How do I Budget for Home Improvements?

Your home is the most important piece of investment. Keeping it updated and regularly maintaining it will surely improve both comfort and market value. However, staying on track with modern times can be difficult since it requires wise budgeting and decision-making.


Therefore we present some tips and tricks that will significantly ease your troubles with budget planning:

Relax and Pain Ahead

The first step in determining your budget is to recognize which parts need upgrading. Many homeowners want to do everything at once: bathroom renovation, deck upgrade, changing countertops, window replacement… But, this isn’t that wise when it comes to controlling the budget. This is why you should relax! Don’t do everything at once. This year plan 2 home improvements, next year plan 3 and so on.

Think Before You Act

Wise budgeting means choosing the correct renovation project. Before you decide whether you need new windows or a new roof, do detailed research and consult with experts. Look at the pro’s and con’s and do SWOT analysis if you have to! Home improvement is expensive and you need to be sure that you are investing in the right thing. There are tons of helpful articles out there which can throw very useful insight on matters like ROI and material lifespans.

What should be Upgraded and When?

So which project should you choose first? That question is difficult since every home requires different measures. Additionally, ROI comes into the mix and complicates things even more. Luckily, even though each home is different, there are still some general rules that apply for home improvements.

  • Windows and doors – Depending on the material, they should be replaced every 18-25 years.

  • Basement waterproofing – A sump pump lasts from 8 – 15 years.

  • Roofs and attics – Asphalt shingles last 18 years, Metal last 60. After a severe storm, these lifespans can be cut in half.

  • Deck and exterior look – Curb appeal and decks are the number one when it comes to ROI. Luckily, improving them doesn’t cost that much. Decks wear off after 15-20 years.

  • Bathrooms and kitchens – Regularly cleaning piping systems is highly recommended. For remodeling, you should opt for partial upgrades, such as new countertops, cabinet repainting, and Energy Star appliances.

The 1% Rule

Another general rule that applies to almost every home is the 1% one. What this rule applies is that homeowners need to set aside annually at least 1% of the home’s primary cost. So if you spend $400.000 for your house, you need to save $4000 for home renovations on an annual basis.

However, this rule might be deceiving in some situations. For instance, if you spend less on purchasing, you might need to spend more on renovations. A cheaper home usually means more problems such as loose windows, floods and detached gutters. That’s why you should also look at your climate and at the age of your home.

The Age and Climate

We mentioned before how after severe storms, the lifespans of shingles can be cut in half. This doesn’t only apply to shingles, but to everything in your home. If you live in a difficult climate, and by difficult we mean: frequent rain, snow storms, extreme temperature variations and harsh winds, set aside much more than 1% of the initial cost.

Another useful thing you can do is to check warranties. Use the previously mentioned information as guidelines. If your windows and doors are reaching 20, schedule free consultations and check whether you need to replace them sometime soon.

DIY VS Professional

Lots of homeowners decide to do things themselves rather than hire a professional. In some cases, this is the right choice. DIY can fix the same problem for a much cheaper price. However, we recommend this approach only for 2 situations:

  • Improving aesthetics: fixing up the garden, repainting jobs and interior design.

  • Having intense knowledge and skill for more complicated projects.

So DIY is recommended if you plan on improving something that won’t mess up piping or energy efficiency and if you already possess knowledge and experience in the area. Doing basement waterproofing or door replacement yourself might do more harm than good to your home and budget. Instead of doing DIY, try to ask experts and contractors for cheaper options. They would be happy to help and provide detailed insight.

About C.A.P.O.R. Renovations

C.A.P.O.R. Renovations is your one-stop solution for Windows and Doors Replacement, Roofing Repairs, Vinyl Siding and Exterior Home Renovation in London.