Even if you set yourself a budget, a renovation project can easily spiral out of control and become much more expensive than you anticipated. It’s important you keep your budget under check, so here are a few tips to keep costs down.
Know the difference between remodelling and renovation
Many people don’t realise that renovation and remodelling are two different types of home makeovers. Remodelling is a more thorough and expensive project. You will actually be redesigning the blueprint of the home, changing the floor plan, knocking down walls, etc.
If you just want to renovate, don’t let your contractor talk you into doing “a bit of remodelling work”.
Start with the cost-effective basics
Some renovations are inexpensive but make a big difference. Start with what won’t cost you a lot of money and you might realise you don’t even need to do the more expensive projects. Do things like repaint your house, varnish your furniture, declutter your house, put up new curtains and tidy up the yard.
DIY where you can
What improvements can you do on your own, without bringing in outside help? The more you can do yourself the better. If you haven’t dabbled in DIY before then now is a good time to start, or even bring in a DIY enthusiast friend to help you.
Refurbish, restore and revamp
You don’t have to buy everything new. Sometimes it’s just about giving new life to the old. For instance, installing new custom-built cabinets in your kitchen will be very expensive, while refurbishing your old ones will be much less so.
Know when to choose lower cost materials
A lot of the cost of renovation comes down to the materials you use. It’s still possible to use cost-effective options without sacrificing quality. Marble tile and solid hardwood flooring is great, but there are other durable options like bamboo. Instead of granite and quartz countertops there are tile and laminate options. Still do your research and examine the materials closely. Just because something is cost-effective doesn’t mean it should look “cheap”.
Let your home pay for yourself
This piece of advice isn’t so much about keeping home improvement costs down, but on how to effectively finance them. Instead of tapping into your savings, it could be more financially sound to use a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit. This is a loan or line of credit you take out against your home, and is based on how much equity you have built up on the property. In other words, the money you have already paid off on your home loan can be borrowed back to fund improvements. The advantage of this over other forms of credit is the lower interest rates and longer repayment terms.
Set a budget
We end off with the most obvious but most important tip. It’s not enough to just vaguely intend to not spend too much. You need to have a good idea of what you can afford and what you want to spend, and this requires a rigorous budget. So before you even start renovating, work out how much it will cost, and be sure not to go over it.