Home renovations can be exciting yet expensive. However, with a bit of planning, research, and creativity, you can transform your space without breaking the bank. In this step-by-step guide we explore practical tips and tricks to help you cut costs on your home renovation project.
How to cut renovation costs
- Have a plan
- Assess value-add
- Consider future-proofing
- Set a budget
- Decide whether to DIY
- Find the right professionals
- Work with what you have
- Agree a timescale
- Consider a party wall agreement
- Prepare for unforeseen problems
- Cut refuse disposal costs
- Keep track of your budget
- Add luxury at a low cost
- Buy ex-display
- Consider upcycling
- Keep it simple
- Reduce plumbing costs
- Sell things you don’t use
#1 – Have a plan
There are many reasons to tackle a renovation project, from creating more space to giving it modern decor. You should be clear on the why as well as the what before going any further.
Staying organised throughout is key, so start as you mean to go on.
#2 – Assess value-add
As mentioned, a big reason for tackling a home improvement project is to add value to your home. This is especially important if you’re looking to sell up for a higher profit in the near future.
Consider what buyers want; home improvement trends change, so speaking to estate agents to get a feel for what people are looking for can be a great place to start.
After the pandemic, many people are looking for more space – including outside. So, giving the garden the same attention you would the inside might be a good idea.
#3 – Consider future-proofing
If your plan isn’t to sell, consider longevity. Will your home meet your needs in, say, 5 years’ time? Creating more space, e.g. a loft conversion, can help make sure you don’t outgrow your property.
Also, bear in mind that certain wallpaper and paint trends date quickly, so it’s advisable to pick a more neutral colour scheme.
Ways to future-proof your home include:
- Making energy-saving home improvements (e.g. boiler upgrade)
- Investing in smart tech
- Considering open-plan designs
- Movable partitions
- Good lighting
#4 – Set a budget
Setting a budget for home improvements is an important step in ensuring that your project stays on track. Determine the scope of your project and the amount you are willing to spend before getting started. This will help you avoid overspending and keep your home improvement project on budget.
Home improvements can transform and add value to your home but it is easy for costs to escalate and projects to go wrong. Keeping on top of your home improvement costs is essential to avoid overspending and to ensure that you stay within your budget.
Here are some tips to help you manage your home improvement costs:
- Set a budget: Before starting any home improvement project, set a budget that includes all the costs you will incur. Make sure to account for all the materials, labour, and other expenses that may arise.
- Research costs: Do your research to find out the approximate costs of the materials and labour involved in your project. You can use online resources, such as cost calculators and price comparison websites, to get an idea of what you should be paying.
- Get multiple quotes: Don’t settle for the first quote you receive. Get multiple quotes from different contractors or service providers to compare prices and find the best deal.
- Track your expenses: Keep track of all your expenses, including receipts, invoices, and bills. This will help you stay on top of your spending and avoid any surprises when it comes time to pay.
- Be flexible: Be prepared to make adjustments to your plans if necessary to stay within your budget. Consider cheaper alternatives or doing some of the work yourself to save money.
- Plan for contingencies: Always plan for unexpected expenses or contingencies that may arise. This can include additional materials, labour costs, or repairs that need to be made.
By following these tips, you can keep on top of your home improvement costs and ensure that your project stays within your budget. The cost of your renovation will depend on the property size, type, and more.
House renovations can be expensive, but there are several ways that people can finance them including savings, loans, credit cards and refinancing. By using one or more of these options, people can afford to renovate their homes and increase their home’s value and livability. It’s important to weigh the costs and benefits of each option before making a decision.
Home renovation loans work well for many, and often provide favourable interest rates. Do your research into what the right option is for you.
Get a homeowner loan quote below – without affecting your credit score.
#5 – Decide whether to DIY
When renovating your house, it’s important to consider what you should spend and save on to make the most of your budget. To keep costs down you may well be tempted to do the whole project yourself. However, is that necessarily the best idea?
Depending on the size and scale of your project, you may well need an architect to ensure everything goes to plan.
Dodgy finishings or even poor paintwork can be expensive to fix, or may even knock some value off your property. If you do decide to DIY, do you have the skills, time and tools to do the work?
One area to prioritise spending on is quality materials. Investing in good-quality materials can ensure that your renovation project will wear well and look better.
Additionally, it’s important to hire skilled professionals for essential tasks such as plumbing and electrical work to ensure the safety and functionality of your home. Another area to consider spending on is energy-efficient upgrades, which can save you money on utility bills in the long run and make your home more attractive to potential buyers.
On the other hand, you can save money by avoiding non-essential features, such as high-end lighting or custom features, that may not add significant value to your home. Doing some of the work yourself or using stock materials can help save on labour and material costs. By balancing your spending and saving and prioritising essential features, you can create a renovation project that is both functional and cost-effective.
#6 – Find the right professionals
It’s a good idea to find local tradespeople, with experience with your type of property and the job you require: this should save money and time. Painters and decorators charge different amounts. Always read reviews to get a feel for whether they’re up to the task. They’ll also be able to advise on the best time of year for renovation work.
There are several ways to ensure that you hire someone who is reputable and trustworthy.
