Home improvements can be exciting, seeing your vision come to life before your eyes, it’s a great feeling. It can also be expensive. That’s not a bad thing if you get what you pay for and you stay within budget. But how to stay within budget? Here’s a list of a few places where budget-blowing expenses hang out.

Kitchens and Bathrooms

These two places harbor all kinds of little things that often manage to sneak straight past the home improvement budget and onto the shopping list, undetected. The big items are hard to miss; things like benchtops and bathtubs; cupboards and vanities, but the smaller items will soon add up.

Little Things

Items such as light fixtures and towel rails; appliances and plumbing fixtures can put you over budget by up to 30 percent. Making a thorough list will help you avoid having too much project left at the end of the money.

If you are doing your kitchen, be sure to factor in the cost of not having it for a while. Eating-out night-after-night can be financially draining, especially if you have a family.

Hardwood Floors

Kitchens and bathrooms, being wet areas, are bad for hardwood floors. If you pull up your old flooring and find a substantial amount of unexpected water damage … boom … there goes the budget. It pays to have a professional take a look while you are still in the “figuring out” stage.


It may be one of the last things on your renovation to-do list, but it shouldn’t be at the bottom of your priorities. As we mentioned in our post about the 5 Best Value for Money Renovations, curb appeal is a huge factor in the perceived value of your home – first impressions count.

Landscaping usually costs a few thousand dollars, not much compared to other parts of the house. The problem is, most people are more concerned with the interior than the exterior. Three thousand dollars is a lot of money when you have just spent every last cent on interior finishing touches.


Then, when you finally have your yard looking fantastic, you have to keep it looking fantastic. This is also an easily overlooked expense. The cost of watering and maintenance will overtake the initial cost of the most magnificent feats of landscaping, sometimes quite quickly. If you derive great satisfaction from doing it yourself, you can save some money here.


Unlike good wine, wiring does not improve with age. Add to this the fact that modern homes have more electrical appliances than ever before, and it’s easy to see how your new renovation may carry with it an unforeseen wiring upgrade which could cost thousands. On the bright side, upgraded wiring can reduce your insurance premiums. Check out our post on renovations that reduce your insurance costs.

Details Details Details

Don’t be discouraged, renovations can be satisfying, even fun. That’s why they make TV shows about them. The trick is to do your homework. A bit of planning, some research, the right advice and some good old-fashioned attention to detail will make the whole exercise so much more enjoyable.

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