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How to cut down on your renovation costs

By Claire Briggs

Australians choose to renovate their properties for a variety of reasons. Some embark upon changes before listing their houses for sale, while others make alterations to ensure their home stays aligned with their lifestyle.
However, when you use your home loan or other finances to perform renovations, your budget is going to be your biggest restriction.
Keeping your project within budget is not always an easy task. Problems can always crop up at the wrong time, possibly blowing out your expenses.

Shop around for tradesmen

One of the biggest expenses you’ll face when you’re renovating is the hired help. Tradesmen, builders and electricians all come at a cost – and this can sometimes be an extremely large figure.
To make sure you’re getting a good deal and staying within your budget, shop around for the best deals on the market. Although this will take you a bit of time and organisation, you could end up shaving off a sizeable chunk of your allotted costs. However, don’t forget to keep quality in mind. The cheapest tradies out there might not necessarily do the best job.
When you’re shopping around, be sure to ask for testimonials so you can tell the quality of their service.

Go for secondhand or leftover items

Depending on the type of renovation you’re doing, you might be able to use secondhand items or leftovers from previous jobs. For instance, if you’re painting a single room or some furniture, ask friends or family members if they have leftover paint. While this might only save you a few dollars, every bit can count toward getting your budget down.
Some contractors may have leftover materials from other jobs, which you could ask to use or buy at a discounted price.
You might even be able to use secondhand fixtures or appliances. For example, if you’re doing up a kitchen, you could buy a secondhand stove top that’s in good condition, rather than buying new. You could also purchase secondhand fittings like older door or cupboard handles, which might add a bit of shabby-chic charm to your project.

Plan for the unexpected

Whether it’s a lingering rain cloud or broken materials, problems can always crop up and disrupt the timeline and cost of your project. In order to reduce the price of your renovation, plan ahead for potential problems that could make a dent in your bank account.
Take out the appropriate insurance, get the right permissions from your local council and devise with a back-up plan, should things go awry.

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