How to manage your home renovation on a budget

Renovating your house can be a costly project. It requires long-term planning and purchasing and installing materials that are going to be in place for a long time. 

In this article, we want to give you some tips and guidelines on reducing the overall cost of renovation. 

1. Plan your budget 

Everyone who has done a renovation project knows once your start the work, a lot of unintended tasks and expenses start flowing in.

You will have ideas and aspirations you didn’t have in the beginning. The best way to tackle this issue is to draw up a strategy and budget. 

Experts suggest writing down what you expect from the project and planing a realistic budget.

Give a little room for flexibility but stick to your plan and don’t change your mind mid-project as that could drive the costs out of hand. 

In your budget, you should have a brief of what you are planning to do exactly and all the expenditure from materials, installation and permits necessary.

woman writing notes in notebook

2. Scout for sales 

This is perhaps too obvious but necessary to mention nonetheless.

Go around and look for shops before actually making a purchase. Talk to different vendors, online or retail.

Search the web, ask around or look for smaller businesses that are willing to give you cheaper deals. You may not end up purchasing from them, but this way you will know the best prices around. 


Ask for trade discounts.

You can request trade discounts from vendors, and if your project interests them they might be willing to give you further discounts. 


3. Link up with online communities

people having online meeting

Online communities can provide you with some useful resources.

Try to find groups and communities online that are about renovating homes. There are lots of good people out there who are either going through the same process or have already done it and have some great experiences to share. 


4. Bulk Purchase

Items such as knobs and cabinetry could actually end up being costly. You can save some cash by buying these items in bulk from big or small vendors. 

Make sure to let your builder know you have got the materials beforehand.

white marble stone kitchen splashback with gold handles on the drawers and black as a complementary colour.


5. Choose your materials with care 

Using cost-effective materials is one of the major ways you can save costs in a renovation. Do your research and pick the materials that are more suitable and cost-effective. 

For example, when it comes to kitchens, pick porcelain instead of natural stones. 

Marble tiles or mosaics look magnificent, but they are more expensive and cost more to maintain. Porcelain tiles or mosaics, however, can look identical to natural stone but are far cheaper and easier to maintain. 

This applies to appliances too. By choosing the more cost-effective options, your overall costs will drop drastically. 


6. Make small but significant changes 

Sometimes, you don’t need to change everything about your house to call it a renovation.

You can make the changes in areas you use and are visible the most, such as your bathroom, kitchen and living room. A new kitchen and bathroom can go a long way. Then when you have the budget for other areas, work on them separately. 

Also, when you are renovating spaces such as bathrooms and kitchens, try to keep them compact. This way, you save up and make the results really modern and stylish. 

In a kitchen, for instance, having all the cabinets around you can be extremely helpful. 

a small kitchen before renovation.
a small kitchen after renovation with timber flooring and blur cabinets
photo credit: Homes to Love
7. Go DIY 

If you are really tight on budget, you can do all or some of the work yourself. Of course, there are pros and cons to this one. 

The pros are that you save money, and it’s fun! Well, only if you like doing this sort of work. Otherwise, it’s absolute hell. Also, you might not be able to handle it like a pro and run into problems. 

Whatever you do, we always recommend one thing and that is getting an expert opinion from a certified builder, or tiler, even if you are doing it yourself. Keep in touch with them and ask them questions regularly. This way, you save money on hiring someone to do the renovation for you and you avoid making silly mistakes and putting even more expense on your hands. 

a woman doing DIY work with wood.


8. Retouch not Rebuild 

Before you start your project, it is highly recommended that you consult experts such as designers, builders and architects on how to revamp or renoavate without having to rebuild the entire space.

A lot of the materials you have in your home can be retouched and make your place pop. You don’t need to buy everything from scratch. The door knobs and cabinetry that are in good condition and just need new paint can be used. Don’t throw everything out. Think of ways to reuse them with some retouching. 


9. Don’t move the big guys 

We are not talking about the club bouncers here. 

What we are talking about is the big appliances such as bathtubs, sinks and stoves. Moving them around in the house is going to bring about so many extra costs. Leave them where they are and work your renovation around them. 


10. Consider buying lookalike tiles 

Having a marble kitchen bench is lovely and luxurious. But as the term luxurious suggests, it could cost you a lot. 

There are great porcelain stone-lookalike alternatives that don’t cost as much. Porcelain is much cheaper to maintain and it’s more durable as well. 

These tiles look so much like real marblelimestone, travertine or concrete that you could consider lying to your aunt about it. (We don’t recommend). 

grey marble porcelain flooring
living room with grey marble porcelain flooring
grey marble porcelain flooring

There are also some terrazzo-lookalike porcelain tiles that are great options for kitchens and bathrooms. 

living room with grey terrazzo tiles flooring and walls


Let us know if you have any cost-saving hacks that you used in your home renovation.

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