Is Your Renovation Budget Realistic?

by | Apr 23, 2021 | Renovation Tips | 0 comments

While I was browsing a boutique tile store this morning a lady was admiring some beautiful Italian tiles. When she asked the Store Consultant how much the tiles were he answered “$135 a square metre.” The look on her face was of complete shock. It made me think about just how hard it is for some people to create a realistic home renovation budget. Given that many people wouldn’t know the value of renovation products but also the cost of building and design services.

It’s GO time!

Have you decided that it’s time for a fabulous home renovation? You may be wanting to create a nice outdoor entertaining area and deck? Or is it time for a bathroom renovation that will envy a day spa? Renovating can be very exciting! But, it’s not without its many challenges! One of those challenges is creating a realistic home renovation budget. When Simon and I are renovating our own properties I’m up late, laying in bed scrolling through Instagram and Pinterest collecting loads of ideas. Often, too many ideas! 😉 My creative juices are in overdrive. Often, Simon has to bring me down a notch, reminding me of our renovation goals…AND BUDGET!

There it is, that dreaded word ‘BUDGET!’

A home renovation budget is a tricky budget to create. Why? Because unless you’re in the building industry OR have done renovations in the past OR have done extensive research, then you wouldn’t know the cost of products and trades. I’ll give you an example – a basic white, gloss 600x300mm tile starts at a price of $20m2. We’re in the process of renovating an Ensuite at Moggill and the beautiful Beaumont fishscale, aqua tiles being used, to create a feature wall, are $280m2 (our trade price). A bit of a difference in cost to the plain white tile.  So you see, your tastes and the design style can influence your renovation budget.

beaumont fishscale aqua tiles recommended by Avocado Constructions Brisbane

When we come to quote your renovation we are going to ask you ‘What is your renovation budget?’ If you haven’t already made mention of it on our online Quote Enquiry Form. Sometimes people don’t like answering this question. However, the reality is we can’t offer you a professional service if we don’t have an understanding of what you’re prepared to spend for your renovation. We need to be able to make recommendations for your layout and for your design. As well as give recommendations for your fixtures and finishes; to ensure your goals match your budget.

Do you Have Champagne Tastes but a Beer Budget?

Champagne tastes, but a beer budget quite often happens. If you’re prone to shiny object syndrome, like me, it doesn’t help either.

But the best thing you can do is set your renovation budget at the start and do your research.

Make a List

We all know the high you feel when you’ve decided to have a home makeover.  We’re confident that you’ll have fantastic, stylish ideas. If you don’t, then that’s OK too. We can help on that front!

To ensure you create a realistic budget, we suggest starting with compiling your ideas. Identify what it is you’re wanting to change. It might be your:

  • floor plan / layout
  • flooring
  • wall paint colour etc.

In some spaces, such as your bathrooms or kitchen, if you’re not prepared to tackle your space as a complete room renovation you’ll be left feeling unsatisfied with the final outcome.

Next, decide what is a need and what is a want! For example, you may be adamant that you want a Caesarstone kitchen benchtop but you’re willing to compromise on your kitchen cabinetry handles. Or you’re happy with a timber-look laminate bathroom vanity so you can have hand-made porcelain tiles from Italy.

bathroom renovation ensuite red hill brisbane wants and needs advice from Avocado Constructions

Choose your Design Style

Otherwise known as a theme. It could be hamptons, coastal, farmhouse, modern……. The list goes on. Look in magazines or Pinterest to gain inspiration.  Create a Renovation Vision Board. You’ll begin to consolidate your ideas, and then you can start sourcing product prices from suppliers.

If use a contractor, like ourselves, then all products, finishes, and fixtures are included within our quote. We’ll even assist you with nutting out your design style and supply mood boards like the one below. We have agreements in place with suppliers and can obtain trade pricing. Leave us to take care of the logistics associated with sourcing, ordering and delivery.

choose your bathroom design style marble lux mood board at Avocado Constructions

Organise Multiple Quotes

An effective way to determine whether you have champagne taste but a beer budget is to obtain quotes. After you’ve undertaken this process you’ll hopefully discover you in fact have a champagne budget to go with your champagne tastes 😀

Three Quotes is best

We recommend getting three quotes, so you have something to compare. Think about what you want and be as clear and concise as you can be. A good and reputable builder will know the right questions to ask to gain all they need to give you a thorough quote. So, take note of the type of service you’re getting right from the start.

Your first instinct might be to engage the contractor who provided the cheapest price. But do take into consideration the old saying ‘the poor man always pays twice.” You might think that you’re getting a bargain by going with the cheapest quote when in fact the contractor might skimp on quality or professionalism. A little further down we touch on how quality products can make or break a renovation.


If you can, get recommendations from family and friends as a recommendation speaks highly of the company and can go a long way to helping your peace of mind.

