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Renovate your home on a budget

The Advertiser 2020-06-30 08:04:00

Whether you’re repairing something minor around the house or undertaking a major renovation, do-it-yourself projects can be a great way to save some money.

Many Australians assume that renovating a home requires draining their bank account. They may not realise there are cost-saving alternatives that can deliver a high-end look for a fraction of the price. And there’s a lot you can do yourself.

Canstar spokeswoman Belinda Williamson said the first step was to set a budget.

“It’s a good idea to include a list of must-haves for your renovation project, and nice-to-haves,” she said.

Consider how much you will pay. If you don’t have savings on hand, financing options include putting it on your credit card, taking out a loan or accessing funds via your mortgage.


Ms Williamson said putting a $5000 renovation on a credit card paid off within a year could cost an additional $411 in interest and fees.

If you have a home loan, redrawing from your loan could be the most cost-effective option, costing renovators an extra $94.

Financial Spectrum managing director Brenton Tong recommends looking for bargains online or finding second-hand furniture.

“You could score building materials or new appliances such as ovens, taps and doors for a fraction of their retail value,” he said.

Instead of hiring a professional, Mr Tong said friends were normally happy to help out if and when needed. Whether that means helping you buy materials at a discounted rate, or giving up a few hours of their time on a weekend to help with demolition – every little bit counts.

Bunnings offers online community workshops that cover a wide range of topics, including painting techniques, regrouting bathroom floor tiles, fitting door handles and making a water feature.

One of the cheapest ways to transform a room is painting, to make faded walls look fresh again. Replacing handles on your cupboards can give your kitchen a dramatically different look and is easier than changing the cabinets. And switching out a plain tap for a dressy one can make the bathroom look more elegant.

As a young couple with a mortgage, Danielle and Daniel Dib were conscious of how much they could afford to spend on their home renovation.

They set themselves a modest budget for a new bathroom, kitchen and open-plan living area. The couple then tackled some DIY projects, including painting every room, tiling the outdoor entertaining area and installing new fencing.

“My husband did a lot of the work inside and I designed everything and did much of the painting and decorating myself, which saved us a lot,” Ms Dib said.

Originally published as Save money of DIY renovations