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The single biggest driver of renovation expense

You will decide the single biggest driver of your renovation's cost at the beginning of your proect. With a few lines drawn on a page, 90% of your costs will be determined. That's why when you get to the end of a project, are looking to cut costs because other elements have cost so much more than planned, there isn't that much to cut. That driver is the amount of renovated square footage.

Plan ahead and give yourself a buffer. It's hard to trim renovation expenses once a project is underway.

Once your project is well underway, it's a lot harder to significantly trim costs than when you are in design development. For example, if you made an addition, once it is framed, installed and drywalled, changing from hardwood floors to LVP or carpet won't save much money. The majority of the cost for remodeling a home is in the labor. Installing a slightly cheaper floor still requires the same amount of labor and will only save a little money.

What to do instead:

  • Prepare for surprises and give your project a buffer.

  • Select materials in advance.

  • Get detailed and itemized estimates based on completed plans.

  • Trim project scope upfront to reduce project costs.

About the author

Hey there neighbor, I'm Julie Bennett.

Hey neighbor, I'm Julie Bennett, founder of the Renovator's Toolkit. I'm a woman on a mission to make renovation easier for homeowners.  When you renovate for the first time,  you don't know what you don't know.  I am here to help you know what decisions to make and when so you can create your dream home.

I'm a homeowner turned renovator and a Seattle real estate agent. I'm a woman on a mission to make renovation easier. I had some "if I had only known" moments when renovating my homes. I started Renovator's Toolkit to help homeowners like you "know what you don't know."


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