One of the brilliant things about working with a professional and experienced renovation business who comes recommended, like US, is that we’re here to help you.  We can honestly advise you of what you can get for your $$$s, make recommendations and advise you of how to achieve the desired renovation and look within budget.

hipages testimonial excerpt for Avocado Constructions Brisbane

Google and Hi Pages

Check out Google and Hi Pages for a local building contractor in your area. And don’t forget to check the businesses out on social media to see what others have to say. (It can be pretty enlightening sometimes).

Quite often, if businesses have a social media presence, you’ll be able to check out their latest jobs and see what type of work they do. You might get some insight into how they respect (or not) their client’s home with how they leave things or what their job site looks like during a renovation. As well as get to know the people behind the scenes.

bathroom renovation recommendations on Facebook for Avocado Constructions Brisbane

Prepare for The Unexpected

More often than not something unexpected will occur during your home renovation project. Apart from underestimating costs, a couple of examples include asbestos or termites. It can also be very costly exercise if you begin changing your mind along the way. Also, poor quality products might mean breakages.

Quality Products can Make or Break a Renovation

The product quality used in your renovation can make or break your renovation. Not always immediately, but down the track, problems can start to arise. And these problems where corners have been cut to save money at the time can add up significantly to fix.

For example, if your bathroom or wet area waterproofing isn’t done professionally and accurately in the beginning, this can have a significant impact down the track.

Someone we know purchased a house with a renovated bathroom, but it turns out their shower had no waterproofing. The shower had been leaking and had rotted the floor joists so severely they were just lucky it hadn’t given way while they were in there.

A few tips:

  • Porcelain tiles are of higher quality than ceramic.
  • Caeserstone or Litherstone stone benchtops are more expensive however are of a higher quality and more durable compared to laminate.

Exactly What Goes into a Builder’s Quote?

Like many occupations, there’s more to what you see.

As well as the years of experience and knowledge, relevant licenses and insurances which builders and tradespeople need there’s also:

  • Tools that need to be upgraded, replaced, or repaired
  • Communication – we’re passionate about this, but it all takes time
  • Vehicle and Trailer wear and tear
  • Vehicle and Trailer registrations and insurances
  • Planning time
  • Taxes to be paid
  • Permits to be paid and obtained
  • Paperwork to be done
  • Fuel
  • Employees wages and superannuation
  • Keeping on top of all the OH&S and workers compensation rules and regulations.
  • Accountant fees.

So you see, it isn’t just labour us builders have to factor into our quotes.

There’s a great article on Facebook doing the rounds that details just how valuable engaging a professional is if you’d like to check it out.

what goes into a kitchen renovation quote at Avocado Constructions

Why you Should Engage Professional Tradespeople

Renovating your home is an investment and quite often a large one. Like any investment, you want to ensure it’s in good hands. It’s even more important when it’s quite literally the roof over your heads!

With a professional tradesperson, you’ll receive:

  1. Experience.
  2. Quality products and services from reputable suppliers and trades.
  3. A quote detailing the scope of work:
    • Terms and conditions
    • Payment schedule
    • Warranty details
    • If there are any aspects, you are responsible for. For example, if you wish to undertake the painting yourself.
  4. Insurance cover when it comes to:
    • Public liability insurance
    • Renovation insurance with QBCC
    • Workers compensation.
  5. The relevant certificates, i.e. waterproofing certificate.
  6. A warranty guarantee or some type of satisfaction assurance.
  7. A contract detailing the fine print, so everyone knows where they stand.

“A handyman or backyard operator may be cheaper, but they may not have many of the above, particularly the proper insurances. And if the unfortunate happens, the repercussions don’t bear thinking about.”

Support a Professional and Reputable Home Renovation Business

If you’re ready to tackle a DIY home makeover, we wish you luck and hope this blog has given you some tips. If you’re overwhelmed, not confident or just want to leave the renovation in the capable hands of a builder look for a reputable and professional home renovation business.

From the first moment you contact us at Avocado Construction, through the consultation and quoting stage, design and selections stage, actual renovation works and finally the cleanup and handover; you’ll be dealing with a professional and reliable small business that appreciates and looks after our clients.

Want to know more? Reach out, and let’s have a chat about your renovation project now. We even have finance options to help with your home renovation costs.

About Us

meet Simon Edwards Avocado Constructions Brisbane

Avocado Constructions is a Brisbane renovation business delivering superb and high-quality home renovations for families across Brisbane. Our specialty is bathroom renovations, delivering modern, functional designs. Although, we can discuss any renovation project you have. With 19 years of building experience, fully licenced trades and a commitment to delivering exceptional workmanship, your renovation project is in safe hands with Simon and the team.

Want to know more about Avocado Constructions? Find out more here