DIY Renovation: 6 tips to blitz your budget

Thousands of Aussies undertake a renovation project every year. Some do it to raise the sale value of their homes, while others do it to make their homes suit their needs. There are also several new home buyers who choose to renovate their homes before they move in.

While all this may be well and good, I’m sure you’re aware that renovations are anything but cheap. As a matter of fact, the cost of renovating is so high, that many Aussies put it off for later simply because they cannot afford it.

In fact, according to ServiceSeeking.com.au, the average cost of a kitchen renovation in Australia is between $5,000 to $30,000, or $56 per hour. And for bathrooms, expect to pay anywhere between $7,000 to $12,000, or $65 per hour.

Considering these are the two most expensive rooms of a house, it’s clear to see that a renovation isn’t something that you can jump into. Nor will it be cheap. You must plan every step of the project and look at where you can cut back on costs to ensure you stay on top of your budget.

But this does not mean that you should forget about renovating your home altogether. There are several tactics you can use to achieve a budget renovation and one of my favourites is a DIY renovation. Sure, DIY may not be for everyone, but there are certainly some aspects of a renovation that you can consider to do yourself.

So, continue reading this post as I list 6 handy DIY renovation tips. Not only will these tips help you to stick to your budget, but they will also ensure that you complete your renovation within your budget. Whether you own an apartment, a home or other property, these tips will give you an idea of how to approach renovation on a budget. So, pay attention and read right through to the end!

1. Consider your budget and invest wisely

Not everyone has the budget to splurge on a renovation project. However, it is possible to complete a renovation, even on a tight budget. All you need to do is to invest wisely in your DIY renovation project. To start off with, consider the overall amount of money you can afford to spend and then work backwards. This will give you a good idea of where to spend and where not to.

I’ll give you an idea of how to invest wisely depending on your budget. For instance, if your budget is only $5,000, you should focus primarily on repainting, going for an exterior facelift or opening up the doorways. Simple as it may sound, this is the best place to invest your money.

On the other hand, if your budget is $15,000, you can invest in new floors, renovate a small bathroom, replace your kitchen cabinets or add an outdoor patio. Those of you with a budget of $50,000 can renovate an entire kitchen, add an ensuite bathroom or convert a garage into a bedroom.

With $100,000 to spend, you can create an outdoor living area, add or extend a room and refurbish your bathroom or kitchen. And if you can afford to spend $300,000, you can basically renovate your entire house.

But I’m sure not many of you have $300,000 to spend on your renovation. If you did, you wouldn’t have landed on this page. I only mention this as a basic guideline to show you how to invest your money wisely.

2. Add some buffer to your budget

Here, at Ross’s Discount Home Centre, I advise customers to add a buffer to their DIY renovation budget. Remember – a renovation is a large-scale project and you should always plan the unexpected. If you fail to add a buffer, chances are really high that you will exceed your budget.

Some examples of unexpected costs include additional electrical work, building delays and planning permits. While you may or may not encounter these additional costs, it is always wise to plan for them. You certainly don’t want to pay more than what you originally accounted for, do you?

As a rule of thumb, keep aside 10% of your total budget for contingencies. Some experts even recommend as much as 25%, but this only holds for those of you with older homes.

3. Never move your electricals or plumbing

One of the most common reasons why people fail to stick to their DIY renovation project is because they tamper with plumbing and electricals. I know “DIY” encourages you to get in there any do things yourself however, keep in mind that a) this should be left to professionals and b) moving plumbing or electrical fixtures will surely blow your budget out of the water. Also, keep in mind that plumbers and electricians charge more than other tradespeople. As such, you want to keep their work to a minimum.

So, consider the location of your plumbing, your drainage and your electricals carefully. Do not relocate your sink, shower or toilet suites unless absolutely necessary. Doing so will mean removing old pipes and installing new ones. And you never know what surprises that can uncover.

The golden rule of any renovation, DIY or otherwise, is to ensure that very few surprises crop up. Therefore, forget about relocating your plumbing and electrical fixtures unless you really need to.

4. Break a sweat

Given that you are planning a DIY renovation, I’m sure you’re already prepared to take up a few tasks. However, it really does not make sense to handle tasks that require expert tradespeople. Unless you’ve handled large-scale DIY projects earlier, steer clear of large tasks which require professional assistant. There’s no point wasting days on such tasks when you can hire a professional and get it done in a couple of days.

One of the simplest renovation tasks which you can consider to DIY is demolition work. Stripping off tiles and pulling up the flooring, dismantling kitchen cabinets, patching and sanding walls, loading a skip bin, clearing and stacking bricks and repainting are tasks which you can manage to DIY. Of course, you’ll be saving hundreds (if not thousands) by doing so.

5. Hire professionals for important tasks

Like I mentioned, there are certain important tasks related to a DIY renovation that are best left in the hands of professionals. Sure, you can save some money by doing everything on your own. But if you don’t do things right, you’ll definitely end up paying more in the long run. With a DIY project (as with anything else for that matter), you should always know your limitations.

Make sure you hire professionals for any structural work, electrical work or plumbing, unless you’ve worked in these trades yourself.

Also, a handy tip I give my customers is to obtain quotes from various tradies. This way, you’ll get the best deal. But beware – the lowest price isn’t always better. So, make sure to follow up the quotes by researching on their past work and take recommendations from previous clients. You want to ensure that the money you spend on professionals is worth it.

6. Shop smartly

Probably the best way of saving money on your DIY renovation project is by shopping smartly. Indeed, if you’re prepared to put in the legwork, you’ll find products and supplies at much better prices.

Shopping smart is exactly what our customers do here at Ross’s Discount Home Centre. We keep in stock a huge selection of mid-range products and you’ll find everything that you need for your renovation at our store. However, this does not mean that our products are inferior to high-end products that you’ll find elsewhere. On the contrary, the products we stock feature superior grade of quality and are backed by impressive warranties.

By choosing to buy your home renovation products from us, you’ll be making a smart investment. The products you’ll find at our store are designed to offer you many years of service. With us around, you simply needn’t look elsewhere for your home renovation products or supplies.

Conclusion:

When it comes to handling a DIY renovation, there are several ways you can ensure to keep things within your budget. First of all, consider how much you can afford to spend and invest your money wisely. Also, when you plan your overall budget, keep aside a buffer for unexpected costs. Never relocate your electricals or plumbing and consider which aspects of your renovation you can manage to DIY. Always hire professionals for important tasks. Lastly, and most importantly, shop for your home renovation products and supplies smartly.

And, for all your home renovation supplies and products, look no further than Ross’s Discount Home Centre. You’ll find everything you need at our store, ranging from tiles, kitchen and laundry products, appliances, bathroom products, tapware, furniture, doors and windows and everything in-between.

So, drop by our showroom in Guildford for all your home renovation needs. Our expert salesmen will be more than happy to assist you with your purchases.