How to Renovate on a Budget: 8 Money-Saving Tips

Renovation and decoration trends are constantly changing. The avocado bathroom that was once so ubiquitous has now given way to rose gold door handles, toasters, taps and everything! One trend seems here to stay, though – these days, renovators are working with a tighter than ever budget. So, with rising house prices, what are some of the best ways to renovate on a budget? How can you make your home look great and still have some cash left over for the celebratory party? Let’s take a look at this:

Add efficiency, not size

Yes, adding an extension can seem like the only way to get the space you need. But there are some simple ways to make your space work more efficiently. First, try storing things more efficiently in your drawers and cupboards. Invest in a good set of drawer dividers, pull-out pot holders, spice racks and other organisers. This will make everything easier to access, and you may not need that extension after all!

Reduce, reuse, recycle!

If you go to your local recycling centre, you can take advantage of some significant savings. Lightly used, salvaged, or recycled building materials and fixtures can knock quite a bit off your bill. The organisation Habitat for Humanity has rescued materials on offer at prices half that of home centres. Check out their site to see if they have a ReStore near you.

If you’re working on your house yourself, you can find anything at a ReStore. However, if you’re employing a contractor, they may be more cautious about using salvaged items since they don’t want to be liable for poor-quality materials.

Think about it – the cost of proper disposal can be pretty hefty. Hiring a skip can be fairly pricey. Plus, much of the stuff you throw out like floorboards or door handles, can still be perfectly usable. So, why not let your local Habitat for Humanity have these items? Habitat for Humanity can carefully remove cabinets, sinks, and whatever you give away. Of course, you don’t get anything out of this, but it’s cheaper than using a skip!

Light it up without windows

There are less invasive and much cheaper ways to bring light into your home besides cutting a hole in the side of your house. A light tube or light tunnel is one unique but effective way to brighten things up. A light tunnel funnels sunshine down through the roof, illuminating your windowless hallway or bathroom. You may still have to make a hole in the outer layer of your roof, but it’s much smaller and more inexpensive than the cost of a window.

Think about long-term costs

We get it – it’s not always possible to go for the most expensive option when it comes to home renovations. However, if you have the spare cash, a more expensive option can sometimes save you money in the long term. For example, say it’s time to paint your house. You might not want to pay more for a fancy brand or unique colour. But if you go for a more durable, weatherproof paint, you’ll not need to paint again as often. Sure, this may mean a higher up-front cost. But this option saves you money in the long term.

Or, maybe you’re putting some fencing up. In this case, try looking for pre-painted, pre-finished panels rather than just wooden planks. Again, though the price will be steeper, this will last longer and mean much less work for you.

Pitch in yourself

It’s a controversial practice, but did you know that some contractors will teach you their wily ways? Yes, some contractors will teach you how to do what they do—if you’re reasonably able, with good dexterity, and have the time and patience, asking around for a mentor can be an excellent way to do what you want to your house. 

Ok, maybe you don’t have the time or training to do much during your project. But you can always gown up and help out around the site! Any project has its simple jobs. So why not mask up and try painting, sanding or cleaning up sawdust or shavings? 

You could even pick up the materials your contractors need by yourself. If they’re too big for a car or carrier bag, renting or purchasing a trailer from someone near you is inexpensive – look on Facebook Marketplace or in your local classifieds. 

This way, you can save money for expert contractors who know what they’re doing in their unique fields.

Go to off-cut building supply auctions

Speaking of saving on materials, did you know there are building supply auctions for off-cut or damaged supplies? These auctions feature used, scratched, dented and ill-fitting fixtures and fittings. You might see doors, windows, stones, or other customised building items. You could stumble across the perfect article and amend your plans to fit some supplies. But one thing’s for sure – you can really save on supplies at these auctions. 

Plan your build with knowledge of material sizes

Sometimes, you may have your heart set on that cute micro-patio idea you saw on Pinterest. You’re all set to buy two 10-foot pieces of plywood and saw them into the correct dimensions. But wait! What if you go to purchase the supplies and notice that plywood comes in 8-foot sheets? If this is the case, it may be easier to amend your plans to accommodate the existing material sizing. After all, it’s similar enough. That way, there’s less work, and you get a slightly bigger place to host parties! 

Don’t touch the plumbing

Yes, the most expensive aspect of many renovations is re-doing all that plumbing. So, if you’re still in the planning stage of your project, make sure you don’t move the toilet or sink! But, of course, if you must relocate a sink or toilet, why not upgrade all your pipes, too? That way, you save money in the long term by preventing leaks and other damages in the future.

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