Have you been thinking about renovating? Perhaps it’s time to make over your home into the one you’ve been dreaming about or maybe you need to upgrade a few things before putting your property on the market. Whatever the reason, renovations require cash. And without proper planning it’s easy to blow your budget.
Renovating on a budget takes some planning, prioritising and saving. Every dollar counts and there are heaps of ways you can avoid paying full prices. Here’s how to go about it strategically and how you can renovate your home without breaking the bank.
Set a budget
Before you even begin planning your renovations you need to work out how much cash you have to spend. A rule of thumb is to spend no more than 10% of your home’s current value. So to make sure you come in under budget, aim to spend only 5% of your home’s value, leaving you with room for contingencies.
If you don’t have access to the cash you need for renovations, you might consider refinancing. Refinancing is essentially paying out your current home loan and taking out a new one that better meets your needs. This means you can save cash for those renovations! Talk to a CSM broker about your free home loan health check to determine whether refinancing will benefit you.
Write a plan
While you may be eager to hammer down a wall, the first tools you’ll need are a pen and paper. Sit down and write a list of what needs to be done, prioritising everything by its importance. Be strategic – think about what needs to be done first and always keep in mind your renovations may affect the house’s value.
Once you have a plan in place, make sure you contact your local council to ensure your plans abide by regulations and apply for any necessary permits before getting started.
Choosing DIY vs. Professionals
Perhaps you’re quite handy and think you’re able to tackle the renovations yourself. A DIY renovation can save you thousands and comes with the rewarding feeling of doing it yourself.
But how do you know if DIY is right for you? Firstly, you need to have a certain skill level to get it done right. If you end up hiring someone to fix your mistakes, it’s not going to be the cost saving exercise you’d intended. It’s also important to keep in mind that if you have a full time job, you’ll only be left with the weekends to work on renovations – meaning you may end up living in a half-finished house for a while.
Sometimes the best way to go can be to do the easy stuff yourself and leave the hard stuff for the professionals. The labouring hours that you can knock out on your own can save you a lot of money and you can then get the professionals in to do the more technical aspects like plumbing.
Say you’re planning to put your home up for sale and simply want to renovate to bump up its value. You should consider hiring a professional to make sure that the renovations are of high quality and don’t forget to speak to a property valuer first for advice on where to focus your efforts.
Purchasing low cost materials
Whether you’re working with professionals or doing it yourself, one of the best ways to stay under budget is by sourcing low cost materials. But that doesn’t mean cutting corners on quality. It’s just about shopping around and looking for deals. Maybe your tradies have left over stock that could be repurposed for your project. Or you can even hunt down second hand materials from scrapyards and online at sites like Gumtree.
A high quality renovation will almost always add value to your property. By putting a solid plan in place and sourcing materials at the right price, there’s no reason you can’t get the renovation you want while sticking to your budget. If you have questions about refinancing to fund your home renovations, talk to a CSM expert who will help you assess your options.