Everything Country House Renovations

House Renovation Budget

In this post I will give you an overview of our house renovation budget and costs on our recent home renovation project. This is a real life scenario of two recent retirees downsizing and renovating an 80’s built home for retirement. I will also point out some cost savings ideas which helped our overall house renovation budget. At the end of this post, I will give you details on our house renovation costs and a sample free house renovation budget template / costs spreadsheet for your personal use, plus additional cost saving tips. This will help you if you are wondering how do you work out a budget for renovations and how to make a home renovation budget.

How do you work out a budget for renovations 
How to make a home renovation budget
Budget for House Renovation / House Renovation Budget and Cost of House Renovation on our downsized home shown here. Renovation Budget Template - Cost of Renovation Canada
Budget for House Renovation / House Renovation Budget and Cost of House Renovation on our downsized home shown here. Renovation Budget Template - Cost of Renovation Canada

Renovation Updates

Whew, a lot to cover! There has been a lot going on this last year. We have been renovating our new to us home and that takes time. Here is an interior photo with our new windows. Love them!

Budget for House Renovation / House Renovation Budget and Cost of House Renovation - House Renovation Costs includes New Windows

If you recall from previous posts, we have been renovating 1986 built home. Here is a before and after picture of where we are now. We spent a lot of our budget for house renovation this time on the exterior of our home, which we purchased for retirement. The inside needed some work too, don’t get me wrong. But for the most part the biggest priority was to transform the outside of the house from an ‘ugly duckling’ into a swan 🙂

The other benefit of renovating the exterior e.g. windows and doors is that the look and style of the new windows also helped transform the interior of the house. You might notice from my other posts that I love the country style of decorating. The new Craftsman windows give the interior of the home that country feel as well.

Budget for House Renovation / House Renovation Budget - Cost of House Renovation - Before and After - 
Renovation Budget Template - Cost of Renovation Canada

Your Key Goal

Before you can figure out your house renovation budget and start filling in a renovation budget template, you need to understand your key goal. Is it to renovate the exterior of your home, or the interior, or both?

In case you are wondering, this is our 5th, and hopefully last house renovation. We have renovated the inside of 4 homes, and this time we are focusing on both the interior and exterior of our home. My husband and I are both retired IT professionals, but we were also Project Managers for most of our careers, so I am sure that helped us a bit! We started renovating homes in 2002.

Our End Goal – Retire in a Home we love

Our goal has been to renovate our new to us 1986 built house and transform it into a Craftsman style home. We purchased this house in April 2021 on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada, as a result of downsizing our previous and larger home for retirement. In the past few months, we have refinished our oak floors, replaced roof, gutters and downpipes, all the windows, and patio doors. As well, we completed exterior painting on the entire exterior of the home including grey paint and white trim. Whew! Here is the new exterior paint and trim! Also the new windows and patio doors throughout the house made a major difference. If you want to see all of the changes, the see the links which follow shortly.

House Renovation Budget Cost of House Renovation - exterior paint - Budget for House Renovation - Renovation Budget Template

It’s always difficult to estimate some of these renovation costs. At the end of this post I will give you a renovation checklist of our house renovation budget and costs. I also provide a renovation budget template. It will give you a point of comparison for your own renovation planning and budgeting in CAD$.

Newest post and final reveal:

To see the latest post on our renovation, all the latest updates and final reveal on the exterior updates, see: Exterior House Renovation Final Reveal.

Previous posts on the actual renovations:

If you are interested in seeing the details of our renovations and more pictures please check the previous posts on this topic, in reverse order.

New patio doors – New White Patio Doors with Muntin Bars

Waiting for the Paint to Dry! – New Grey and White Paint on the Exterior

The Muntins are In! – New Craftsman Style Windows with Muntin Bars

September Renovation Updates (Roof, Gutters, Paint and Windows/Doors!)

Renovation Update – Let there be light! – More Floor Photos and Country Style Dining Room Chandelier

New Home and Renovation – Oak Floor Refinishing (This is the first post on our renovation journey). We chose to refinish our Oak floors instead of replacing the hardwood.

