Photo of woman's hands holding money

How do you budget for a renovation or remodel?

Photo by Alexander Mils

Budgeting for a remodel is one of the toughest tasks designers, DIY and professional, face. Developing an accurate budget for your project is a little bit of work, but it will be so worth it when you're standing in your new room and still have money left in the bank. 

Through trial and error, here are the steps I've developed to budget for interior design projects. Order is important here, and you won't develop an accurate projection if you skip steps.

5 Steps to Creating an Interior Design Budget

1. Finalize your Space Plan: Only when you know everything that is going in the room and where it is going can you start to budget.

2. Get Contractor Bids for Labor & Building Materials: Send your finalized space plan out to one or more contractors for bidding.

3. Calculate Cost of Finishes, Furnishings, and Fixtures: Quantify each and every item and send them out for quotes.

4. Total It All Up: Add Your Contractor Labor and Building Materials to your Furnishings, Finishes, and Fixtures for a Total Budget.

5. Make Adjustments: Now – with your detailed budget in hand and before you’ve purchased anything – is there time to make adjustments? Would you like to spend less? Identify areas to trim. Do you have a few more dollars for this project? Upgrade in areas that are important to you.


She didn't know it, but Jackie Lopey's days as an advertising executive were numbered when she bought and renovated a 1950's bungalow. She soon went back to school and started her own design studio. Jackie is an award-winning, certified interior designer and the founder of Wide Canvas.

Connect with Jackie by emailing

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