9 tips to renovate your home on a budget

With the cost of many home renovation projects over running, there are some easy ways to renovate your home on a budget without compromising on quality and finish. By taking on some of the work yourself and shopping around, you can save a significant amount whilst adding value to your property. Here are our tips to renovating your home on a budget.


1. Work within permitted development

Over the past few years, the government have relaxed the rules around planning permission and there is now a surprising amount of changes you can make to your home that is within permitted development, including many extensions and conversions. By working within permitted development, you not only save on the application fee but also the professional costs of the architect which will cost in the region of £1,000-£2,500 for the average extension.


2. Get involved in the work

If you can, pull down cupboards, scrape wallpaper and remove tiles. This might save a couple of days work for the builders which will help to reduce the cost of your project. Just don’t go knocking walls down or do any work you are unsure of – leave anything technical to the experts!

Also consider filling up the car and driving to your local council tip rather than hiring numerous skips; with the cost of a skip hire in the region of £200, you can save quite a bit by doing the work yourself.


3. Plan everything

A well planned project and a detailed budget will help to control the costs but also identify areas that you could save on. For example, you can try and source the kitchen cheaper than you originally thought by looking at ex-displays.

Having a detailed plan of the work will avoid overspends too, which is all too common. If you have chosen everything in advance and planned the work in detail, it's less likely that you will be hit with additional costs whilst going through the project.


4. Shop around

Visit the DIY warehouses, local independents and flat packed furniture retailers to get bargains. You can really save on items such as carpet, tiles, kitchens and bathrooms if you are prepared to shop around. It's also quite fun looking for replica's of high end items!


5. Buy second hand or reclaimed materials

The fashion for reclaimed materials is so popular right now, so visit reclamation yards to find bargains for your home. This can be anything from wooden flooring, sanitary wear and furniture. By up-cycling products you will save a significant amount and also have an completely individual style in your home.  Also sites like eBay are great to look out for homeowners throwing away perfectly good items.

6. Measure everything twice

You can easily overspend by not taking time measuring and buying the wrong product. Make sure you get someone to double check your measurements - costly mistakes include ordering the wrong size of shower unit or bathroom cabinets and over ordering on paint and tiles.


7. Project manage the renovation yourself

Your builder will add a premium to project manage the end to end process, so taking on the project managers role could save you between 10-20% of the overall cost. Being the project manager will mean organising the delivery of the scaffolding, skip hire, materials and liaising with planning and building control. Just make sure you are well planned and organised and you don't slow down the work, as this will ultimately cost more.


8. Choose simple designs

Try and buy as much off the shelf as possible and go for standard sizes in items like windows and doors. Bespoke styles and colours will add a premium to the cost. If you are thinking about an extension or conversion, go for a simple design and use standard materials. If you want a large glass extension, it will cost far more than a standard square brick extension, so introduce more light through roof lanterns or Velux windows.


9. Save on VAT

Where you can, work with contractors who are self employed and turnover less than the VAT threshold - this will save you 20% of the cost. There are also types of work that attract reduced rate VAT, such as extending a building which has been empty for 2 or more years and upgrading your homes insulation.

Published: July 30, 2018

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