Budget for House Renovation

As promised, I thought some of you might be interested in our budget for house renovation and house renovation costs spreadsheet. This will give you a good idea of how much it actually costs to do everything we did here on Vancouver Island. Here is the list of budget items and actual costs in Canadian dollars (CAD), rounded up, so that you have a good example budget for house renovation. (A more detailed renovation budget template is later in this post):

DescriptionCost in Canadian $
Oak Floor Refinishing + New Trim on main level (Living Room, Dining Room, Family Room)$7,500
Roof 40 year Malarkey Vista Laminate tiles, including new skylight and high profile capping$12,750
Gutters with T-Rex Gutter guards$4,750
Windows with Muntin Bars – 13 windows in total, 7 with muntin bars$18,500
4 Patio Doors with muntin bars$16,000
Painting exterior of Home including Trim (3 coats)$11,000
Light Fixtures – interior $400
Painting – interior (paint only)$500
Garage Door (top section replaced) – once complete$1,700
New Carpet in 2 Bedrooms on Main – higher end carpet$4,600
Side Windows on Front door and lockset $1000
Total Actual Costs to date:$78,700

Remaining budget and cost for items we still need to work on

Of course, we aren’t quite done yet. Here are the remaining bigger items to be completed:

Baseboard Heaters:

We still have the original 1986 baseboard heaters. So we are hoping that new heaters will be more efficient. Estimate: $5000.

Kitchen Cupboard Refinishing:

Instead of installing new cupboards, we will probably refinish our solid oak cupboards with a solid paint. We are still looking into options, e.g. whether we could do this ourselves or hire someone to do the painting. Estimate: $1000 – $6000 depending who does the work, us or a contractor. If we tried to replace our kitchen entirely, we would be over our original budget. Fortunately we have granite counters already. If we can resurface the existing cupboards or just buy new cupboard doors, it will save us a lot of money.

As a side note, in previous renovations we have typically spent $25K to $35K on a new kitchen. For each of the last 4 renovations, this included new cupboards and island $18K-$23K, granite $7K and backsplash $2K and appliances $5K. The kitchen renovation budget will always depend on the size of your kitchen, how elaborate your island is, and any special features you want.

Frankly, I haven’t been that impressed with the quality of the cupboard doors in our last 4 kitchen renos. (E.g. steam from a kettle can easily cause the mdf board to expand…not good!) So in the end, keeping our solid hardwood oak doors might be better in the long run.

Kitchen Renovation – Recent Updates

Update – April 15th, 2022 – We were able to hire our painter to paint the cupboards for an hourly rate. Work will start in May. I will post updates on the kitchen cupboards as a separate blog post. Exciting!

Update – June 14, 2022 – I have started a new post for our Oak Cabinets Kitchen Renovation. We are still finishing this project and the cupboards will be complete soon.

Update – September, 2022 – Our Oak Cabinets have all now been painted and are complete. See the changes at the link: Oak Cabinets Kitchen Renovation. I have adjusted the low end budget for this line item below since it cost us about half of the $5000 we estimated for painting the cupboards. By hiring someone at a per hour rate, we paid significantly less than that. Professional companies will charge you more than you need to pay!

Budget for House Renovation - Cost of House Renovation - includes kitchen cupboards

New appliances:

Eventually we will replace our kitchen appliances with stainless steel. Estimate for mid-range stainless steel fridge, stove, dishwasher, microwave – $5000. We have been really impressed with our Bosch dishwasher we have in our new home. Unfortunately it is white! So we will likely buy a Bosch in a stainless steel model in the future. Latest update: the cost of appliances seems to have skyrocketed! Especially for the stainless steel, double french door fridges with ice/water dispensers! We will probably have to up our budget a little, since we won’t compromise on getting what we have had in the past. Revised budget: $6000-$7000.

