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How to prioritize home renovations


Couple laughing while taking a break from painting their home

Home renos can be stressful - and expensive. Whether you’re adding some upgrades, expanding your family, or making your property more attractive to buyers, it’s common to find that your renovation budget won’t cover everything you want to do. Learn how to prioritize your list of renovations so that you can stress less and get started.

1. Make a to-do list

This is the fun part, so grab a pen and piece of paper. With your family’s help, write down everything you’d like to do in your home. Go room by room, starting at the front door, and list any repairs, painting, rebuilding, and upgrading you can think of. Include the little jobs as well as the big ones.

2. Set your budget

How much money do you have saved? Make sure you have a clear number in mind and set aside at least 10% of your budget for unexpected renovation expenses.

When it comes to financing your reno, there are several options you can explore aside from your savings, like:

3. Identify your must-dos

Separate your list into must-do projects and nice-to-do projects. If anything on your list involves improving your home’s safety, that should be a must-do, especially when it comes to keeping your children safe.

Your home’s structural integrity is also important. Ask yourself: could erosion, deterioration, or structural issues occur if you don’t prioritize a particular renovation project? Leaky roofs, cracked foundations, and clogged downspouts can result in problems down the road. Many of these projects will require a professional in order to meet homeowner insurance requirements, so make sure you add the cost to your budget.

You should also prioritize renos that will impact the resale value of your home, especially if you plan to sell soon. This includes things like kitchen and bathroom updates and adding features to your backyard, like a deck or patio.

4. Choose a nice-to-do

If you have room in your budget, try to include at least one item from your nice-to-do list to keep you excited and motivated. Often these items are cosmetic, and can modernize and freshen the look of a home. If necessary, choose an inexpensive project so you stay within your home renovation budget. For example, painting a room just requires a few cans of paint and a brush, and can dramatically change the look of a home. Plus, you don’t have to pay a professional to do it.


Talk to a Financial Planner

When it comes to creating a home you feel good about, our Financial Planners are happy to help you find the money to do it. Come talk to us about how to pay for your renovation priorities.

Talk to a Financial Planner

A previous version of this article was published on May 16, 2018.


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