It’s no secret that home renovations and extensions are expensive. But there are ways you can keep to a tight budget without cutting corners or compromising on quality. Check out our best money-saving tips below.
Create a Renovation wish Llist
Before you begin making any changes to your home, you need a clear list of goals. Write down everything and anything that you want to do. This is the time to go wild and indulge in your home fantasies, as well as noting necessities.
Once you’ve written your list, put each item into one of two categories: must-haves and wants. The must-haves are those changes that you need to make to get the most from your home. This could include an extra room for a new child on the way, a bigger kitchen or an extra bathroom. Your wants will be anything else, like a home cinema or a formal living room for entertaining.
Work through your list of must-haves and see how they match up with your renovation budget. You want to prioritise fitting these changes into your budget first. Any money left over can then be used for your wants. It can help to number your changes in terms of importance if you don’t think your budget will stretch to all of them.
Aim for more affordable materials
A great way to trim your budget is to forget about the fancy, high-end materials and aim for more affordable construction materials. For instance, try engineered marble rather than natural marble, or opt for a wood composite rather than timber. These materials may not have the same wow factor, but you can usually get the same effect for a fraction of the cost.
If you really have your heart set on a particular high-end material, think about how you can turn it into a feature or statement piece, and use other materials around it. This way, you can still use the fancy material you want, but you’ll be using less of it. For instance, you could use natural stone as a bench in your entryway, and then use engineered stone elsewhere in the space to complement it.
Avoid making changes to the plumbing layout
When renovating an existing bathroom or kitchen you should always try to use the existing plumbing layout. Moving and relaying pipes in an already established home is time-consuming and expensive. If you can avoid it, resist the urge to change where fixtures like sinks and showers are. Instead, update the fixtures to suit your style and needs without altering the floorplan.
Make better use of existing space
When people are looking for more space, they often naturally lean towards a house extension. However, an extension project can be extremely expensive and may not always be necessary. You can avoid making such expensive changes to your home by simply reworking the spaces you already have. For instance, instead of adding on additional living space, you could rearrange the existing layout. Taking out a wall to create a more open living space can often create much more space without the expense of adding additional rooms. Consult with your builder for ideas on how to make the best use of existing space before considering going ahead with an extension.
Consider if a cosmetic change is all that’s needed
Sometimes you don’t have to make any large structural changes to get more from your home. Cosmetic renovations like fresh paint, new flooring or additional windows may be all that’s required. Simple fixes, like opening up the space with more natural light, can reignite your love for a space.
Prioritise long-term savings
Before any building renovation work begins, consider how changes to your home can lead to long-term savings. Green changes are particularly good for this. For instance, upgrading your insulation, installing double glazed windows or harnessing solar energy can lead to serious ongoing energy savings.
Where possible, make sure any changes you make to your home will not only improve your home’s value but pay for themselves in the long run. This way, you can stretch your budget a little more easily, knowing you’ll save the money elsewhere.
DIY with friends and family
While we recommend using professional home builders when making big changes to your home, there are still jobs that you can complete yourself. Simple things like painting, fencing and landscaping can be accomplished over a few weekends and can save your thousands of dollars.
A tight budget doesn’t exclude you from renovating your home. Think of it as a good reason to make sure you get the most from your renovation by considering exactly what you need and want.