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Tips for Renovating Your Property on a Budget

Whether you want to renovate your property so that you achieve a higher sale price or rental income, or because you want to simply increase its value, it’s important to keep track of your spending so you don’t overcapitalize.


Whether you want to renovate your property so that you achieve a higher sale price or rental income, or because you want to simply increase its value, it’s important to keep track of your spending so you don’t overcapitalize.

If you haven’t renovated a property before though, it can be quite a challenge knowing where to start and how to do it well on a budget. If you’re in this position, read on for some handy tips you can follow today for the best results on a shoestring.

Set a Budget and Make a Plan

One of the first priorities is to actually set a budget! It is all too easy for costs to add up quickly after all, and you don’t want to get to the end of the project and be astounded by how much you have ended up spending. To avoid this scenario, take the time to think about exactly what funds you want to set aside to put into the work.

Once you have this figure in mind, it’s time to cost out all the jobs on your renovation to-do list, working out what the prices will be of labor and materials. Often you will find that, once you have added up all these things, the total comes to well over your preferred spend amount.

If this happens, go through things to determine what work is a priority for you, and what could actually wait until a later date or be crossed off the list all together. Keep in mind, too, that costs typically blow out by a minimum of 10 percent, so you need to keep some funds in reserve.

To help you stay within budget, it is wise to make a plan before you start spending any money or begin any work. List out the order in which tasks need to be completed — for example, if you’re renovating a bathroom, typically a plumber will need to finish their work before tiling can be done, and tiles will need to be finished before cabinets can be installed. By making a plan upfront you won’t waste time, and in turn money, as the renovations progress.

Determine What Will Actually Add Value

Next, you will help yourself to maximize the money spent on a budget renovation if you work out what will actually add value to your property. After all, in every suburb, the things that buyers and renters are looking for can vary widely, depending on the people who live there.

It is beneficial, then, to take time to research recent sales in your suburb and surrounding areas, and to go through open homes. Examine what is and isn’t included in the homes that reach the best prices, as well as the types of buyers that are looking and purchasing. For example, is the area one that is populated with mostly young families, couples, empty nesters, singles, retirees, or a mixture of occupant types?

Once you have completed your due diligence, you should have a much better idea about where to spend your money. There might be things about the property you thought you should change but that actually wouldn’t make much difference to the price it fetches; or you could be alerted to features that buyers and renters really do value. For instance, oftentimes sales will be dependent on factors such as the number of bedrooms; if office space or additional entertaining room is included; if there is a pool or large outdoor living space; and whether high-tech fittings, outlets, and appliances have been included.

Save Money on Products and Labor

Lastly, another key way to renovate on a budget is to continually look for ways to save money on the products and materials you purchase, as well as the labor you require. Wherever possible, if you have the time and skills, it is helpful to complete jobs yourself rather than outsource them.

Whenever you do need to use builders or other contractors, you should source multiple quotes to compare prices and get the best value. Don’t forget to get the figures in writing, and ensure that no special conditions are involved which could see prices rising in future.

It also pays to stick with standard sizes of things like cupboards, doors, windows, switches, and the like. If you don’t, you may very well have to order in custom-made fittings and fixtures, which can bump up your costs significantly.


When purchasing materials and various other products for your property, it is also wise to shop around for the best deals, both online and in stores. You can often find cheaper items if you do some research, or look at using secondhand or recycled goods.

However, if you do go down this path, be very careful that what you find aren’t deals which are too-good-to-be-true. There are sometimes cases where liquidators or other sellers offload products which are faulty or dangerous. The last thing you want to have happen is someone being injured or falling ill from an item in your home and needing to contact a personal injury attorney as a result.