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Top tips for renovating a house on a budget

It’s been years since your home was last renovated. Maybe it never has been. As a result, it’s started to feel antiquated, and the space isn’t being used as well as it could be. So you’ve decided it’s time for it to undergo a long overdue renovation. The problem is, you’re concerned that renovating your property will cost you an arm and a leg, and you may not be able to revamp everything you want to. But you need not fear. By following these tips, you should have no problem renovating a house on a budget.

Consider being your own project manager

Whilst you could decide to splash out vast sums on hiring a project manager, it may be worth doing it yourself. Only do this if you think you’re up to the task and don’t underestimate the time and effort it will involve. Any mistakes you make could eat into your budget. However, if you feel confident enough to manage your own project, you will not only save money, but will also be in complete control of what you spend on labour and materials. This leaves you free to decide which jobs you want to delegate to others or do yourself.

Handle DIY jobs you feel confident with

Instead of hiring tradesmen to carry out each job, rolling up your sleeves and handling certain aspects of the renovation work yourself is another surefire way to cut costs. How much you do depends on how confident you are in your DIY skills, and some tasks—such as plastering or electrical work—are usually best left to the professionals. However, doing simple tasks like painting and tiling can save you hundreds—maybe even thousands—of pounds. According to HomeBuilding, tiling a bathroom can take three days and cost up to £800. If you have the time to spare, doing it yourself will cost far less.

Prioritise security

Sometimes renovating on a budget is about investing your money in the right places. Having a robust security system will save you money in the long run; security experts Banham note that having an insurance approved alarm system, for instance, can help you make savings on your home insurance policy. This is even more pertinent in the face of rising home insurance costs, with policy premiums increasing by 8.5% in 2017. In addition, by investing in professionally-installed, insurance approved security measures, you save money that you would’ve spent had you been burgled due to having substandard protection.

Get multiple quotes

It’s never a good idea to just acquire the services of the first tradesperson you speak to. The prices quoted by various traders can vary by hundreds of pounds, so consumer specialist Angie Hicks recommends that you get at least three quotes for each task before hiring somebody. As she points out, “You have to arm yourself with enough knowledge to make an educated hiring decision. If you only talk to one contractor, how will you know if you’re getting the best deal?” You also need to make sure you get recommendations from professional sources and bear in mind that, although you want to save as much money as possible, the cheapest quote is not always the best value for money.

Research, research, research

Similarly, instead of just going to high end stores and buying the first new cupboard, lamp or paint bucket you see, make sure you research thoroughly before making any purchases; you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the savings you can make. Take advantage of second hand furniture shops, sites like Gumtree or Preloved, or even charity shops to get more bang for your buck on furniture and materials.

Remember that your budget will change

This might sound obvious, but you can’t simply work out your budget and trust that a constantly-evolving project will remain within it. It is likely that there will be added costs that you didn’t factor in along the way, or extra renovations that you didn’t realise you needed when you started. You therefore need to be extra careful that your renovations are staying on budget throughout. If something does cost more than you intended, factor this in and try and make up the cost elsewhere.

On the other hand, if you do save money on something, don’t immediately rush out and spend it on expensive new materials you don’t really need. Instead, save your cash and either use it as part of a contingency fund, or save it for the end of the project once the main costs have been expended. This will then enable you to make any final changes that you otherwise might not have been able to make.

Follow the above tips and you should be able to successfully renovate your property no matter how tight your budget.

Elliot Preece

Elliot is the Editor at ABCMoney. He manages a team that writes and contributes to many leading publications across a number of industries.

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