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Renovating on a budget - how to save money when you're doing up your home

Unfortunately renovating has got a reputation as being bank balance draining, which can be true but there really are so many ways to create a brand new space without blowing the budget. Just because you have a spending limit, doesn't mean you can't have what you want. We're always talking about where to spend and where to save so I wanted to take the opportunity to expand on that and give a few insights we've had through both our own renovations and client projects...

Decide on your budget and stick to it

Firstly, most people want what is just out of reach - like when you look at Rightmove with no upper limit and find the PERFECT house - why do we put ourselves through that torture?! Don't do it to yourself. If there's something you really want that's over budget, put it on a wishlist and save hard until you get it. I know how tempting it is and the pressure you feel to have everything done and staged beautifully in one go (I really do!) but don't max yourself out buying replaceable furniture pieces at the expense of a kitchen or your can dress up an old sofa but it's much more tricky to move a socket or replace cheap tiles because they're cracking.

Plan ahead to grab a bargain

Give yourself enough planning time so you can coordinate your purchases with sales. Bathroom and kitchen companies usually have sales at least once a month and it really does pay to wait for these if you can as these are often the most expensive rooms to renovate.

Loyalty points mean prizes!

Check if there's any retailers where you have a loyalty card selling the same product, my favourite is using Boots for appliances ( - associated with AO) buy your appliances AND get your Advantage points...that's a big beauty haul! And I'm here for it...

Design Budget Research - Interior Design for Property Developers

Do your research

You could spend a small fortune on most things, however with a bit of research and time you can often find very similar, if not the exactly the same thing at a much lower cost. The best example, quartz worktops...think of them like handbags, Caeserstone and others being like the Chanel of the worktop world, super expensive but in reality no different to an independent are purely paying for the name. Have a scout round at local suppliers (companies like Stone4life in SE London make their own quartz) and you'll be amazed at the price difference for the same product. Alternatively if you've got a smaller run of units or just want a piece for a vanity don't be afraid to ask about offcuts! This doesn't mean that you'll end up with loads of joins (our Hazard House kitchen worktop was an offcut and it's one piece!) and paying for a full slab that you don't get use of just doesn't make sense. A few minutes on Google can save you £££.

We all love a shiny website, beautiful product photography...and a price tag to match. The power of brands is real people. However, a quick reverse image search on google or even just looking up the name of a product will often provide many other places selling very similar products, if not the exact same product. This is really common with taps and other hardware, don't be put off by a rough and ready website - these are often the place to find the best deals! Believe me, I've wasted money on very expensive switches that are all breaking after a couple of years use, now I always go to Astra247 for sockets and switches that are 1/5 of the price and much better quality.

Mix higher end with high street

Things you touch everyday have a massive impact and this is where it's worth spending money. Door handles, worktops, light switches, taps, all of these things you will notice on a daily basis. These are the pieces that will make your home feel more expensive too, regardless of what you've spent elsewhere, so investing a little bit more to upgrade these areas is always worth it. For example in a kitchen, save on the unit carcasses so you can spend on the worktop and fronts.

Calm Bedroom with wall art - Interior Design for Property Developers

Recycle where you can

Whatever the project you'll more than likely end up with some waste materials that could be utilised elsewhere. If you're removing walls you might have a load of perfectly good 2x4 that could be used as the base of your new built-in bench or your kitchen might be good enough to repaint rather than replace, even small savings add up!

Consider your finishes

Materials such as birch-ply and concrete are not only in style but also don't need as much finishing, meaning they are often a great budget alternative.

Think outside the box

A custom-made look can often be achieved on a budget if you're willing to put in the time...the whole world of Ikea hacks and upcyling vintage finds is open to you!

DIY it! (If you can)

We're obviously really big on DIY, you learn a new skill and then there's sense of accomplishment / smugness when you know you've done it yourself. Sometimes things are best left to the pros and you know your own level of interest and skill - if you're going to leave a room half done or create more havoc it's best to pay a professional. However, painting and prepping are things that most people are able to do and can save a lot of labour cost. It's not the most exciting work but if you're on a budget labour is one of the biggest areas you can save.

Sell anything you don't use

Usable kitchen units, excess flooring or tile...there's always somebody that will want them on Gumtree!

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