There are often unexpected or hidden costs, or the project starts expanding beyond your original plans… but there are ways to keep spending under control. Here are our five tips to keep home renovations affordable:
1. Plan ahead
Stop and think before you start any home renovation project. Do some research into the work you have in mind to get an idea of the stages involved and likely costs.
For example, if you’re planning a bathroom renovation, visit style inspiration pages, to get a sense of what’s involved. It can be much more than just buying a new suite and a bit of paint. You’ll need a good plumber, possibly new pipework, new flooring, fittings, heating, tiling and lighting… and maybe more.
Take time to work out the potential cost of everything, so that you can scale back if needed.
2. Take a staged approach
If your budget is limited, don’t try to renovate everything at once. By taking it more slowly you can spread the cost out over a longer time, making it more manageable.
If you want to renovate your living room, for example, you could get on with painting and wallpapering now, and wait a month or two before updating the flooring. Then, a few weeks later, you can look at ordering new furniture. Waiting for each stage can actually add to the sense of achievement once it’s done.
3. Shop around
Savvy renovators and interior designers shop around constantly. Never accept the first quote you get from a builder, plumber or decorator. Citizens Advice suggest getting at least three quotes to get a good sense of what a job might cost. It also helps you negotiate if you have a preferred supplier out of the three.
The same goes for buying everything else, from bathroom suites to kitchens to carpets. You can often find very similar products at widely varying prices. By shopping wisely you can save a lot.
4. Be flexible
Try to keep an open mind as you go through the renovation process. There are many different ways to achieve a dream room, and if one idea doesn’t work out, there will be plenty of other options.
You might have your heart set on a luxurious copper bath, for example, only to find that it’s out of your price range. But a little research might find you a bath with the same level of wow factor, at a more affordable price. Perhaps a matt grey bathtub would do the trick instead?
5. Be realistic
One of the risks in renovation projects is that you get carried away. It’s really important to keep one foot on the ground at all times and think practically about the decisions you’re making. For example, real wood flooring can look amazing, but warps and discolours when it’s wet – so it’s not a sensible choice for a family bathroom. Likewise a white sofa might look perfect in your living room, but will be impossible to keep clean if you like to eat in front of the TV or let your dog on the furniture.
Home renovations are highly rewarding and can be fun, but going over budget is a headache that you don’t need. Take a measured approach and you’ll have your dream home in no time.