Prioritizing Your Renovation Budget

Harris Renovations, Contractor, Carthage, Kitchen, Bathroom, Remodel, Webb City, Joplin, budget

Time to Tackle the Wish List

Unless you’ve just moved into a brand new, custom-built home, then you’ve probably got a list of renovations you’d like to tackle. They may be minor, cosmetic changes. Or, perhaps it’s a longer wish list you’ve been compiling for years. As the list grows, it can get overwhelming when it’s time to prioritize the to-do’s. In what order should you tackle those remodels? How do you determine the value of one project over another?

It’s true, picking your project is stressful, but some tried and true guidelines do exist to help you through the process. Assessing your individual situation can narrow down the selection and make the right choice more obvious. Let’s look at some criteria when it’s time to remodel.

Function First

Though beauty and aesthetics are pleasing to the eye, it is first necessary to get your house operating in tip top shape. True, this is not as fun as the “pretty stuff,” but you will reap the benefits for years to come. Even if you do not intend to sell your house anytime soon, it is prudent to address the mechanics of your house before the cosmetics.

Some of the primary items to address first would be as follows:

  1. Heating and Air Conditioning Units
  2. Roof Repairs or Replacement
  3. Energy Efficient Windows and Doors
  4. Siding Repairs or Replacement
  5. Foundation Repairs

This is not an all-inclusive list. You’ll need to address the problems the are plaguing your house specifically. Perhaps your facing some unfortunate termite damage or a situation that requires mold remediation. Resolving matters such as these are imperative to maintaining your home.

Harris Renovations, Contractor, Carthage, Kitchen, Bathroom, Remodel, Webb City, Joplin

Are You Selling?

The next determining factor in your decision-making process will be whether you’re remodeling to sell. If so, then you’ll want to focus on the biggest bang for your buck. If you’ve heard it once, then you’ve heard it a thousand times – kitchens and bathrooms sell houses.

In today’s market, some items are worth your investment and should not be skipped.


  1. Custom Cabinets
  2. Stone Countertops, such as Granite or Quartz
  3. Updated Appliances

It’s true that these are bigger-ticket items, but the kitchen is the heart of the home. If you renovate this one room to sell, it will pay off in spades. Within each item listed above are less-expensive options. For example, when making selections for your custom cabinets, go with a wood like Alder. This is a timeless choice that is not as expensive as the more exotic woods.


  1. Updated Tub and Surround
  2. New Toilet
  3. Revamped Vanity

This is a much more “bare essential” list, as compared to the kitchen recommendations. Bathrooms are smaller and can be spruced up quite a bit without as large of an investment. However, if your bathroom is really outdated, then you should do more than the basics.

Personal Preference

If you’re not selling, then you’re free to remodel based on your own priorities. In what rooms do you spend the most time? Where would you benefit the most from a renovation? How can you change your house to improve your life? These are the questions to ask when looking at the remodeling possibilities.

To dramatically change the entire house, you can tackle projects like flooring throughout. Couple this with a new coat of paint, and every room will look new and refreshing. Your house might have outdated features, such as wood paneling or slab doors. Now is a great time to give your home the style it deserves.

Harris Renovations, Contractor, Carthage, Kitchen, Bathroom, Remodel, Webb City, Joplin

Budget Boundaries

Your budget will, of course, play a big role in deciding what you do and do not remodel. In fact, it is because of the budget that most remodeling is done in phases. You must ask yourself what is more important – one big project or several little projects. For those of you selling, you’ll want to consult your real estate agent. For those of you enjoying your home for many years to come, you must decide what suits your needs best.

If you’re still at a loss for where to go from here, then read this list of budget points and potential projects. Of course, every house will have different factors to consider. Often, the older the home, the more complicated the remodel will get. Where you live will greatly influence how much you’re going to spend. These estimates are based on the mid-West, where the cost of living is much lower than the coasts.

$10,000 to $15,000

Touch-Up the Master Suite – Address the essentials in the bathroom and tile the floor. Paint the bedroom and install new flooring.

Upgrade the Kitchen – Replace the countertop with granite. Get a new sink and faucet. If the kitchen is small enough, and the granite didn’t blow the bank, then you may be able to upgrade the appliances.

Flooring Throughout the House – Uniformed flooring throughout the entire house is a nice option. Luxury or Engineered Vinyl Plank are increasingly popular and budget-friendly.

$25,000 to $35,000

Overhaul the Bathrooms – If your home has two full bathrooms, modest-sized, this budget will allow for both to be remodeled, including basic plumbing upgrades. You'll need to keep your fingers crossed that there are no unexpected contingencies (which are common in bathrooms). And, you'll have to keep your taste in check to stay within budget.

Kitchen Counters & Cabinets – At this budget point, you will have just enough to get those custom cabinets, a granite countertop, new sink, and faucet. If your kitchen is larger than average, then you’ll need to save a little more.

Semi-Finish the Basement –  You can create that ideal family room oasis in your basement with a convenient kitchenette or bar. This is a great way to add usable square footage to your home.

$50,000 to $75,000

Whole-House Remodel – Working with this budget, you can touch just about every room in the house. Bring your bathrooms up-to-date, install uniformed flooring throughout, put a fresh coat of paint in every room, and address out-of-date features, like wood paneling or slab doors.

The Ideal Kitchen – If you funnel this entire budget into the heart of your home, then you’re going to have one fabulous kitchen. Custom cabinets, quartz countertops, sink, faucet, garbage disposal, new floor, and appliances. If you didn’t have a dishwasher before, you should have one after this remodel.

Basement Basics – Working at the higher end of this budget, you should be able to get a bedroom, bathroom, and living space into your basement.

Make your list, call Harris Renovations, and start remodeling. Enjoy your home and maximize its worth!

Wendy Harris

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