6 Golden Rules for Budgeting a Home Improvement

So you are planning to do some home improvement.  Well, a lot of home improvement.  Good for you!  The only problem you are running into is how to start your projects.  Should you do them all at once, or should you space them out?

The answers come down to personal means, but you can always stay within budget it if you follow these budgeting rules.

We put these 6 golden rules for budgeting a home improvement together, so you can get a proper start to your project.  The best part is, this plan works for every business and financial plan you want to take part in throughout life.

Plan it

You need to create a concrete plan in order to properly budget your improvement.  You need to think about everything from the zone laws and permits you need to how much it will cost, and how you are going to pay for it.

Write it down, start a spreadsheet, or make a note in your phone.  Whatever you have to do to start your plan, do it.  Make a checklist for yourself with timely goals for completion.  Get ready, because we are about to break it down step by step.

Price it

Start a spreadsheet and list every single item you are going to need to get your renovations done.  If you have multiple projects in mind, make sure that you separate each one so you can plan according, project by project.  Make sure to include every item, the cost of the zone permits, contractor payment, and any potential costs as a worst case scenario for the project.  If you have leftover cents on the dollar, round up.  It will help you plan a more fitting budget.

Once you have your totals, you can start to break down  your spending costs, but you need to go over it a second and third time.

Revise it

During your pricing revisions, try to make a best and worst case scenario with your budget.  If items are on sale and you are buying them now, you should still budget them on a full price in case you have to replace it.  With you variations being accounted for, you can start to see the true cost of the project.

Budget it

Once you have your true cost values, you should think about how you are going to pay for your renovations.  Out of pocket or a loan will do the trick for funding, but you need to know what you are in for when it comes to paying back your loan.

You don’t want to simply pay the minimum payments either.  Doing so means you will be stuck in basically lifelong contracts, so plan to pay double is you can.  No matter what, the minimum payment isn’t the way to go, so budget your time against the payment terms and interest percentages.

Loan it

If out of pocket really isn’t an option, you can look to home improvement loans to finance your project.  It’s a great option for those of us who are willing to take the time to create a realistic budget for repayment.

The best part about seeking a loan option is the hard work was already done in the first four rules.  Everything the lenders want to see is in your project notes, pricing sheets, and payment budget.  All you have to do is apply and clear the credit report because your preparation is complete!

Own it

When the money clears, it’s time to put it to use.  Between you and your contractor, you are sure to get you projects done on time and within budget.

After the last screw are tightened and the final coat has dried, you can bask in the glory of your hard work and budgeting prowess.


If it’s time to update your home, it’s time to start your plan of attack.  It won’t happen overnight and it will be stressful, but if you take your time when creating your pricing list, you will be able to budget for it with relative ease.

The best piece of advice I can give while calculating these budgets is to even account for the money saved in your budgets from free help or items, and always assume you will have to pay top dollar for everything.  When it comes to budgeting for projects like this, it’s better to be safe than sorry.  No one wants to enjoy your half built bathroom, especially not you.

How do you prepare for a home improvement project?  What are your budgeting tips for making your payments?  Share your stories in the comments below.