How much should you budget for home renovations?

by Corben Grant on 22 Sep 2022

Renovating your home is a popular option for homeowners looking to refresh their living space. Home renovation projects come in all shapes and sizes, from small improvements to complete remodels of your home and new extensions. If you own a home for a number of years, there is a good chance you will want to renovate at some point during your ownership.

The renovations you choose to undertake will affect how complex the project is, and how much it will cost. Perhaps you have a home improvement in mind but aren’t sure how much to budget. Or maybe you’re on the other side: with a budget to spend on renovations, but not sure where it will be best put to use.

For both of these cases, it can be helpful to get a broad overview of different home reno projects, so you can have a sense of how much time and money it will take to get them done.

Today we will look at three of the most popular home renovation options: bathrooms, kitchens, and basements, and try to give you a sense of how much you can expect to spend. We will also provide some tips on how you can save some money on each renovation.

Note: This article will cover some general guidelines only, for a more specific price for your circumstances, speak to a contractor for a quote.

Which home renovation is best for me?

Deciding which home renovation is best for you will take some careful thought on your part. The most obvious way to choose is to look at your needs versus your wants.

Some rooms in the house may very much need a renovation, such as a bathroom with old and leaking fixtures. This could damage your home and cause health and safety issues. Another example would be if your family has grown and you need to finish your basement to gain more living space. These necessary renovations should be some of your first priorities if you have the budget for them, as they can greatly improve your comfort at home.

Outside of these necessary renovations, it may be best to think about what provides you with the most personal value. If you are the kind of person who loves to spend time in the kitchen, you may find the most joy from improving this space. If you love spending time outdoors, maybe a new deck or patio would be ideal for you. Renovations take a lot of time and money, so you should aim to be happy with the results.

A final consideration that some homeowners base their decisions on is how much their renovations will improve the value of their homes. This may be a particular concern if you are planning on selling in the near future. The reality is that it is hard to say exactly how much value a renovation will add to your home and if this added value will offset the cost of the renovations themselves. The general tip is to focus on renovations for your own enjoyment over financial benefits. However, if you are flipping a home for example this consideration may be more important. Any renovations that improve the home in a material way such as modernizing a kitchen or adding an additional rental unit will generally increase the value more than purely aesthetic choices.

How much does a bathroom renovation cost?

Bathrooms are an area of the home that can be quite off-putting when they get out of shape, so renovating your bathroom can be a great way to improve the comfort of your home. Types of renovations in a bathroom range from simple jobs like replacing a backsplash, to more complex tasks like replacing sinks, showers, or cupboards. On the very complex side, you may even choose to remodel your bathroom entirely or create a brand new bathroom within your home.

The cost of your renovation will depend on a few factors. One is the length of the project, as most contractors will charge hourly for labour. Depending On the expertise of the contractor, prices could start at $45 an hour and increase from there.

Depending on the agreement you reach with your contractor, you may also need to add the costs of materials to this price. Material costs will vary greatly based on what you choose to use: more premium fixtures and finishes will naturally fetch higher prices.

You may opt to save money on labour by undertaking renovations yourself. This may be viable for smaller projects, but larger ones, especially those involving plumbing or electrical will necessitate a contractor. Also, doing things yourself will require you to buy your own tools, which will make the savings less than they may seem.

All in, a bathroom renovation can cost anywhere from $9000 to $40,000 when working with a contractor. For a large job, you may be able to negotiate some discounts with your contractor, saving you some overall cost.

How much does a kitchen renovation cost?

Kitchens are a central feature of many homes, both for their utility and for their use as entertaining and shared spaces. Renovating your kitchen can come in many forms. One common improvement is installing new appliances, which may also necessitate some construction to make things fit. Other common options include new countertops, kitchen islands, backsplashes, and lighting.

The cost of labour and materials for a kitchen renovation may be similar to a bathroom, though kitchens tend to be larger and thus require more materials and labour. Costs for a kitchen renovation may begin at $12,000 and go as high as $40,000 and above. Like a bathroom, it is recommended that you hire professionals for anything but the most basic renovations, as jobs like plumbing, electrical, and natural gas are important to be done correctly.

How much does a basement renovation cost?

Often the basements of homes are left unfinished, and you may want to renovate the space to make it more livable and usable. This can be great for additional living space, as well as for those looking to add an additional rental unit to an existing home. Because of the opportunity for rental units, this may be one of the best value-add renovations to your home.

Basements tend to be some of the largest renovations, and there can be many tasks required to complete the job. Accordingly, they will be some of the most expensive to undergo.

Finishing a basement will usually require at least adding flooring, walls, and lighting. You may also need to frame new rooms in your basement to divide up the space.

Because basements are often extra space they are commonly also used for more recreational purposes like a gym room, home theatre or bar. These will all require their own special equipment and considerations and will increase your cost.

Finally, if you are building an apartment into your basement, you will usually need to include a kitchen and bathroom, and possibly do some construction to make sure your entrances and windows are up to code. These extra features can add to your cost greatly, though they can also help you to earn higher rental income.

For a complete basement renovation, you can expect to pay $25,000 and above. If you are renovating for one of the special purposes mentioned above, this can go much higher.. If you’re looking to save on your basement renovation, consider only finishing the portion of your basement that you plan to use, rather than the entire space.

Because of the complexity of the project, it is recommended that you hire a contractor when finishing your basement. They will help to figure out your layout, design the finishes and furnishings, and maintain a high quality of work so your basement will be safe and last a long time.

Working with contractors

Home renovations can cost a fair amount of money, and can take a lot of time and expertise. If you want your home renovation project to be completed on budget, on time, and without worrying about future mistakes from poor handiwork, a contractor is the best option.  In the GTA, consider looking to our partner Easy renovations for your home renovation needs. EasyReno is one of the GTA’s top-rated home renovation experts and can help with bathrooms, kitchens, basements, and more. Visit them online at for a quote or consultation today.

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