Hidden Budget Blunders of Renovations

The first thing anyone who’s ever been through a renovation will tell you is to create a realistic budget and stick to it. It’s easier than you think to go crazy with little upgrades here and there. It’s only an extra twelve cents per square foot for the nicer tile… Only fifty bucks more for this toilet with more features… It’s a five dollar difference between this fixture or that switchplate, and the list goes on and on. But it isn’t just those little expenses you have to consider when creating the budget that you will stick to no matter what. There are other little things that add up. Here are a few hidden – rather not thought of – things to think of when creating the budget for your renovation.

Where are you going to put all that stuff???

In preparing for your renovation – whatever the room – you’re going to need to move all of your belongings out of that area and any surrounding areas that will have an increase in traffic once work begins. For security, preventing the possibility of your personal items from being broken by completely removing them from harm’s way is the best measure. For any room that has furniture, that could be quite the upheaval and your house might not have the space for it. Getting an exterior storage unit is a great option if you have to clear out a furniture heavy room. You’ll also need a moving truck to transport these things there and back again. These two things add anywhere from an extra $40 – $200/month charge and an average of $50/day for a rental truck with fuel included.

Are you really going to cook tonight???

Cooking dinner every night after a long day at work is already challenging enough for most families. Add the disarray and chaos of a renovation and your motivation to cook will plummet faster than a rock in water. Dining out every night is expensive. Even when you go through fast food drive thrus. A family of only 2 can spend $10 – $15/meal at a fast food restaurant easy. The cost doubles when you dine in at a sit-down establishment and triples when you order delivery after taxes, tips, and fees. And that’s for just 2 people. A family of 4 and that shoots up to $20 – $35 for dinner at a fast food chain. On the low end, spending $20 every night for dinner for a month is $600 a month for just dinner. There’s still breakfast and lunch to think about. If every meal cost $20 you would spend $1,800 in food for one month of a renovation alone. And that’s without splurging on delivery or dine-in. The spike won’t be that drastic as you’re already spending money at the grocery store, but there will be a spike in your spending. Brace yourself and put away a little extra for food.

If your renovation is in the kitchen be very clear and direct with your contractor about whether or not you can cook during construction and for how long. You don’t want to commit to cooking during the renovation and then being blindsided by an extra expense. If you do end up cooking and don’t use that money tuck it back into savings or treat yourself to something special for the new space.

Gettin’ the heck outta Dodge!

This isn’t an absolute must – and for some people, it isn’t feasible, but that’s probably because they’re not working it into their budget from the beginning – but being able to get away for a night or weekend, to stay in a hotel and leave all the mess and destruction behind you is highly recommended. The Money Pit may be a funny movie, but comedy comes from truth and that truth is usually painful. There are a half dozen or so people coming and going in your house all day long. Things are draped in drop cloths, shoved to one side of the room and nothing is where it’s supposed to be. Any hiccups in the process and you have to make decisions that split your attention all day. It’s just a stressful situation. Set aside some money for a night away. Spoil yourselves as much as you like, but get out of the house and into a place of peace and quiet and cleanliness. It will do you all a world of good.

Granted, none of these costs really compare to the overall expense of your renovation, but the little things add up. Just like that blasted dollar section at the entrance to Target. You may think, I’m only getting what I need. Oh this towel is only a dollar! Oh this mug is only three bucks! And before you know it you’ve got a hundred dollars worth of stuff and you only need half of it. Save yourself some stress and factor these things into your final budget for a better reno experience.

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Room Upgrades That Don’t Involve Paint

Painting is a relatively easy task to create a bold new look for any room in your home. But do you really want to devote an entire weekend to one project. Painting is also a rigorous bit of work. If you want to add a little extra oomph to your rooms, but don’t want to undertake the DIY paint project, here are a few ideas to get your imagination going.

Lighting Fixtures

We don’t recommend rewiring your home’s lighting sources. That’s a job best left to the professionals. But changing your lighting fixture is well within your DIY reach. Whether it’s a shift from contemporary to classic or vice versa, overhead lighting or floor lamps, changing up your lighting fixtures and sources can bring a a beautiful new glow to your living room.

For a fun 2019 twist, implement a lamp shade or base in the Pantone Color of the Year, Living Coral. A bright, vibrant color, Living Coral will bring life and joy to your space.


This beautiful addition to interior design dates all the way back to the 1300s. Its original purpose was to protect lower portions of the wall from chairs, spurs, even the rogue scabbard. In some cases, it was even used to add a layer to the walls to help keep out the cold before insulation was a standard. It’s still a useful tool for protecting walls, but the design options are more varied than ever before. From panels to textured patterns, wainscoting is an easy way to add elegance and flair to your living and dining rooms. While the traditional color of choice is white (to match the baseboards for a seamless transition) don’t be afraid to venture into the world of color and stain to compliment the color of your walls.


Perhaps the best way to add personalization, artwork can be anything from paintings and photography to sconces and decorative knick-knacks. Trends come and go. The trend to have a wall covered with an eclectic mix of pieces is “out” in 2019 and the favor is large maximalist artwork, the truth is that this is your space. Do what you want! This can even become an endeavor in organization. Hanging a shelf with hooks for keys, bags, and coats in your entryway not only provides you with some decorative flair, but it provides you with a designated space for things so they never go missing.

Bring a sense of bourgeois to your room with a large mirror with an extravagant frame. Up the personality with candid and posed family photos. Mix and match color, size, and texture frames or tie them all together in uniform color, shape and size. Simplify with one large panoramic canvas print from your last family vacation in the center of your largest wall.

Hanging Shelves, Boxes, and Plants

The beauty in these simple additions is that they can be embellished with small candle votives, vases, or framed photos. Hanging shelves can also be a great way to keep your personal library around without sacrificing floor space that a bookcase would take up. If you’d rather bring a little life into your room, hanging plants will do just that. With a variety of plants that can survive with direct or indirect lighting, a hanging garden is possible on any wall and perfectly melds nature with sophistication.

Taking your living room from drab to fab is simple when you combine your personality and style with trends that inspire you. Best of all, you won’t have to pick up a paintbrush to do it.

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