Top factors of a Renovation influencing build costs and your Budget.

1. Size / Square footage: the size of the project is the first factor to consider. This will affect the quantity of raw building materials, finishing materials and labor.

2. Area of home being renovated: this will affect the scope of work and materials required. Kitchens and bathrooms as an example are typically the most expensive rooms in your home. Beyond the basic walls that every room has they have additional electrical, venting, plumbing systems & fixtures, cabinets, countertops and typically a higher level of finishing. As a general rule the more extensive and or complicated the scope of work and the higher the level of finish the more expensive the renovation will be.

3. Finishing Materials: One of the most exciting parts of a renovation is selecting your finishing materials to suite your personal tastes. While raw construction costs per square foot are reasonably consistent finishing materials can range in cost quite dramatically. While visiting all the beautiful showrooms you will need to be a responsible shopper if you want to stay on budget. It is not at all uncommon to fall in love with products outside your budget. It may be advisable to have your salesperson pull product samples in colors and styles that fit your budget rather than just walking through the showroom. While it is nice to peruse through the showroom your eye will inevitable be drawn by something flashy far outside your budget. If it’s absolutely stunning and looks like a million bucks, it probably is. Also of note, quite often pricier and more exotic materials cost more to install compounding the price difference.

4. Custom Designs & Features: Custom designs & features can really set apart your renovation project. When setting a budget, you must understand that custom features will come with a custom price tag. They typically take extra time to plan, more time to build and install. Often they may incidentally require the addition of other scopes of work to be completed that a homeowner might not have anticipated.


A great example might be custom appliances in a kitchen like a built-in gas range top and custom range hood. While a typical home owner might expect to pay a little more for these upgraded appliances their “true cost” likely will not be expected as most homeowners will likely not anticipate extra costs associated with their appliance selection.

  1. Cabinets must be custom built to fit specific range top and range fan
  2. Gas line will need to be run for new gas range.
  3. Range fan exhaust venting ducts will likely need to be enlarged to accommodate extra CFM of new larger fan meaning HVAC work.
  4. Because the new fan exhausts so much air a make-up air system may need to be installed on the furnace as a mechanism to draw in new air while the range fan is exhausting air.
  5. Extra install time & labor for the appliance.

It should also be mentioned that because custom features or items take longer to order, build and install you can expect that the schedule will need to be adjusted to accommodate.

Finally, as anything truly custom is by definition not mass produced, cookie cutter, “standard” or “typical” there may be unexpected fitment issues or other hiccups. To some extent this is to be expected. Custom features will have custom issues. A good contractor will sort them out but you will need to be patient while they are doing so.