Planning home improvements but worried about your budget? Weâ€™ve asked Which? members to tell us whether theyâ€™ve ever gone over their allocated budget on a project, and on which aspects, to find out how to reduce the risk.Â
In May 2018, we asked 1,493 Which? members* who are homeowners about the renovation work they had done on their homes. 22.4% of them had spent more than they planned on their projects. Double-height extensions most commonly broke the bank Ăˇ of the people who had built one, 19.4% had gone over their budget.
The next most likely project to overspend on is creating open-plan spaces, with 19% spending more than planned here. In third place is building a single-storey extension, to create either a living space or kitchen, for which 17.9% went over their budget.
The graphic below shows the top five renovations that end up costing more, with the percentages of people doing those projects that overspent. Keep reading for more details on how much people went over by, and how you can save on your next project.
If youâ€™re looking to start a home renovation soon, visit our home improvements section for in-depth advice on a range of projects, and use Which? Trusted Traders to find recommended traders vetted by our experts.
We also asked people to tell us how much extra they had spent on top of their initial planned budget. Answers varied â€“ while some had overspent by less than 10%, others had paid more than double their original allocation. For the top five, most people went over by:
Weâ€™d recommend that you always start any home improvements with at least a 10% extra buffer in the bank, to help soften the blow of costly additions that may arise once work starts. If you donâ€™t end up spending your contingency, you can put it towards higher-quality fixtures and finishes, or start saving for your next project.
We asked 213 of our Which? Trusted Traders (in May 2018) for their top tips on how people can keep on track with their budget. Here are the most popular suggestions:
We regularly speak to people about their experiences with buying their kitchen and bathroom, including how to keep costs down.
When we asked 3,443 kitchen owners (in October/November 2017) how they cut down the costs of their fitted kitchen last year, the top three tips were:
These are just some of the things you can do â€“ visit our page onÂ kitchen costsÂ to see the full list, as well as insider tips from our kitchen pricing investigation last year, which revealed some surprising shortcuts to a cheaper kitchen.
The 3,982Â bathrooms owners we asked (in February 2018) employed similar tactics to keep down the cost of their bathroom:
Our page on bathroom suites includes the full list, as well as durability ratings for big-name bathroom brands, including B&Q, Bathstore and Victoria Plumb.
*Survey of 1,493 Which? members in May 2018 who have had renovation work in their home. The projects were: renovating a kitchen (841); renovating a bathroom (811); building a conservatory/orangery (256); single-storey extension (330); creating an open-plan space (153); loft conversion (126); double-height extension (124); adding a garage (122); converting a garage (78); adding a garden room (73).