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How to save money on your home renovations

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Whether you’re renovating for profit or just to upgrade your home, the key to a successful home reno is to add value for the long haul. Renovations big or small will always make a dent in your pocket, but here are some tips to make your money stretch further. 

Keep things consistent

We all know that variety is the spice of life but it’s also the money drainer of renovations. It might not be as exciting, but keeping things consistent really saves on money and time. Try to use similar materials wherever possible, so your contractor can purchase larger quantities, usually for a lower rate.  Importantly, pick a palette and work within it to minimise any flights of fancy that you may be distracted by when it comes to decorating.

Simplicity is your friend

It’s easy to get caught up on the little things. Bathrooms and kitchens are known for being the most expensive rooms for renovation costing between $20,000 to $30,000 each. But fancy taps, cupboards, materials, or handles can easily set you over budget.

While ‘custom-made’ sounds enticing, you’ll get more bang for your buck if you buy off-the-shelf. Most common household elements like windows, doors and vanities have standard measurements – you can save a lot of money if you stick to these because manufacturers usually have them on hand.

Will making your counter 3mm larger or getting that gold-plated tap really improve the value of your home?  

It’s better to invest in the basics – like flooring and fixtures. Not only will you save in the short-term, but the better the quality of the basics, the less likely the room is to date and the easier it will be to update with accessories later.

Don’t be a DIY disaster

The fastest way to waste money is to attempt a DIY job yourself and end up calling out an expert to fix the damage. If you don’t have the experience to do a job, it’s usually cheaper just to pay a professional to do it right the first time. Instead of trying to become an overnight electrician, focus on the jobs that you can do.

Plan for plumbing

A sure-fire way of blowing the budget is forgetting to account for plumbing in your new designs. Moving the plumbing is expensive, so if you can stick to the current layout, you’ll save. If you’re adding an extra bathroom, it will cost less if you locate it close to existing plumbing services – either next to or directly above or below the existing one.

Work within your limits

There’s no point in setting an unrealistic budget, so luckily there are plenty of budgeting tools online to help you get a true idea of what you’re getting yourself into. Tally up the price of the materials, the cost of the contractors, and leave a little bit of wiggle room for any unforeseen expenses. When getting a quote don’t forget to ask for the price of ‘supply and install’, delivery costs, and any other expenses that may come up – like moving furniture or preparation work.

Once you understand the costs, you can organise your funds. If you don’t want to blow your savings, there are plenty of alternate funding options available - renovations can often be covered by personal loans or the redraw facility on your home loan for example.

Now you have your budget – the trick is to stick to it.

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