MAINTAINING A HOME
How to renovate your home on a budget
21 February 2020
While renovating your home can be exciting (for the most part), it can also be expensive. We sat down with father-son construction duo Trevor and Liam Little from Brisdecks to get their top tips to freshen up your home for less!
Set a renovation budget
There are many great reasons to renovate, but often the one thing stopping people is the cost.
“Always have a budget in mind and allow for hidden costs,” Trevor said.
“If you’re doing demolition work, you never know what problems might arise, especially with older houses.
Doing the work yourself – be it painting, polishing or maybe even laying tiles – can save you bucketloads (thanks YouTube!). If you have tradie friends, pick their brains and get them to show you how to do things initially to set you up for success.
“Labour is expensive, so if you’re prepared to do the hard work yourself you could save thousands,” Liam said.
“Just make sure you know what you’re doing. When you go to buy materials know exactly what you need or ask lots of questions if you don’t.
“Visit your local hardware store – it will soon be your second home – and see if they run DIY workshops in areas that could be useful for you.”
Get help from family and friends
The time spent for simple jobs like weeding, dump runs or ripping up carpet can be massively reduced by asking family and friends for a hand. Set up a working bee and you’ll be amazed at how much can be done in a day – all for the cost of a few pizzas!
Pay professionals for the important jobs
DIY jobs can save you money, but not if you stuff it up, or injure yourself in the process. Always call in the pros for tricky tasks involving plumbing, electrical or structural work.
“We’ve had to fix a lot of DIY jobs that weren’t structurally sound or where the wrong materials have been used,” Liam said.
“These incidents always cost the owner more money than they anticipated so it’s important to not cut corners, use cheaper materials or do things yourself if a professional should be getting involved.
With the number of online marketplaces growing and growing, it’s never been easier to bag a bargain. Jump on Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace for cheap fixtures, plants, tools, hardware – anything really!
This method also works in reverse.
“Earn some extra cash by re-selling old materials,” Trevor said. “And for things you can’t sell, it might even be cheaper to give them away rather than take them to the dump”.
Your trash could be someone else’s treasure, and might help them save money on their renovation too.
Renovate for energy efficiency
A home renovation is the perfect time to start fresh and implement new design principles to help save water, energy and money.
“Allowing room in your budget for features that will save you money in the long run is a great way to reduce your bills and make your home more appealing to buyers when it comes time to sell,” Liam said.
Here are a few ideas:
- Add new curtains and blinds and consider installing exterior window coverings if you want to freshen up the outside of your home and better insulate it.
- Modernise your home by installing energy efficient lighting.
- Install a water tank and water saving fittings and appliances.
- Install solar panels to generate renewable energy and potentially reduce your electricity bills.
Consider affordable smart home features
If you’re going to replace light fittings, why not make them smart? Smart sound and lighting features will make a home more modern, won’t cost the earth and can be appealing to buyers if you’re renovating to sell. If you want to go to the next level, investing in smart security systems like cameras and door locks can provide added peace of mind.
Budget for outdoor living
Renovating to sell? Aussies love relaxing in the outdoors, meaning an alfresco area is high on many buyer’s wish lists. If your home already has a patio, enhance it with new lighting or a fresh coat of paint. If it doesn’t, consider opening your lounge or kitchen and adding a deck to make entertaining a breeze.
We’re here to help
- Should you apply for a renovation loan?
- How to make a claim after a storm or cyclone
- Affordable ways to make your home more secure
Information is intended to be of a general nature only and any advice has been prepared without taking into account any person's particular objectives, financial situation or needs.
Banking Products are issued by Suncorp-Metway Ltd ABN 66 010 831 722 AFSL No 229882 Australian Credit Licence 229882 (“Suncorp Bank”) to approved applicants only. Please read the relevant Product Information Document and the Terms and Conditions before making a decision regarding any Suncorp Bank products. Fees, charges, terms and conditions apply and are available on request or on our Product Information Documents and Forms page.
Escape of liquid
This covers the sudden liquid leaking, overflowing or bursting from things like your fridge, washing machine, bath, toilet, fixed pipes (except agricultural pipes), gutters, swimming pool, water main, fixed cooling system or an aquarium.
We don’t cover damage caused by wear and tear or the gradual leaking of liquid when you’d be reasonably expected to be aware of the condition.