budget · money · renovations

How Quickly Things Add Up

One of our goals with this blog is to be somewhat transparent about our budget and how much we spend so that other renovators who find their way here can gain a legitmate, real life sense of how much renovations actually cost. Our own research gave us vague ranges: $5000-$10 000 to renovate a bathroom, upwards of $10 000 to renovate a kitchen, etc. We were disappointed we couldn’t find some more exact numbers. Hopefully, we can remedy that for future renovators.

Our budget is not unlimited. We have around $10 000 to play with. But, since we both came from very money-conscious backgrounds, we agree that the cheaper we can do this without losing quality, the better. That means we’re doing most, if not all, the work ourselves, with the help from volunteering family members.

Here’s a tip: when someone asks you to help out with some renovations or construction projects of their own, do it. You can call in the favour later!

The demoing has, so far, felt free. We ordered a dumpster, but you don’t actually have to pay for it until you’ve filled it and they pick it up. That means it’s very inexpensive to get started on a reno. They’re taking the dumpster away today, at which point we’ll pay a $450 deposit (in cash — more on this later), though depending on the weight, we may have to pay more or get a little back.

Here’s another tip: when someone spreads a rumour that one of the home improvement stores in the city might have an amazing deal on something you need, go check it out. Our cabinets, as I discussed in our last post, put us back $847.50 after the 13% HST. We definitely came out on top with that one.

And, last night, we went back to Home Depot — this time taking our pooch along! — to pick out a paint colour for the basement, pick up some extra painting supplies and buy fixtures for the basement lights. Seems simple enough, right? $457.37 later, we staggered out to the car with two buckets of paint (CIL paint chip ‘Daydream’ and ceiling paint) and a cartful of lights and supplies, reeling just a little at how quickly seemingly simple things add up.

We’re still looking good, but after last night’s swipe of the VISA, I’m not feeling as confident that our money supply won’t dry up. This will definitely be an exercise in priorities so we can get the most important renovations done before we have to stop to save or run to an expensive line of credit.

Please follow!