Home renovation is often accompanied by a large financial and time commitment. But that doesn’t mean that finding ways to save on renovation will compromise your dream home.
If you’re looking to renovate your first home, read on for six practical tips to help you enjoy some cost savings while improving your home.
Plan your renovation
Planning a renovation can be overwhelming, and is often the most extensive project you will work on in your adulting life. Give yourself plenty of time to plan and execute all of your improvements.. Planning is all part of the fun during your renovation journey!
Additionally, planning ahead can help you avoid costly mistakes and delays. Make a detailed plan for your renovation and stick to it as much as possible. This will help you stay on track and avoid unexpected expenses.
Begin by doing your research on the style you want for your home. With apps like Pinterest, it’s easy to visualise how your ideal home will eventually turn out. Consider every detail from the feasibility of the interior design to the durability of the chosen materials, so you won’t have to risk wasting time and money in the later stage of your renovation.
Renovate during the off-peak season
Renovations tend to be more expensive during peak season, which is typically from December to February and from June to August. Consider planning your renovation during off-peak season to save on costs.
Decide on your budget
It’s easy to exceed your budget when you’re not keeping track of your spending during a renovation.
Avoid going down this route by listing down exactly what you need for your new home, along with a ballpark figure so you can have a better idea of how much you would require for the entire renovation process.
For the more organised, you may wish to draw up an Excel sheet file to better keep an eye on your budget. However, renovations do not always go as planned — be prepared for some unforeseen situations and give yourself some leeway of around 20% extra budget on top of what you originally had in mind.
(Pro-tip: Use the Planner Bee app to note down your expenses and better manage your finances especially during the hectic renovation phase.)
Prioritise essential renovations
Prioritise the essential renovations that will increase your home’s functionality and value. The majority of your budget should be allocated to these essentials.
For instance, focus on fixing leaky roofs, repairing electrical systems, and upgrading your bathroom and kitchen. You can save money by postponing non-essential renovations until later.
Differentiate needs from wants
While the idea of getting a new home is exciting, some might fail to distinguish their needs from wants. A feature wall would mean racking up those 4-digit likes on Instagram, but could possibly leave you with an unfinished bathroom due to budget constraints.
Ask yourself if what you have in mind will help to make your space a functional one. When in doubt, you may wish to proceed with the more functional renovation processes (e.g. kitchen fittings), and leave the nice-to-haves to the last.
You can also move into your space once the functional aspects are set, so you can have a better gauge of whether the others on your wishlist are necessary.
Do it yourself
It’s tempting to simply engage help for the renovation process so you can relax and leave everything else to the professionals. However, these services could easily incur an overwhelming number of man hours, translating to thousands of dollars in bills that could set you back by a significant amount.
Instead, why not consider doing it yourself?
- Furniture: Get hands on and assemble the furniture you’ve picked out. If you purchase your furniture from furnishing stores like IKEA, they typically come with a step-by-step instruction manual so you can simply put the furniture together by yourself.
- Transportation and cleaning: From transporting your furniture home from the store to cleaning up your space, try enlisting the help of your family members instead of engaging a professional service. Have each family member take charge of one task to speed things up. At the end of the day, not only do you get to save some money, you also get to bond with your family members throughout the process. Pretty win-win.
Shop around for contractors
Don’t settle for the first contractor you find.
Instead, get at least three quotes from different contractors and compare prices. Ask for referrals from friends and family, and check reviews and ratings online before making a final decision.
Read more: Are Renovation Loans Worth Taking Up?
Avoid structural changes
Making major structural changes can be expensive and may require permits and inspections. Try to work with the existing layout and make minor changes that can have a big impact, like painting or adding new light fixtures.
Go for vinyl flooring instead of hacking
There’s no doubt that your flooring will make or break the entire look and feel of your home. It will also take up a significant portion of your overall renovation budget, so it’s important to choose the correct flooring finish and material.
If you’re looking for the most cost effective option without sacrificing aesthetics and functionality, why not consider vinyl flooring? Instead of hacking, vinyl flooring can simply be laid over existing tiles and sprucing up the space entirely.
Although vinyl has a plastic feel, it is also waterproof and hardy, making it ideal for areas with water exposure.
Use your credit card to pay for big-ticket items to accrue cashback and miles
Sign up for a credit card before you embark on your renovation. Most credit cards have welcome promotions such as cashback upon a minimum spend, or bonus miles that you can use to offset the costs of the renovation.
Decide whether a cashback card or miles card works better for you, and you could reap the benefits and treat yourself once the renovation is over. With all the big-ticket purchases, you might even be able to take a free vacation and reward yourself for a job well done!
Needless to say, renovation does not come cheap. However, with some tips and tricks, you can save some money and have your dream home too. We hope you’ve learnt something, and have a great renovation journey!
Read more: How To Save on Your Home Renovation?