floor plan

Where to compromise when renovating

Anyone who has renovated a home before will know that it’s hard to know where to draw the line on the amount of work that needs to be done.

When people imagine a better home for themselves they tend to want it all – a bigger kitchen, more luxurious bathroom and more bedrooms and living space.

The problem in many cases however is that the renovation budget will only stretch so far, meaning homeowners will need to scale down their renovation goals and focus in on what’s really needed.

Obviously there are some things in a renovation you should never scrimp on, such as using quality materials and certified experts where required, but other things can be compromised on without ruining the integrity of the work.

The need to do it all in one go

You may want to call the builders in and have them turn your house into a palace overnight, but that may not be in the budget.

If you need time to save money for a large-scale renovation then consider breaking it up into separate stages. This way you can benefit from getting any crucial works done right away while you save up to complete the next lot of work.

Product choice

You may be able to make substantial savings by shopping around for affordable product alternatives.

For example, you may like the look of a marble benchtop in the kitchen but it does come with a costly price tag. A cheaper material such as wood or laminate can be a good option and it can look just as good too.

Appliances like ovens and fridges are another place where you can make big savings by shopping around and not going for the most expensive products.

The scope of the design

You need to ask yourself if everything outlined in your budget plans is really needed for you to enjoy your home or if you can scale it back somewhat.

It’s easy to go overboard and ask for everything you ever imagined in a renovation, but if you need to make savings then you may need to change your plans. Maybe you don’t need a butler’s pantry? Or your family could live with one less bedroom or living space than you originally thought you needed?

Talk your plans over with a builder or designer to see if they have any suggestions of where you could cut back.

Getting in tradies for everything 

You will make big savings if there are parts of the renovation you can do yourself. Obviously you’ll want professional trades to come in and do things like plumbing and electrical work, or anything else you don’t feel confident doing, but there are some things that most people would be capable of.

Some jobs that people choose to do themselves to save money include labour work such as demolition and filling up skip bins, gardening, or easy painting or prep tasks. If you have engaged a builder then you may like to talk to them about where it might be appropriate for you to do some work to cut back on labour costs.

Making everything brand new

You don’t need to overhaul your entire property when you renovate, in fact it’s often better to pay respect to its past by keeping certain elements as they are.

An older property may never be exactly the same as a brand new build but it can feel just as modern and new with just some small tweaks.

Rather than ripping everything out and starting again you might instead be able to make some small changes that bring out the best in the current home. This will save on material costs and will likely mean a lot less labour involved too.

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