renovation tips to save time and money

Renovation tips that will save you both time and money

Are you looking for some hot renovation tips that will save you both time and money on your home renovation project? 

If you’ve been following us for a while, you know that we post articles every month about all things building and renovating with lots of hot tips and insights. But we understand that you are busy folk and reading through all the articles can take a little time. 

So, to make life a little easier for you, we’ve gone back through our blogs and pulled out 15 of our best renovation tips and advice around both building and renovating that will help you save both time and money when renovating your home. 


Renovation Tip #1 – Get expert advice and get it early

This would have to be the absolute best way to save time and money. Get expert advice and get it early on in your renovation journey. 

So many times, we’ve seen bad renovations or not-so-bad renovations that could have been a whole lot better, for the same price and effort. And the problem is that the homeowners have simply not reached out to experts to ask for advice. 

It comes back to the old adage; you don’t know what you don’t know. Unless you’ve done multiple renovations before or you work in the building industry, chances are your best thinking is not as good as an expert’s best thinking… Simply because they are thinking from experience, knowledge and know-how. 

And all experts you speak to will look at things slightly differently and have a different perspective. All of which you can draw on. 

Your budget and timeline will thank you. 

Tip #2 – Make your budget a priority

This is a huge mistake that we see many homeowners doing time and time again. they are not putting their renovation budget first and making it a priority. This can be a big issue, particularly in the early stages of your project.  

When planning out our own home, it’s natural to want the world and have grand plans created to match. But what if you can’t afford to build those plans? 

What if you’ve paid good money to have those plans created and now you have to go back to the drawing board and have new plans created in the hope that you can afford to actually build that one?… It’s a risky strategy that could cost you thousands and could eventually eat up all your budget before you’ve even started building. 

Because unfortunately, Architects and Building Designers are engaged to design and create plans, not price them. 

If you make your budget a priority, you will speak to the builder first. Builders are engaged to price up home builds and then build them to that price and timeframe, so it’s a no-brainer to speak to them first. 

By making your budget a priority, you will also make more considered choices when it comes to your fixtures and finishes. 

Tip #3 – Have a vision and stick to it

One thing that can throw out the budget and timeline for any project is changing course along the way. 

Sure, minor changes such as moving a doorway or changing the benchtop material are not going to make a major difference in the grand scheme of things. But changing the entire layout or rethinking all the fixtures and finishes for the home can have a major impact. 

Have a vision for your home and stick to the vision. By having a clear outcome in your head (and down on paper), you can refer back to it every time you doubt yourself or lose focus along the way. If you struggle to create a clear vision for your home, get help from professionals who can guide you.  

Tip #4 – Get comparable quotes

Getting quotes from builders can be time-consuming and when they all come back completely different, it can be frustrating to say the least. 

One quote may be fully itemised while others are just one lump sum. Some of the quotes might price all the work, while others might need you to source external consultants yourself for some of the work. Comparing quotes like this can be almost impossible. 

And if you can’t compare, how do you know which one is going to be the best value? And which quote is going to give you the best experience? 

The best thing you can do in this situation is go back to the builder and ask for the extra information so your quotes are comparable and you can compare each quote side by side.

For more details on how to compare renovation quotes, check out our complete guide here.  

Tip #5 – Have a buffer

It is always a good idea to have a little extra money and time in reserve just in case. Because things can and do go wrong. 

While a good builder will quote you accurately and bring your project in on time and on budget, there can be some unforeseen hiccups along the way. For example, you may hit rock when digging new footings. Or the framing you planned on keeping was in worse condition than anticipated and needs to be replaced. Or a month of rain has pushed your project timeline back. 

It doesn’t hurt to have a little money in reserve just in case. And if everything runs without a hitch, then you have some funds available to buy new furniture or soft furnishings.  

Tip #6 – Plan ahead

We can’t emphasise enough how beneficial planning is to any building project. The more time and effort you can put into planning at the beginning, the smoother your project will run and the more enjoyable your experience will be. 

