Doing up a house can be notoriously expensive, with lots of surprise costs, delays, and last-minute changes. It’s important to have a clear roadmap through the project, so you need to budget very carefully indeed. If you need any help with budgeting, a visit to Creditfix for advice is a good idea.
Even when you have a reasonable budget, you should always look for savings and when it comes to renovations, there are a few ways. Here’s some of the better ones.
Not using an architect
Not every renovation project needs an architect, especially internal remodelling projects. If you’re really on a tight budget, then drawing up the plans yourself is possible, as long as they hold all the information and follow the format required by your planning department.
You could use a draughtsperson to draw up the plans, but make sure they have the right indemnity insurance. You might even find that your building contractor can draw up the plans.
Being open-minded about suppliers
It’s easy to be swayed by slick websites and expensive-looking brochures, as well as believing that a bigger supplier will be able to provide you with cheaper fittings. This isn’t always the case, so keep your design ideas at the forefront of your mind and don’t think too much about who fulfils them.
Be your own project manager
You can save quite a bit by being your own PM; this means you select and engage the suppliers and contractors, as well as decide which tasks and jobs you do for yourself. While you’ll certainly save money, you’ll have to spend a lot of time on the build; often more than you imagine.
Don’t feel too loyal to any one supplier
It might be quick to source all your materials and fittings from one place, but it’s not always cost-effective so taking the time to shop around pays off. For example, if you’re renovating your kitchen, you might find that sourcing your appliances and units from two different suppliers is cheaper than getting them from the same people.
Get several quotes
Quotes can vary by several hundred pounds, so you should always get at least three. Make sure you look at contractors and suppliers that your friends and family recommend and remember – the cheapest isn’t necessarily the best.
A rustic or unfinished look can work
Exposed brickwork is very popular, which means you don’t need a professional plasterer. If the trends change, you can “finish up” a few years down the line. This is only advised for internal walls, though.
Reuse and recycle
If you’re knocking down an old outbuilding as part of your plans, see if you can use some of the bricks, roof slates or flagstones in the re-build or elsewhere.
Find the perfect blend of mid-range, cheap and high-end
You can get some very serviceable mid-range cupboard “bodies” and bring them up with more top-notch countertops and handles, for example. Another great way to keep costs down is to buy ex-display units and counters.
Make space for out-of-the-blue bargains
Sometimes you get lucky and drive past a reclamation yard or a showroom that’s having a clear-out and you see the countertop or set of Victorian radiators. Unfortunately, you don’t have space to store them safely and you have to pass them up. Don’t let this be you; clear a corner of your garage or even hire a storage unit in advance.
Doing it yourself
If you’re a dab-hand with a paintbrush or you love tiling, then you can trim down your spends by rolling up your sleeves.