Without proper planning, renovation budgets can quickly spiral out of control. If you’re on a tight budget, these cost-cutting tips will help you stay one step ahead, while still ensuring you get a good return on your investment.
1. Pay professionals.
Outsource any big jobs. Hiring a professional for plumbing, electrical, and structural work makes sense from a financial and legal perspective. Plus, you avoid any unnecessary and unexpected problems caused by DIY disasters.
Do your research. Get a minimum of three quotes per job to help you weigh the cost and timeline options before you lock anyone in.
2. Switch materials.
Swapping to a more affordable material is an easy renovating win. It will save you money and doesn’t have to affect the overall aesthetic of your renovation. The kitchen and bathroom are ideal areas to trade in top-tier materials for the next price down. Try an engineered stone bench top instead of granite, or laminate as opposed to marble. Consider quarry floor tiles instead of ceramic, or laminate flooring in place of hardwood timber. Keep your expensive materials for small areas where you’re looking to make a statement.
3. Refurbish and re-use.
Renovations don’t have to mean out with the old and in with the new. Before you dump furniture at the curb, see if you can refurbish anything. If you’re upgrading from flat-packed furniture, the standard melamine wood it’s made from is particularly versatile: It can be used to make some shelves or storage units. Reupholster chairs, sofas, and cushions for a fresh feel, or turn an unused side-table into an ottoman. If you’re lacking in the DIY department, hang on to old wares in case your craftsmen can use it for one of your jobs and save you from having to pay for new materials.
4. Don't move the plumbing.
If you’re planning a bathroom renovation, make a major saving simply by sticking with your original plumbing points. You can upgrade everything, but the key is to keep all of your facilities in the same place because moving them is expensive and timely. The same applies to your kitchen and laundry plumbing points. Speak with a qualified plumber who will be able to advise you on how to make the most of your current layout.
5. Mix and match.
Keep costs down by mixing new or high-end goods with cheaper or second-hand finds. You can often save on furniture and appliances. Ask stores about their floor stock and factory seconds. They often have small dents or markings — which can easily be hidden — at a marked-down price. Also check to see if any second-hand furniture services operate in your area.
6. Make cosmetic fixes.
If you’re on a budget, don’t attempt to do everything. Focus on cosmetic fixes; they’re quick, cheap, and easy. Plus, they’re often the things that catch people’s eyes, so they’ll make a big impact. If you can’t afford to re-do your whole bathroom, change the shower screen and taps instead. If you’re looking to re-work your lounge or bedroom on a budget, start with the curtains and cushions. Small fixes amount to big wins.
7. Think long term.
Saving on the spot is great, but a good renovation keeps in mind how much you save in the long run, too. Make energy-efficient choices during your renovation. You don’t need to spend thousands on solar panels, but invest in good quality insulation, LED lights, and even rainwater tanks to save more money down the line. If you’re doing structural renovations, make the most of raw energy (natural light and heat) when you’re planning and placing windows for long-term savings.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Homes to Love.