Planning out your renovation thoroughly is one of the best ways to avoid mistakes and oversights. And mistakes and oversights can be one of the biggest budget killers in home renovations. So, to save time and money, plan ahead.

Tip #7 – Be flexible 

This is a relevant tip, particularly for home renovators, and ties in together with tip number 6. While good planning is always advised, being flexible when things don’t go completely to plan is also a good thing. 

If the tiles you had your heart set on are discontinued, or the lighting fixture you wanted is on back order, then a little flexibility here can help. Especially when it comes to saving time. You might be better off picking another fixture than waiting for one to come back into stock. Or choosing a cheaper material in one area of your renovation so you can spend more in another area. 

Flexibility is also a good way to approach a renovation, especially if you are living in the home while it’s being renovated. Adapting your routine and lifestyle around home upgrades will definitely save your sanity.   

Tip #8 – Consider quality over cost

I know, I know, a little counterintuitive but think of the long-term savings. Spending a little more upfront on quality products is going to save you the time, money and hassle to replace the budget products down the track.

Speak to your builder and product suppliers about the quality of all your fixtures and fittings. They are the best source of knowledge when it comes to knowing what brands are preferable over others and what ones are likely to give you the best return on investment. 

Tip #9 – Design your renovation to suit your house

This renovation tip is particularly relevant if you are renovating to sell. Nothing says awkward quite like a house that is half renovated and nothing matches. The goal of a renovation is to make your house the best it can be, not something it isn’t.

This means considering classic design and style over current fads and trends. For example, grey tones may be the trend right now but if your home is a heritage home that consists of a lot of warm shades, the grey tones are just going to clash. 

Renovation Tip #10 – Get approvals in place first

This is something not all homeowners think about straight away but is something to keep in mind. 

Know what you can and cannot do with your property before you start planning your home renovation and having plans created. What you want to do, may not be possible. Or maybe you can do more than what you initially thought. You won’t know until you get full details from any governing bodies and have the green light to make any alterations.  

This means getting council approvals, building approvals and the green light to renovate in line with any heritage or character constraints

Having to rectify work or remove structures you don’t have approvals for can be a very costly exercise indeed!

Tip #11 – Consider energy-efficient products

Energy-efficient products may not save you money upfront but think about the long-term savings that can be made up during the running of your home. 

Even the simple task of adding insulation to the spaces you are renovating can make all the difference. Or choosing appliances with a higher energy star rating than others. It all adds up and can result in a tidy sum back in your pocket at the end of the day. 

Tip #12 – Be organised

A very handy tip especially for families and especially if you plan on staying in the home while it undergoes a renovation. 

Being organised and staying organised throughout the entire renovation process will make life so much easier. Trust us.

Tip #13 – Consider relocating during renovations

While this renovation tip will add extra living expenses to your budget, it can also speed up your renovation by allowing your builder to work uninterrupted or having to plan out the schedule around your family’s needs.

Moving out while your home is being renovated can also make life easier, especially if you have young kids or a demanding work schedule.  

Tip #14 – Communicate effectively

Miscommunication can lead to both budget and time blowouts. It can result in the wrong product going in or mistakes with the installation. The best way to avoid mistakes is to make sure everyone is on the same page at all times. And to do this, everyone needs to communicate effectively. 

Renovation Tip #15 – Plan to get the best bang for your buck

Unless you have a limited budget, chances are you won’t be able to afford absolutely everything you want to do with your house. Get good advice (see tip #1), weigh up all your options and spend your money in the areas that are going to give you the best return or the maximum impact on your home. 

No point in having a whopping big walk-in-pantry and a tiny ensuite if you don’t cook much and would get much more use out of a bigger bathroom. 

Remember these renovation tips for your next renovation

Like all good tips, these renovation tips are only going to help you save time and money if you implement them into your home renovation.  

Have a renovation tip of your own or have a question about renovating your home? Reach out and let’s chat.

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