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7 Tips for Smart but Cost-effective Renovations

I keep getting asked about tips and tricks for a smart cost-effective renovation. I thought I should pen some popular ones here for you. Here are some top seven tips that could save a fortune on your next reno project:

DIY with friends and family
DIY with friends and family

1. Start with simple DIYs

When you have big dreams and tight budget, guess what? There are plenty of simple jobs you can do yourselves. I'd say, it is always a good idea to involve family or friends for the little price of a few drinks and a BBQ in return of their expertise and labour.

Most people, if they try, are easily capable of doing some simple jobs such as painting (though never skip on the prep), fencing, landscaping, stripping and polishing floorboards, assembling a flat-pack kitchen, simple tiling jobs, etc.

Get handy and take short lessons
Upskill and learn cool stuff

2. Get handy and take short lessons

Basic DIY usually requires a bit of practical knowledge and some tools. You can get both from any good hardware store. But if you think you aren't handy person, may be taking some short lessons could not only help build your confidence, but also give better end results to your project. Check out if your local DIY stores have any upcoming workshops. Or simply go online - Google, Youtube, Pinterest, etc. generally has a lot of DIY resources, ideas, forums and how-to-guides.

Trades doing reno
Professionals make it look easy

3. Pay professionals for the important jobs

Although a little DIY and shopping around could go a long way but did you know that a failed DIY efforts can blow out costs and could make or break the project. All I can say is self-awareness is the key. Know your limitations and work accordingly. There is nothing wrong in hiring experts help when you need it. Get professionals for work you can't DIY especially for all electrical, plumbing and structural work unless you're qualified in the trades yourself.

Shop around
Find out good deals

4. Shop around

You’ll be surprised at how much you can save on labour, supplies and materials by shopping around. Shop around always and get at least three comparables. Remember, cheaper or pricier doesn’t always mean better. Get recommendations from previous clients and make sure the money you spend is worth it. Go online, or at auctions, you will probably get a great deal or a good bargain. Polish your negotiation skills, ask for trade prices and discounts. While shopping around takes a bit of time, it will certainly pay off for you. For certain jobs, it is also worthwhile to consider second-hand and re-usable products that may not only save good dollars on your budget but will also help save the environment.

Energy saving
Saving on energy is a win-win!

5. Think about long-term savings

It is likely for us to overlook long-term savings, when the budget's tight. But think about energy-efficient technology or materials such as LED lights, rainwater tanks, good quality insulation, solar panels, etc. which can save you not hundreds but thousands of dollars on ongoing basis. Plus, you can help save the environment by doing so. It's a win -win! :)

Creative thinking
Think outside the box

6. Be creative - Think outside the box

When you want to make a big statement with your interiors, you don't necessarily have to spend a fortune on it. Simple things like new paint and 'mood' lighting or resurfacing or repainting bathroom tiles, baths and basins can dramatically improve the 'look' of your home - at surprisingly little expense. If colour isn't your thing, again, it helps to involve a professional and you could visit your local paint shop for a colour consultation. Some professional as well as paint retailers may charge a fee to make an appointment but it is always worth it. These experts can give you some ideas about how to spruce up your home on a shoestring.

Save money
Get savvy - prioritise!

7. Identify optional extras

We all want to have it all and sometimes it’s a hard to decide when we have to prioritise and let go of few expectations to fit our budget. So before you start, just have moment to yourself, take a pen and paper and write down list of must-haves as well as identify those nice-to-haves, then it would be easier to prioritise and focus on those things you absolutely can’t do without.

Now these are just some top tips but there could be heaps of things, we could do, to meet your budget and expectations. Feel free to have a chat with us and find out how best we could bring your dream come true. And we are always open to hearing your creative ideas and savvy tips on home renovations, so feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

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