Find efficiencies during home renovations!

Everything adds up when renovating a new house, including those unexpected costs that can catch you by surprise! It’s extremely important to put together a realistic budget before you begin this kind of adventure and to be a little generous when making it. Don’t quote small and always add a percentage for sneaky bills…we usually do 10%. I also like to account for the cost of the trades we hire out like plumbing, electrical, some extensive drywall work, window instalment, you name it. Craig does have a day job after all and can only work on this project after work and on weekends.

With all of that said, we did have a couple things that went over budget for us during this renovation that we hadn’t factored in. This can happen, esspecially when you plan on doing it yourself to save money, budget too low and change your mind about the design or when you realize your time is more valuable elsewhere like with the kiddos.

With this renovation we got all NEW windows for the house. I really wanted a specific look for them and the originals had to go. They were in great condition but they were single pane and we wanted double. We didn’t plan on changing them in the beginning and let me tell you, new windows can cost well over $10,000! We also didn’t plan on having new stairs installed but once we got our renovation permit we found out that they weren’t up to code. We put a spreadsheet together before we begin anything to ensure all of our ideas work within budget and factor everything in down to the smallest plumbing fixture. So, once again we had to decide if this job was something Craig should do or if it would be more beneficial to contract out a professional stair company, which we did.

Next up of things we didn’t quite budget for was our panel ready appliances. I mean, we knew we wanted a panel ready refrigerator BUT we didn’t plan to get a panel ready dishwasher AND wine fridge. Well, panel ready appliances are much more expensive than the average appliance!

With all of that said, I’m here today to talk to you guys about how Amex Canada can make home renovations a little less stressful, because over here we like to make use of all of the benefits that come along with our Cards.

Our stove (which I haven’t mentioned yet) was a BIG splurge for us, but I loved it and I had budgeted for it from the beginning. We paid for it using my Amex Platinum Card because we knew we were going to earn major points from the big purchase! With an earn rate of 1.25 points per dollar, we learned that points can add up quickly from just everyday spend.

We’ve done this a lot along the way with this renovation. We pay for things at the hardware store (even those sale items that Craig just can’t leave without lol) with our Amex, so we can be earning points towards travel or covering our Card charges with those points later. All you need to do is use your Card for everyday purchases or business expenses and your points will add up quickly!

I usually have the kids in tow when I’m running errands trying to get things in order for the new house. When I do, I usually treat them to a quick lunch on the go and even then I’m earning points from that! I charge all my daily purchases to my Card from meals at local restaurants to the latest tools or appliances. Then, we log into the Amex App to redeem our points for a statement credit. You simply just click on an eligible purchase that has been charged to your Amex and redeem points on the go. A statement credit will be applied to our account usually within 48 hours et voila!

Most recently we used our Membership Rewards points to get Home Depot gift cards. They really came in handy because we put them towards more drywall and a spray machine to paint all of our new interior doors. We don’t like using brushes because we prefer that baked on look, so we needed lots of it. We also used the gift cards for towards panel ready appliances and plumbing for installing them. It was SUCH a relief to be able to use points towards our purchases and it seriously saved us a ton of money.

As a family with two kids, an unexpected bill can cause a lot of strain on a relationship but luckily we have been through enough of these renovations that we know how to work through these things. That being said, we aren’t perfect and an unexpected bill can cause tension either way. We luckily made use of our points and these Home Depot cards helped SO much. Needless to say, we slept soundly that night haha! So many people have no idea how much you can use your Amex for and I am so excited to share with you in the hopes that you can take advantage of these great features. I am a firm believer that your credit card should work in your favor and our American Express Platinum Card ALWAYS comes through for us in so many ways.

Something I learned this time around is that I could get TJX gift cards with my points!!! Ahhhhh that means Homesense, Winners and Marshalls…a place I loiter at oh, almost every week LOL.  So once our renovations are complete and I am on the hunt for those final decor pieces, I can use my points that I have earned from spending on this renovation to get a TJX gift card to decorate. More relief! When I found out I was literally dancing around the room.

Our points give us access to a wide range of exciting Membership Rewards!! You too can enjoy a selection of top-brand merchandise, premium travel and entertainment rewards, as well as a variety of gift cards and certificates. If you’re renovating your home like me, you could be earning points to put towards a big vacation you can take once all of the chaos blows over. I know we are saving some points to put towards one! I was telling Craig that him and I need to plan a getaway somewhere hot to just lay on the beach and sip Pina Coladas!!!!

Anyways, back to our reno, excuse my moment of day dreaming…

Today on the blog I am sharing some of our house progress with you from painting our new interior doors to some tiled floors to panel ready appliances we are working on. I’m also revealing a peek of our new stove I was talking about earlier. If you watched my Instagram stories you may have seen me faint or cry from excitement about this thing. I am so grateful to be able to spoil myself, I have dreamt about this stove for years – no lie. I spend almost all of my time in the kitchen and I am so, so glad that buying it earned us points to help relieve some expenses from this project. I like to think of it as a big gift from American Express just from using my card for a purchase. Sounds like a win to me!

This post was sponsored by Amex Bank of Canada.  The views and opinions expressed in this blog, however, are purely my own.