo, new quartz countertops, new custom-made cabinets, painting kitchen cabinets and walls, new subway tile backsplash, ceiling beam installations, and new GE appliances. Make sure to include specific brands you plan on using as well. From here, a contractor should be able to give you a much more accurate quote.
  6. Obtain bids from at least three general contractors
    If you’re planning to use a general contractor, we recommend obtaining bids from at least three different contractors. It’s not uncommon for bids to differ wildly. If a contractor is particularly busy or charges a hefty percentage, then you can bet that bid will be higher. According to Angie’s List, most general contractors charge “between 10 to 20 percent of the total cost of the job.” The total cost of the job includes materials, supplies, labor, permits, etc. Be aware of contractors that give you a too-good-to-be-true estimate. For example, if three different contractors tell you that the project will likely cost between $30K and $40K, but one contractor tells you he can do it for $10K, this could be a red flag that the contractor is either lying to you or is inexperienced.
  7. Research materials and sources for the new home
    When budgeting for a home renovation, it’s absolutely crucial that you have some idea about how much everything costs. We recommend spending a substantial amount of time researching your specific renovation needs. From the cost of countertops and appliances to the cost of bathroom vanities and flooring, researching these specifics will allow you to keep an ongoing tally of renovation costs. While you can always research costs online, you should also spend time at your local Home Depot, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Ferguson Showroom, and local warehouses where granite, marble, and other stone surfaces are sold.
  8. Cut costs where you can
    Of course, cutting unnecessary costs where you can is never a bad idea – especially if you’re on a tight budget. Those unwilling to compromise on quality materials or finishes should look into purchasing gently-used or refurbished items. Your contractor may also be able to find leftover stone slabs from previous projects. Other ways to cut back on renovation costs include purchasing items when they go on sale, hiring subcontractors instead of a general contractor, and doing a little DIY work (i.e. painting a room yourself).

Preparing to renovate your new home?

Renovating a home can be an all-consuming process, meaning you likely won’t have time to plan a complicated move. Fortunately,’s extensive network of reliable movers makes it easy to book the best moving company for the job. All relocation companies in our network are licensed and insured, so you can rest assured that your move will be in good hands. Best of luck and happy moving!