Latest Update April 15th – We have just ordered our new appliances! New Bosch Stainless Steel Dishwasher, Frigidaire French Door Fridge with Ice/Water maker and Frigidaire Convection Stove Low Profile Stove with AirDryer included. Also we ordered a new Range Hood and altogether these will be $5700 including taxes. Very close to what I expected. We did get a deal for ordering two major appliances of the same brand, free delivery and we are installing our selves 🙂 I have covered this under my next post: Oak Cabinets Kitchen Renovation.

Cost of House Renovation - budget for house renovation - house renovation costs includes appliances


We want to make our yard as maintenance free as possible. Our plan is to redo the flower borders with a rock edging and stone fill. We will likely do a lot of the work ourselves and bring in supplies. Estimate – $2000 for border and rock fill. We recently had the lawn aerated and we plan to do the fertilizing and overseeding ourselves. I made the trip to the hardware store to buy the seed/fertilizer spreader and some fertilizer with moss control and grass seed.

We still have several projects to do and this will keep us busy this coming year. At the end of the day, we will likely spend a total of just under $100K on this renovation.

House Renovation Budget Template

As promised, here is a sample and free house renovation budget template / renovation budget spreadsheet for you to use to plan and budget your house renovation costs. This will give you a good idea of the cost of a typical house renovation in Canada and specifically on Vancouver Island.

Disclaimer: Below is a budget worksheet / template for your use to help plan your renovation costs. The costs would need to be adjusted by you depending on square footage, approach taken, quality, etc. This will give you a rough idea for a typical Canadian home renovation.

In general, we have typically spent $100K on each house we have renovated. But how we spent that $100K depended on what needed to be done in each home. You can take this template and copy/paste to your spreadsheet to use as a starting point.

You won’t likely need to do all of the exterior and the interior, but the totals below would be a starting estimate for both interior and exterior. If you can, you could give yourself a 10% contingency in your budget for unexpected costs. However, whenever I have done that, I usually end up spending it, so I have left it out for now and managed within the budget I set.

The Renovation Budget Spreadsheet

House Renovation Budget Spreadsheet - House Renovation Costs Spreadsheet - Free House Renovation Budget Template - Budget for House Renovation  -  home renovation budget template Canada - cost of renovation canada
cost of renovation canada

Here is the Renovation Budget Template file for download in Excel or you can copy and paste the spreadsheet following the instructions below.

Instructions: You can copy and paste this Renovation Budget Template into Excel or other product and use as you wish for personal use. (Right-click on the table below, select ‘web-select’ option, highlight the area that you want to copy, e.g. the whole table, top to bottom. Then select copy. Go to Excel and open a new blank spreadsheet and select paste. This should format it for you as columns in Excel. This info is copyright, however, modify as needed for your personal use.)


This house renovation budget template includes house renovation costs for a typical Canadian home.

Budget/Cost Range for typical 2500 to 3000 square foot home ($ CAD rounded up)



Refinishing vs installing new Hardwood Floors (supply/install) – should cover about 1600-1800 sq ft at avg $6-$10 /square foot includes install and depends on cost of flooring purchased. Increase estimate for additional rooms. $7000 $18000
Trim / Baseboards throughout (purchase and install)$3,000$5,000
Kitchen Appliances (med to higher grade)$6,000$10,000
Kitchen Cupboards (Painting vs. Replacing) – Tip – Hire an independent painter on an hourly basis.$4,000$22,000
Granite Countertops$5,000 $8,000
Light fixtures$1,000$2,000
Interior Paint (DIY vs. Contractor)$2,000$10,000
Bathrooms (assume $5000 per bathroom, 2 to 3 bathrooms)$10,000$15,000
Laundry Appliances$1,500$2,000
New Carpet in 2 Rooms$3,000$5,000
Interior Costs / Budget Sub-total$43,500$99,000
Roof 40 year Malarkey Vista Laminate tiles, including new skylight and high profile capping$13,000$15,000
Gutters with T-Rex Gutter guards$5,000$6,000
Windows with Muntin Bars – 13 windows in total, 7 with muntin bars (style choices affect price)$15,000$20,000
3- 4 Patio Doors with muntin bars$12,000$16,000
Painting exterior of Home including Trim (3 coats)$11,000$15000
Garage Door (top section replaced) vs. entire door$2,000 $5000
Front door and lockset (refurbish vs. replace)$1,000$3,000
Exterior Cost / Budget Sub-total$59,000$80,000
Potential Budget for typical 2500 – 3000 square foot home (Interior and Exterior)$102,500$179,000

