Wednesday, April 14, 2010

5 cheap renovation tricks

Keeping the costs of home renovation down are all about simple ideas like:

1.    Let the light in – without adding doors and windows
While a wall of bi-fold doors really brighten up a room, there are less expensive ways to bring natural light into your home.  Brighten up a windowless hallway or dark bathroom with a solartube skylight (less than $500), which slips between roof rafters and funnels sunshine down below.

2.    Ask your tradie for leftovers
When it comes to things like flooring, ask your tradie if he has materials left over from other jobs. It never hurts to ask – you may find that someone in his network is finishing a job and needs flooring/doors/windows removed from a site. It’s a win/win situation. 

3.    Put in sweat equity
Even if you have no expertise, you can DIY and save money – provided you choose your tasks wisely. The best places to add sweat equity is either up front, doing your own demolition, or at the back end, by doing some of the finish work yourself.  Most people can try their hand at installing insulation, painting, sanding and rubbish removal.  Also you can slash your material delivery fees by picking up your goods yourself.

4.    Don’t move the kitchen sink
Or the toilet, if you can avoid it. Plumbing is one of the largest chunks of your renovation budget, and once you start moving pipes, renovation dollars end up down the drain.

5.    Make your decisions early in the game
Know what you want in fixtures and appliances – and what they cost – so that you can specify them up front. If you aren’t absolutely specific about the details, you’ll have to rely on your builder’s allowance or quote, and his noting of what is acceptable may be quite different to yours. That glass-tiled splashback you had in mind, for instance, will be quite a different price to the builder’s basic white ceramic tiles.

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Pictures: Living ETC

1 comment:

  1. Great tips, and so nice to have you back at the helm! Look forward to more of your widsom, as we're smack bang in the middle of our own renovation. Now following so I don't miss a post!
    Kerri xx


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