How To Save Money On A Renovation

Written by in Buying on December 2, 2013

How To Save Money On A Renovation

You’ve owned your home for four to five years and while it has been a great place to live, it is beginning to look tired and old. Perhaps the kids are going up fast and they need their own space, or you’ve just found out that you will soon have a new addition to the household. Perhaps you’d like another living room or the house just needs some minor repairs. To save money on a renovation, you need to ensure that you research the work that needs to be done. This helps you to get the best quality build possible for your budget and time.

Unavoidable costs

Let’s start with the unavoidable costs. These include council fees and the preparation of the preliminary plans. Of course the costs will vary but, depending on your renovation ambitions, these costs could set you back around $2,000. In addition to this, you need to factor in other variable costs such as builder’s fees and materials, architect’s fees, storage fees and bank fees if you choose to refinance your loan.

A smart tip is to speak to a mortgage broker, such as Mortgage Choice, on your refinancing options to ensure you have enough equity in your mortgage to comfortably finance your home improvements.

Quote, Quote, Quote

Save money on a renovation by not overcapitalising on the work. This occurs when the cost of a renovation exceeds the market value it adds to a property. To avoid making a loss on your renovation, it is wise to begin with an estimate on the costs and a budget that you can stick too.

For any job that needs doing, always seek a minimum of three quotes from builders. Don’t be afraid to haggle on their final figure as many builders will work for less, especially if they don’t have much work in the pipeline.

Decide if the renovation will add value to your home

Generally, home improvements such as a new kitchen, an extra bedroom and new flooring will enhance the value of your property. On the flip side, adding in a spa bath or a swimming pool will add the least value. If you are unsure if your renovation will increase the value of your home, speak to your local real estate agent. They are in a great position to enlighten you about what types of renovations will enhance the value of your home in the current market and which renovations will have a detrimental effect.

DIY – Do-It-Yourself

Building costs can vary enormously, depending on the size and quality of the materials used in the project as well as the site accessibility, method of construction and whether you choose to do any of the work yourself.

Indeed, doing the work yourself can potentially shave as much as one third of the total cost of the renovations. That said, some states require you to get an owner-builder’s license before attempting any major works. In addition, you may have to take out insurance on the work you do. Not only do such laws keep you safe, it also protects future home buyers from purchasing a home with faulty craftsmanship.

Shop around

Finally, when it comes to choosing materials and trying to save money on a renovation: be smart and shop around. Often you can find some great deals if your shop online or go directly to the wholesaler. Don’t be afraid to use second hand materials for some of the work if the materials have maintained their quality. Also you builder may be able to secure for you a ‘tradie discount’ as they will know the best places to go.