DIY reno: Where to splurge and where to save

February 7, 2023

When you’re doing a project yourself, it can be hard to know how to best spend your dollars without the advice of a pro. That said, rising costs can make it more tempting to ditch the contractor and take on home projects ourselves. To help you make some decisions and use your money wisely, here are 6 tips on where to splurge and where to save.



Some of the most significant day-to-day wear of anywhere in your home is felt by your floors. They are a hassle to replace, so choose the best quality you can afford to avoid ripping out the material and paying for new ones again in just a few years’ time. Look to balance comfort underfoot, an appearance you like and longevity. If you already have solid wood underfoot, consider refinishing the planks rather than replacing them. It will still cost a pretty penny but offers a fresh new look for less money and trouble.


Kitchen cabinetry

If you’re building a new home or your old kitchen cupboards are really in bad shape, consider good quality plywood cabinet sides and shelves. These face years if not decades of wear and tear in one of your home’s busiest spaces, so good bones are essential. But, unless your kitchen has a particularly odd layout, it’s not typically worth it to go custom. If your existing cabinets are in pretty good shape, you can update the hardware, and paint, refinish or replace the doors when you want to change your style. This is absolutely the smart place to save.


Living room comfort

You likely spend a lot of time on your couch, whether it’s snuggling in front of the fireplace or binging your favourite TV show. With all the use your sofa gets, you’ll need one that can hold up. If you’re considering spending a little bit more on a higher-quality couch for a living room upgrade, it’s most likely the right call. While a fresh slipcover or new fireplace mantel make great DIY projects, your do-it-yourself skills are unlikely to replicate the endless comfort of a well-engineered, splurge-worthy couch.



There’s little doubt that elegant and exciting light fixtures add something special to an entryway, powder room or dining area. But with so many options for lighting available, you don’t have to stick with high-end brands or manufacturers to get an electrifying look. Check out antique stores and big box store brands to hunt down the statement piece you love (or would love to improve) at the right price.


That special something

While you can’t splurge on everything, it’s worthwhile to pick one or two things for your home to spend a little extra on. It will give you something to savour and stop you from feeling deprived about keeping costs low in other areas of your home. Take some time to consider what it is. You might go for expensive cabinet pulls or your favourite exquisite tile. If it’s something you’ve had your eye on or will really make your place feel like home, go for it.



Traditional masonry is timeless, elegant – and highly expensive. Its heavy weight usually requires a skilled mason to install. Lighter-weight stone veneer is almost always the right choice for an affordable stone façade. Mechanically fastened stone veneer Fusion Stone makes creating a gorgeous natural stone appearance even more DIY friendly. It eliminates the need to mess about with mortar – which can add drying time, material costs and risks improper (and therefore short-lived) installation. Instead, you simply screw the starter strips to the wall and then screw in the stones.

Ultimately, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to how to spend your money on your own reno. When deciding whether to splurge or save on your DIY renovation, think about how you will continue to use the space, what’s hardest to replace down the line, what more affordable or DIY-able options are out there, plus how much room you have in your budget.

Check out our how-to videos to see Fusion Stone in action and learn how it’s done.