Budgeting for a House Reno? Here’s Where to Save and Splurge

We’ve watched seasoned professionals like Scott McGillivray and Bryan Baeumler plan and execute brilliant remodels and designs without going over budget all the time on HGTV Canada. So we knew who to ask for advice when budgeting for a home reno.

Read on for all of the guys’ hot tips on where to put your money and where to save a buck when considering your own budget for a house renovation. And be sure to check out the hosts in their latest series, Renovation Resort, airing Sundays at 10 pm ET/PT on HGTV Canada.

SPLURGE: The Primary Bedroom

Bryan makes a fair point: The primary bedroom is your retreat and your space, so why shouldn’t you put a good chunk of your renovation budget into making it everything you’ve always dreamed of? Within reason, of course. A good mattress and fantastic sheets can go a long way. But so can a small lounge area or built-in shelves and closets. Figure out your affordable luxury point and work backwards from there.

Related: Dreamy Bedroom Trends for 2023 That Will Make Your Space Feel Like New

Feature wall in primary bedroom
HGTV Canada

SAVE: Furniture

Bryan, by his own admission, is likelier to splurge on furniture than Scott. But finding sturdy pieces that will hold up without breaking the bank is an excellent way to cut some of that mounting renovation budget. If you can source second-hand items, all the better, but consider how you’ll be using that furniture as well. Is it going in a family or kids’ room, where will it eventually get destroyed? That’s definitely not a piece worth shelling out extra coins for.

Related: 20 Of Our Favorite Canadian Furniture Stores in 2023

SAVE: A Feature Wall

Feature walls are all the rage, but Scott says that doesn’t mean they must be super expensive. A different paint color, wallpaper, or even a photo collage can help pull together a creative and inexpensive feature wall that packs a big punch without breaking the bank.

Related: This DIY Accent Wall is a Little Bit of Effort for Big, Cheerful Results

Bedroom with dark feature wall and modern dim lighting
HGTV Canada

SPLURGE: Flooring

Scott and Bryan agree: Floors do a big job, so you must set aside enough money for good materials. These days there are all kinds of flooring to choose from, whether you’re looking at tile, LVP, hardwood, or something else. When budgeting for floors, be sure to set aside enough to potentially replace the subfloor, add in any luxe finishes (like heating!), and factor in any necessary staining or protection as well.

SPLURGE: Kitchen Cabinets

Cabinets take a lot of wear and tear, so if you’re gutting your kitchen, Scott recommends spending a little extra for higher quality cabinets that will store all your stuff and last, rather than inexpensive pieces you may have to replace or paint a few years down the road.


Even for beginner renovators, the backsplash is one of the easiest things to replace in a kitchen. It’s also one of the least expensive things, so both Bryan and Scott agree that you don’t need to go hog wild with the coolest and most expensive backsplash. Pick a pattern that suits your space, and know that if you need to switch up your kitchen in a few years, the backsplash is one place where you can instantly create a whole new vibe.

Related: 15 Unusual Kitchen Backsplash Trends of 2023

Dark marble island counter in a renovated kitchen
HGTV Canada

SPLURGE: Permanent Fixtures

If you’re adding any kind of permanent fixture to your renovation, whether it be cabinets in the kitchen or bathroom, a built-in structure for storage, or even a bench in the kitchen, put money aside and ensure you have high-quality materials that will last. It’s a lot harder to switch out these permanent fixtures than it is, say, a new appliance, so if you’re in a position where you’re unsure where to prioritize your money, that’s an excellent place to start.

Related: Bryan Baeumler on Renovation Costs, How Much Should You Budget Per Room?


Another easy thing to swap out when needed is the hardware on cabinets and drawers in the kitchen and bathrooms. So don’t worry about picking the most expensive or fanciest pieces for your reno because you can easily swap them out down the line when you have more money in your savings account.

Pink kitchen with gold accents
HGTV Canada

SPLURGE: Countertops

Scott and Bryan are divided on this one, but Scott maintains counters are something you can easily swap out once the structure of your kitchen is complete. If you’re at a make-or-break point with your budget, consider a less expensive countertop while you save for the one you really want down the line.

Related: The Kitchen Counter Upgrades That Will Increase the Value of Your Home

SAVE: Lights

One topic the guys do seem to agree on in the savings department is lights. Not only do lights help set the mood of your space, but the styles are also constantly changing and evolving. What you love today might not be something you love in the future. So don’t feel like you need to dedicate a ton of money to high-quality fixtures and lamps; instead, go for the budget models with LED bulbs that will last you forever.

For more expert tips from Scott and Bryan, tune in to Renovation Resort Sundays at 10 pm ET/PT on HGTV Canada, also available on the Global TV App and on STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, fuboTV, Rogers Ignite TV and Ignite SmartStream.

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