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How to create a home improvement budget

Home Improvement on a Budget

Home improvement isn’t cheap. And it shouldn’t be – your home is your castle, as they say, as well as an investment in your future.

Bathroom Remodeling on a BudgetEven so, the price tag to remodel a 3,000 to 4,000 square-foot home can cost you $40,000. An estimated $10,000 is needed to remodel a bathroom; $20,000 or so will renovate a kitchen. Numbers that high are likely to leave many homeowners nervous at best. You can handle it – but only if you create a budget and stick to it. Here’s how.

Think about what you want and set some goals

Why do you want to renovate? Is your family larger now than when you moved in? Do you need more counter space, or more storage options? Have you longed for an open floor plan?

Walk through your home, and take some notes. Make a list of priorities. Carefully evaluate your needs and wants so you can decide which home improvement project to tackle first.

Research materials

Materials make up a big chunk of home improvement expenses. Some materials are pricier than others; granite countertops, for example, cost up to $200 per square foot. Quartz is even more expensive. Hardwood floors cost $5 to $8 per square foot with installation. Custom wood cabinets start at $80 per linear foot.

There are plenty of alternatives, so do a little research if those prices make you shudder. You can likely find less expensive materials that give you a similar feel and look. Keep in mind, though, the more luxury the material, the more likely it is to boost your home’s value. You can often find high-end materials secondhand; your contractor should have resources and suggestions.

Determine how much you can spend

How much money do you have to renovate your home? Maybe you have been saving – and if so, that’s great news. But many people have to borrow the cash.

There are usually three options for home improvement loans: a cash out refinance, a home equity loan, or a home equity loan line of credit, also known as HELOC. A HELOC is probably the most common type of home improvement loan. It uses your house as collateral, and it has a low interest rate. Talk to your bank to see how much you qualify for and then set your budget.

Visit Contractor Scan to receive quotes from at least three different contractors

Contractor Scan will quickly find quality contractors so you can start collecting bids. Just tell us what you want to remodel and give us the scope of the work. Our team will analyze your data to run a scan and match you with a few great companies. You’ll receive free quotes from trusted local contractors.

Home Renovation PlanningOnce you have narrowed down your choices, meet with each contractor in person. Make sure to ask questions. Experience and expertise is key. Someone just starting out might be cheaper, but he or she may not have the experience you need to get a high-level job completed the way you want it. A good contractor will answer your questions and address your concerns with professionalism, knowledge and ease. He or she won’t be uncomfortable talking money. And remember to get everything in writing.

Once your finances are in place and you’ve hired a contractor, set aside some extra cash in the event that any unexpected costs come up – and they probably will. Experts suggest taking the winning contractor’s bid and tacking on 15 to 20 percent to cover unforeseen problems and changes that tend to occur in most renovation and remodeling projects.

Now you’re ready to get started. Try not to stress and have fun with it! Keep in mind, a major home improvement project offers a return on investment ranging from 70 to nearly 100 percent. That alone makes it well worth the expense.

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About Contractor Scan

Contractor Scan takes the guesswork out of finding the best in the industry to complete your home improvement project. We find and screen talented, trustworthy and reliable local contractors for you – which saves you time and money. Visit to quickly and easily find a great contractor to improve your home.

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