Having a renovation budget, sounds boring, but it actually can help you make decisions about what you will have done in your house, and still have a bank account left afterwards.

The thought of money and budgets, always seems to start hearts palpitating, and it is not something that is discussed around the water cooler. But if you are starting a renovation, it is the first thing that should be discussed.

By working out how much money you can spend on a renovation, you will know exactly how much of a renovation you can do! If your budget says no, then go for some simple decoration ideas, but if your budget says yes, then start your research now.

Step 1 is the budget, now step 2 is research. This step can easily be overlooked. For example, if you are wanting to renovate your kitchen, when was the last time you looked at the price of cabinets? countertops? backsplashes?... Before you take a sledge hammer to your present kitchen, maybe take your budget and get out there and do some window shopping, and see just how much you can get for your money.


Don't just assume you will find a good price, or you will feel like you just got thrown in the deep end of a pool and you are trying to tread water. It can so easily get out of hand. You need firm ideas of want you want to do in your kitchen or what ever room you have chosen. If you don't have a clue, you can be easily lead by sales people, and contractors.

Take the time now, to go window shopping at the big Home Depots etc, or go to the home show, or find some great home magazines, and cut out pictures you like.

Next get a piece of Bristol board and make a story board. Put color swatches, and pictures of rooms that you like, and the styles you like. Once you have collected enough data and stuck it to this story board, you will get a feel for what you really do like. This is a great way to really find out what your favorite color schemes are, and design trends.

Now that you have your ideas on paper, start checking out prices. Take a clipboard with you, and write down all the things you will need to purchase for your renovation ideas, and jot down the prices.

Try to imagine creating your room, and this way you will come up with a detailed list of all the items you will need to purchase, and the ones that maybe can stay. This is where your budget plays a big part.

If your ideas are blowing your budget out of the water, then instead of throwing in the towel, start getting creative. If this renovation idea is for your kitchen, can you save your cabinet backs? Maybe redo the doors and fronts? Or possibly change the hardware and replace the countertop. Replacing the countertop can make a huge difference in a kitchen renovation.

So, no matter which room you are wanting to renovate, if you do the math first, and have your budget in mind when you are shopping, whether it is for the new items you will need, or a contractor for a major renovation. Keep the dollars and cents in mind.

It can be so easy to fall for the "while you are at it" syndrome. You end of replacing things that might not have needed replacing just yet, but you get caught up in the pressure and stress of the moment, and next thing you know you are replacing everything.

If you have a good budget, and a clear idea of what you want, then your renovation should go smoothly. Planning is everything.