The Simplest Way To Keep A Reno On Budget, According To HGTV's Scott McGillivray

Keeping a renovation on budget can be challenging, which is why it's important to identify your renovation priorities and focus your budget on those areas using a detailed renovation plan. It's also essential to find out where you can compromise or find cost-effective alternatives without sacrificing quality. This is why Scott McGillivray, in an article for the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, recommends shopping around for materials and looking beyond the typical big-box stores for things like stone cutoffs and end-of-line products.

While this requires more time and effort, put the work in and you'll be more likely to stay on budget during your renovation. Shopping around for materials includes checking out local stores, being flexible with your desired materials, and being open to second-hand or reclaimed products. For example, you may shop at outlets and choose mid-range materials instead of purchasing high-end options and making custom orders. One tip is to stick to the original plan and not get carried away while shopping around. By resisting the temptation to add extra, unnecessary features, you avoid "scope creep" and save money.

How to shop around for materials

To follow Scott McGillivray's expert advice on keeping a reno on budget, you'll need to "shop around" for deals and consider alternatives, like end-of-line products. End-of-line products refer to items that are no longer being produced or sold by the manufacturer and are offered at discounted prices to clear inventory and make way for new products. They can be found online and by visiting local home improvement stores, lumberyards, and specialty retailers. When purchasing, consider other factors like availability, warranty coverage, compatibility, and the potential need for additional quantities in the future.

For a kitchen renovation, consider using stone cutoffs for new surfaces. These products are typically sold at discounted prices since they're remnants from larger slabs. They vary in size and shape so it's important to find pieces that can be arranged to fit your project, such as an island or countertop. They should also be made from material that's durable, resistant to heat, stains, and scratches, and appropriate for food preparation and daily use. Before purchasing, consider the installation cost and process because you might need to hire a professional to put the pieces together. You can find them at local stone suppliers, fabricators, or countertop shops but their availability will always vary since they're scraps.

Additional tips for shopping around

Staying on budget during a renovation project is possible, but as Scott McGillivray says, shopping around for your reno's materials can help. Per the HGTV star, "Big box stores can be great but they're not the only option" (via Modern Wellness Guide). Also, you could opt for alternative materials that offer a similar look but at a lower price tag.

For example, you might consider laminate flooring instead of hardwood or stainless steel appliances instead of higher-priced options. However, ensure that any alternatives you choose meet your specific requirements. Also consider second-hand or reclaimed materials for certain features like cabinets, doors, windows, fixtures, and furniture. You can find these at second-hand stores, salvage yards, and online marketplaces like 1stDibs, Chairish, and Facebook Marketplace. Don't be afraid to negotiate the prices when dealing directly with sellers, especially if you're shopping for multiple items.

Another tip is to DIY where possible. When you've finally secured affordable materials, see if you can tackle some of the tasks yourself to save on labor costs like woodworking or installing hardware. However, be realistic about what you can handle safely and effectively. Shopping within a budget is important, but it's crucial to balance it with quality and durability so ensure you choose the right materials and they're installed the right way.