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Renovations. They’re kind of a big deal. And they can have a big price tag too.

But before you go cashing in on your equity or savings maybe try a few of these tricks and tips for getting a great effect without the big investment.

 

Work out what you’re doing it for

A great first step is to have a clear idea of what you want to achieve and why. If you are renovating to sell, then you need to be sure that you will get the maximum return for any investment that you make. For example, you might love those high-end Italian designer taps and they might look great, but will your perspective purchasers notice, and will they drive the overall value up? The key thing here is not to overcapitalise.

If you want to freshen things up for yourself then perhaps you don’t need to be as ruthless on the budget for the things you want, but then you can play around more with the scope and freedom that comes from not having that deadline to list and sell.

 

Painting

Yes, you might have heard this one before, but painting is probably the cheapest and most effective way to instantly give an uplift to your home, inside or out. You can DIY it or get in a professional.

Whether you are selling or not might be the key to choosing between safe, neutral colours or being a bit more expressive, but the fundamentals are using good quality paint and not skipping on all the preparation.

Also, don’t be afraid to think a little outside the walls on this one. Painted brickwork can look great and painting a concrete driveway or path can look as good as redoing the whole thing!

 

Kerb appeal

The experts drone on about kerb appeal and that’s definitely a factor in selling. But it’s also worth thinking about how you feel when you come down your street and see your home too.

Landscaping can be enormously expensive but its eminently DIY-able and there’s plenty that doesn’t have to cost that much. A new fence can give a bit of privacy and open-up a garden for more use as well as look great from the street.

One easy trick is to add some lights. You don’t have to turn the whole thing into a fairy paradise but placing some solar run lights on a tree here or there should leave you with a smile.

 

Bathrooms

Bathrooms can be eye-wateringly expensive to renovate, not to mention disruptive if it’s your only one in the place, but you can still get bang for your buck.

The first step here would be to avoid re-plumbing. Keep the main items in the same place and you instantly cut down on both money and the potential for things to go wrong. Replace an old bathtub or vanity for a new one but in the same spot and it should be plug in and play!

If you are re-doing a bathroom then you’re likely to be retiling. Big tiles can be your friend here, they’re easy to lay and much less time-consuming to grout. Those fancy mosaics can wait.

 

Outsource the important stuff – pay a professional

When trying to keep to a budget it can be tempting to try and do it all yourself, but you do need to be honest with yourself, your abilities and expectations. Do you have the right skills to do everything safely, to the right quality and in enough time?

With the right professional, you can have a clear expectation on the cost (note: always allow 10% as a contingency for anything unexpected), as well as the ability to agree on a timeline and quality of the materials. You can also save yourself some stress.

 

Refurbish, re-use and accessorise

You’ve probably got some stuff already so don’t book that council pick-up just yet. Look for opportunities to make more of what you have. Could you reupholster a couch or chair to get a new lease of life out of it? Turn curtains into cushion covers? Convert a shelving unit into a doll-house?

There are heaps of lifehacks and tips on the internet to re-use things in ways you might not have thought of before.

 

A budget

This list wouldn’t be complete without calling out budgeting. Boring yes, but if you are trying not to spend too much then a good first step is an actual budget. Allow some extra and then work within it. That’s all we’ll say.

 

We hope you can make the most out of these tips but if you do find yourself needing some extra funds to achieve your goals then you can check out the Credit Savvy comparison service and make sure you know your latest credit score whilst your at it.