How To Plan Your Renovation Budget + Free Spreadsheet

When embarking on a renovation, the most crucial thing to do right at the start is assess what you want to spend. But…this can feel really confusing or overwhelming when you have no idea what things cost! Or, what is realistic. In fact, it may come as no surprise that many of our clients simply don’t know where to start when coming up with their budget.

The figure you come up with needs to be realistic with what you can afford, and an amount that you’ll be able to make back when it comes to re-selling. The renovation budget should also be something you can afford to be a little bit flexible. This is because costs are going up at around 10% every 6 months current. For example cost of MDF is double what it was a couple of years ago.

So, to help you work out what’s realistic for your home renovation budget, we’ve broken it own into 3 manageable steps. Oh and did we mention we’re chucking in a FREE BUDGETING SPREADSHEET! See details of downliading it here.

Determining Your Budget In 3 Steps


Think about a figure that you’re comfortable spending – one that’s realistic to spend on a property of your size. For example, there is no point spending £100k on a 1x bed flat if you would make a loss re-selling it. Always also, factor in a 15% contingency fee within this figure you come up with.

Once you’ve done that, create a ‘scope of works’ document in which you break down absolutely everything you can possibly think of that you want done to your property & be as specific as possible! So everything from painting (be detailed about which walls, ceilings, woodwork & window frames etc), to knocking down walls & getting structural engineers in, to new socket & switches & so forth. As I said, the more specific you can be, the less surprises there will be down the line – so for example, if you want to get a piece of bespoke joinery made – think about if you want it painted, what the internal layout will be & so forth (I say this because drawers will cost more than cupboards, and painted finishes are not always included). The more detail you can provide at the start, the clearer everyone will be when it comes to costs, right from the start.

Once this document is made, you’ll have a really great starting point for a builder to work from in order to give an accurate quote. You’ll also be able to go over at length exactly what you want done so everyone is on the same page with what’s required.

From here, get around 3 different sets of trades to come and quote up. This will help you work out what average costs are. Don’t be afraid to question the quote so you’re 100% clear on what’s included. If the quotes are coming in higher than you expect, then strip back your original scope of works until it comes back within reach of that first initial figure you came up with.

Now you should have a budget that’s accurate & realistic! But if you’re still wanting further support & guidance on renovations why not try these blog posts:

A guide to renovations by ‘Home Notes’
7 renovation tips for a stress free process




All photography by Richard Kiely 

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