Whether your budget is big or small, the cost of a home renovation can quickly get out of control. Of course, if you are renovating your home, you’ll want it done to a professional level and to a quality standard.
However, it’s amazing what you can achieve if you have a shoestring-budget renovation. Sometimes all it takes is to have a bit of time on your side and a careful mind when planning things out, and you won’t go overboard cost-wise.
Here are seven key tips to keep in mind when planning any renovation tasks to your home, and saving money as you go.
1. Pay with cash
It might sound simple, but paying for your project with money you already have will save you a significant amount of money in the long run. When you start doing renovations, you can end up paying over the odds on interest if you take out a loan, or put things on a credit card that you can’t immediately pay off.
If you’re renovating in order to sell your home, it might make sense financially to take out a loan when you know there will be a return on your investment and the loan will be paid off quickly. But in general, paying in cash is the best way to do things if you can. That way, you can put aside the cash you currently have and work out how much you need to save to add to it to get the total amount you need.
By doing things this way, you’ll work to the budget you can afford, and not get yourself into a financial mess further down the line. If you can’t afford it now, begin thinking about ways you can trim your household budget to save money for your project.
2. Take Your Time
When it comes to renovating your home, planning extensions, completely doing up rooms or installing new bathrooms/kitchens, time is the essence. Waiting for the money to renovate isn’t always a bad thing, because time truly is your friend when it comes to planning a renovation.
The best thing to start doing is to put a time plan together and span your tasks over a longer period. Begin with the first room/space that is in need of the most doing up. It’s always better to tackle the longer, more difficult job first. When the worst task is over, the others will seem relatively easier.
Make sure on your time scale plans that you completely finish one room, before moving onto the next. For one thing, most people find it difficult to finish a project before moving onto the next thing due to distractions. Also, from a budget perspective, beginning with only one or two rooms is smart because if you run into unexpected expenses, you can deal with them without having to halt work, take out a loan, or make huge compromises in other spaces.
Planning a project can be half the fun when you do it right, so take your time! Consider every detail and lay it all out in a planner. This way, you won’t waste time and money later when you’re unsure of your decisions.
3. Balance High and Low-End Materials
Even though it’s great to do a renovation project on a budget., you’ll still need to splash some cash where needed. And it’s the ‘where needed’ but that is key here. Get the most bang for your buck by spending more money on statement items, the real ‘wow’ focus points like quartz countertops for the kitchen, or a statement bath in your bathroom. It’s worth having a number of real quality items and materials which will stand the test of time, and save you money in years to come.
Bathrooms are a great example here. It’s all about getting the basics of a bathroom right first. Invest in a good quality bath and attractive tiling for walls and floors, but shop around for a discounted toilet and sink, which don’t have to be of a certain expensive brand or have fancy features.
Then, reserve funds in other less impactful areas. This is a balance you’ll have to figure out yourself since it varies so much depending on your project and style inclinations. But, in general, spending more money on hardware and statement pieces and less on doors/cabinets is a good rule to consider.
Just work on finding your own balance. You’ll be surprised at how many items actually will slot into the ‘less money’ category.
4. Wait for sales before making big purchases
There are certain times of the year that are better for purchasing certain big-ticket items. Everyone knows about the incredible sales you can get if you shop carefully over Black Friday and Cyber Monday (especially for electronics and power tools), but then also think seasonally too. You can get hold of fantastic outdoor furniture, garden and lawn items when autumn kicks in!
Research thoroughly into the best time to make your purchases, and don’t let your impatience steer you away from getting a good deal.
5. Don’t be afraid to bring in help
When it comes down to budgeting, some people assume this means doing everything themselves to keep costs down. This can sometimes lead to messing things up and having to hire someone to come fix it, then you’ve added expense to your project rather than saving money
Think about your circles. Do you have any electrician friends who have offered to help? What about a colleague who has laid flooring in their home and has the equipment and experience?
If anyone offers to help, it’s worth accepting. Definitely take the help! Trading professional services is one way everybody wins in this type of scenario.
6. Sell anything that you’re not using
When you start analysing your house before or during your renovation, you’ll start to be more aware of what you own. Not a fan of your ceiling lights? By all means, replace them if you have room in your budget. But don’t just throw away the old fixtures. If you need the money, try selling your old fixtures on buy/sell/trade sites like eBay, Gumtree or Depop. Old kitchen cabinets, appliances, doors, hardware, and lots of other materials might be of interest to someone else out there looking for second-hand material.
Your home renovation project can become one of the most exciting times of your life, so try to go into it carefully. Know what you can/can’t do yourself, and don’t get in over your head, budget-wise. No beautiful home is worth the anxiety that comes along with consumer debt.