Here are some tips to help you find reliable tradespeople:
- Ask for referrals: Ask friends, family, or neighbours for recommendations of tradespeople they have used and had a positive experience with. Personal referrals are often the most reliable way to find a trustworthy tradesperson.
- Check online reviews: Check online reviews from websites such as Yelp or Google Reviews. Look for tradespeople with high ratings and positive reviews from customers.
- Verify credentials: Make sure that the tradesperson you hire has the proper licenses and certifications for their trade. You can check with your local licensing board or professional organisation to verify their credentials.
- Get multiple quotes: Don’t settle for the first quote you receive. Get multiple quotes from different tradespeople to compare prices and find the best deal. Make sure to ask for a detailed breakdown of costs and services.
- Ask for references: Ask the tradesperson for references from previous customers. Contact these references to ask about their experience with the tradesperson, including the quality of their work, timeliness, and professionalism.
- Check insurance: Make sure that the tradesperson has liability insurance and worker’s compensation insurance to protect yourself in case of accidents or damages.
By following these tips, you can find a reliable tradesperson who will do quality work and give you peace of mind during your home renovation project.
We can connect you with professionals – for free. Get a competitive quote below.
#7 – Work with what you have
It can be tempting to strip everything and start from scratch. However, you’re not necessarily guaranteed to get a better finish this way, nor is it always the most cost-effective solution.
For example, you don’t have to rip out all the units if you’re renovating your kitchen. Replacing the handles, taps and worktops can go a long way, without breaking the bank.
Assess the layout of your home and rooms you’re looking to renovate. Are you happy with it? Could you do more with the space? There are many clever storage solutions and ideas for small rooms that can make spaces feel bigger, without you having to start from scratch or knock down walls. For example, use height and unused space (e.g. the back of the door) to your advantage!
#8 – Agree a timescale
When it comes to budgeting and timescales, be realistic but firm. The longer a project runs on for, the more it will likely cost you.
Agree a workable timescale with any professional you get on board, have regular meetings and don’t be afraid to query things. Poor organisation costs money, so stay on top of things.
If you’re project managing the renovation yourself, this means staying one step ahead; mitigating against problems before they occur. Good management skills and knowledge of the building process will be key.
#9 – Consider a party wall agreement
If you have a good relationship with a neighbour and can convince them to carry out a similar project at the same time, such as extending along a shared party wall, you could enter a party wall agreement.
This would help you save money as you’d be sharing certain costs, e.g. materials.
#10 – Prepare for unforeseen problems
Failing to plan is planning to fail! Ensure your spec is as detailed as possible, or you run the risk of incurring ‘hidden’ costs.
Also, pay attention to ‘unforeseen’ issues. Things such as drainage, plumbing and roofing can all cause problems that may be expensive to fix and lead to delays. Look closely at every detail, leaving no stone unturned. From plug sockets to light switches, make sure everything is where you want it to be.
#11 – Cut waste disposal costs
Depending on the scale of your project, you may generate a large amount of waste and refuse. You may not have to pay for refuse at the tip, often it’s only commercial vehicles that do.
Considering reusing soil for landscaping, as landfill can be expensive. In most cases, clean rubble and topsoil are the cheapest to dispose of.
#12 – Keep track of your budget
Keeping changes to a minimum should help avoid extra costs. However, you should also make sure you have a tight handle on every pound being spent. Budget not just for the whole project, but all the different elements.
For example, keep a spreadsheet of the overall project, breaking it down into parts e.g. ‘appliances’, ‘electrics’, ‘decor’. Maintain a running tally of how much is being spent and where – but budget for at least a 10% overspend. This contingency can help in the case of unforeseen costs. Don’t run out of money before the project ends!
#13 – Add luxury at a low cost
It’s easy to add elements of luxury without breaking the bank; spending less is about spending right.
For example, in the kitchen, go for more affordable units but add a feel of luxury by choosing good-quality work surfaces.
Or, in the bathroom, choose beautiful taps alongside a good-value three-piece white suite.
Also, don’t underestimate the power of good lighting, or a well-hung mirror. The finishing elements can give your home a luxurious feel without you having to spend unnecessarily. Buying second-hand furniture can be a great route to go down too.
#14 – Buy ex-display
Former showroom items can be purchased for a much lower price. So, if you have a specific design or brand in mind, it’s worth asking the company if they sell ex-display models. While you could save thousands, be aware you may have to fit them yourself, or that they may be sold in warranty.
#15 – Consider upcycling
Repair vs. replace… Does everything need to be brand-new? Upcycling is a chance to improve the appearance, or quality, of something, such as a particular piece of furniture. Many of these DIY projects end up becoming extremely stylish, all thanks to a fresh lick of paint.
#16 – Keep it simple
Standard off-the-shelf items, or simple decor, are often cheaper options. Straight walls usually cost less to build than curves or angles.
Sometimes, keeping things simple and straightforward is the best option if you’re looking to cut costs.
#17 – Reduce plumbing costs
Does your project involve changes to the plumbing? Moving drains or making a new sewer connection can be expensive, so try to use existing soil pipes where possible.
#18 – Sell things you don’t use
Selling things you no longer use, or don’t want, can be a great way to get together some extra cash to put towards your project. You may not get as much as you initially paid for them, but it can still be worthwhile.
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Last Updated: July 19th, 2023