You’ve decided to take the plunge and renovate your home, congratulations! A home renovation is quite likely to be the most expensive thing you do to your home with many people running over the original budget. We thought it might be useful to look at some of the ways you can potentially avoid unnecessarily overspending.

If you’re renovating your whole home, adding an extension, or just updating your home interiors, it’s important to remain realistic while budgeting. So, let’s take a look at some of the things that can help.

Come up with a list of pros and cons to your project. 

Like with many big decisions, a pros and cons list are always super beneficial. It puts into perspective what it is that you’re getting yourself into. It also means you can assess whether your pros outweigh your cons and gives you a bit of an idea what pitfalls to expect. 


Preplanning and preparation prevent poor performance. Good planning and an idea of your renovation costs are essential, as is deciding what your budget will be and how it will be split into the project. Allocating rough amounts from your budget to specific parts of your project will help you see where most of the money will go. Will most of your budget go on the structural renovation work or on the internal fittings? It’s worth having a think about this. 

It’s also less expensive to create new rooms out of available space rather than extending your home due to the fact that this method is seen as simpler. By removing structural costs from a project, such as building a brand-new extension, you can save up to half on construction bills meaning you can pour your focus into the aesthetic of the room. Examples of projects like this would be loft conversions, basement conversions and garage conversions. You’ll need to seek advice from a structural engineer if you’re planning on removing walls to ensure it’s safe to do so.

Make sure to factor in any temporary accommodation or furniture storage costs that you may need to seek whilst the work is being carried out too.

Employing an Architect

If you’re employing an architect, look for one that has completed similar projects to the one you’re looking to have done. This way, you could have the chance to discuss some clever hints and tips the architect may have picked up to save on costs without compromising too much.

Always make sure that you know what you’re signing up for when hiring an architect. Check what is included within your architects’ fees, for example do the fees cover multiple drawings of designs, will they obtain planning permission for you? And do the include a project managed service? These are all worth double checking and making sure you get what you want within what you’re paying.


It’s wise to ensure that you get at least three quotes when you’re in the market for a contractor. This way you’re able to compare and make sure that the budget you’ve set yourself is realistic and achievable. 

If a contractor was to come back with a much higher price than you were expecting, ask them if and where there might be potential to save money. They may suggest that taking a staged approach may work, so completing certain parts of the project in staggered stages, or they may know of a better way to achieve the look you want in a more cost-effective way.

It’s beneficial to use one main contractor to carry out the work. While they may sub-contractor some of this work, they will ultimately be responsible for ensuring all materials arrive as and when they should and in the correct order too.

Attention to detail 

Once you’ve chosen your contractor, make sure you’re confident that you know what is included in what you’re paying for and what’s not. Being hit by hidden costs is never ideal, so make sure you ask as many questions as you feel you need to.

We’ve only touched the surface on the steps you could take to ensure that you’re on budget and able to see some potentially cost saving exercises which will benefit your project.

With Olive & Umber, we like to make sure that we’re as clear and transparent through the process as possible. We ask our clients do the same by letting us know their budget and expectations. By doing this we’re able to be honest about what of their project can be achieved with the budget they’ve set out and start to look at alternatives if need be.

If you’d like to discuss your project with us, pop us an email to and one of the team will be in touch to see how we can help.

Home Renovations - Work in Progress

Where We Operate: Olive and Umber are building contractors based in Peterborough providing design and build service for home renovation, house extensions, loft conversions, plumbing services and new builds across the UK including LondonOakhamHuntingdon, Northampton, Corby, Kettering, Cambridge, Wisbech, Ely and more.