As you can see, the difference between the two columns, is where you can save money, depending on the choices you make. If you need to start moving walls and replacing ceilings because you don’t like the spackle, etc, or adding crown moldings, these would all be extra items. You get the idea. It really comes down to what is good enough for your tastes and your stage of life.

House Renovation Budget and 10 Cost Saving Tips

In general, here are my top tips to managing the renovation of your home, which in the end will help you save costs:

# 1 – Create your own budget spreadsheet and figure out maximum budget you are willing to spend.

#2 – Plan what are your mandatory items and which can be compromised on if the budget gets tight. E.g. do you really need those high end appliances or can mid-range be good enough?

#3 – Track costs along the way to ensure you don’t go over budget. If one items is more than expected, try to adjust other items if possible. You may need to make compromises to stay within your budget.

#4 – Figure out which if any items can be done by you and your spouse/family members, e.g. painting, interior door replacement, some light fixtures, painting trim boards, etc. and those that must be done by a qualified person, e.g. floor installation, plumbing, electrical, roofing, etc.

#5 – Figure out where you can save costs up front, e.g. on our previous renovations, we painted our own trim boards and purchased all the flooring and cupboards ourselves. We waited for sales at our supplier and saved an average of 20% on most of our kitchen cupboards and flooring. If you can paint the interior rooms yourself, you will save thousands. Replacing on the top section of the garage door, saved us $2000, for example. Refinishing our floor instead of replacing the floors this time, saved us a lot.

#6 – Shop around and order as early as possible, as there are always delays. Follow up with vendors to keep the pressure on them for any planned deliveries and scheduling. You want to avoid any situation where the company goes bankrupt and you don’t get your money back! Get your product delivered on site as early as possible, so it isn’t held up on their site in that situation.

#7 – Get at least 3 quotes for larger items, such as windows, roofing, flooring, kitchen cabinets, and installation. But use your own preferred contractors, if you have them for installs such as plumbing, electrical. Find out who your friends and neighbors have used and check google reviews and years in business, if you don’t know the vendor. Check the Better Business Bureau as well.

#8 – Get all price quotes and promises in writing (always) before the work begins, and make sure they are fixed price quotes. If the vendor comes back after the work has begun, and wants to increase the quote, you will need to determine if the change is a mandatory change or not. Remind them it was a fixed quote and if it was truly a surprise, e.g. floor rot, then negotiate. You might need them to cut costs on something else.

#9 – Find out in advance how much you need to pay up front, and only do that if you are comfortable with the vendor. If the vendor wants 100% of the cost up front, warning bells should go off. We typically have done maximum 50% up front, sometimes less and based on progress.

#10 – Pay vendors in a timely manner, once the job is complete, so they will be happy to work with you again. Avoid any late payment fees.

Take photos along the way, so that you have a record of all you have accomplished!

House Renovation Budget template - house renovation costs - budget for house renovation - typical canadian home - renovation costs canada

Final Thoughts

In the end, renovation projects can be alot of work. However, the stress of renovating will be a lot lower if you have time to plan and track your house renovation costs along the way.

If you enjoyed this post, then you might want to read my post on Downsizing for Retirement – Keys to Success or Staging Your Home for Quick Sale.

I hope this post on House Renovation Budget and Costs was helpful to you and that it will help you with your project. Don’t forget to follow my next post on our Oak Cabinet Kitchen Renovation. Please feel free to leave a comment or send me a question at my email address (see contact page).

🙂 Bonnie