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How to Handle Growing Home Renovation Costs and Debt

When Home Renovation Costs Balloon

Home renovations can be a great way to get more enjoyment out of your home and/or increase its value. However, most renovations can get pretty expensive – and costs can increase quite a lot during the course of a project. This means that some people end up in financial trouble, and even serious debt, due to renovation costs.

While some renovation costs will be unexpected, if you take the time to plan your renovation properly before you start, you’ll be less likely to encounter surprises and unanticipated costs.

Planning a Renovation

Before you begin your renovation, do some research. Try to figure out the estimated costs of each aspect of the renovation. Check online, visit home improvement stores to get an idea of how much materials cost, and ask friends and family who have had similar renovations done for details on their experiences. Make sure you get several quotes from different contractors. The more information you have, the more accurately you can budget for your renovation.

Make sure you budget for each aspect of the process. There is more to a renovation than parts and labour. For instance, your contractor may need to spend time shopping for materials, hiring subcontractors, completing plans, etc. and all of these activities cost time and money. Be sure to include the cost of permits, demolition, disposal, clean-up, and various other aspects as well.

It’s crucial that you track your spending during the renovation and compare your actual costs to your budget. If you notice that costs are increasing and you’re spending more than you expected to, you can make adjustments during the process.

Ways to Save Money When Renovating

Renovations can certainly be expensive. In addition to doing your research and coming up with a plan before your renovation begins, there are a few things you can do to save some money during a renovation:

  • Handle your own demolition and clean up
    • Neither of these processes are easy, but you can save some money by doing your own demolition and post-renovation clean up. However, if you’ve never demolished anything before, you might be better off working with a professional so you don’t cause additional plumbing, electrical, or structural damage.
  • Refurbish rather than replace
    • There are many places where you can save money by refinishing something rather than replacing it. For instance, painting and updating the doors and handles on your kitchen cabinets is a lot less expensive than replacing the cabinets themselves, and it can still give your space a new look and feel.
  • Use more affordable materials
    • You don’t need to use all top-of-the-line materials in your renovation. For instance, consider using laminate instead of granite for your kitchen countertops or ceramic tiles instead of marble on your floors.

How to Handle Growing Costs

Sometimes a renovation can increase in cost due to factors that are out of anyone’s control. For example, your contractor might open up a wall to change a pipe and find that all of the plumbing in your kitchen needs to be replaced. This will greatly increase the cost of your renovation.

If you find that your renovation is costing you more than you expected it to, there are a few ways to handle these growing costs.

The first is that you may need to look for other areas to make cuts in your budget. Making cuts elsewhere could help you afford your renovation. If you can’t make any additional cuts in your renovation budget, you may need to cut some other aspects of your daily life.

Take a look at your overall monthly budget and see if there is anything that you could reduce or cut back on – even temporarily – to save money. Could you hold off on buying new clothes or having dinner out for the next few months to make it easier to afford your renovation? Look for ways to do more with what you have now. This can help you deal with costs.

Another option is to talk to your contractor and ask them if they can put off some of the renovations until a later date. This will give you a chance to save up the money to afford the costs.

If you find that you’re in significant debt or if you’re in a financial situation where you can’t afford your renovation and your living expenses, it could be a good idea to speak with a licensed financial professional about your situation. They will give you details on the options available to you and help you find the resources you need to improve your financial situation.