When renovating a home, you obviously require money but you also require courage, a lot of planning and without question, professionals you can trust that will help you with your renovation.

These tips will help you lower your renovation costs whilst adding value in the right areas that will see you adding thousands to the value of your home.


• Not having a well-planned design and a reasonable time frame. 

• Not budgeting for unforeseen costs or changes to the plan. 

• Not getting a complete quote in writing or having a full understanding of the quote given. 

• Not hiring a professional for jobs that require the expertise. 

• Not planning renovations in terms of resale.

Just one of these aspects can cost you time and money so pay attention to each one of them and address them …don’t ignore or gloss over them 

Therefore, please reword in the following way and I suggest printing the list and pinning on the fridge to keep you focused and paying attention to the important things when it comes to saving money and time. 

I have a well-planned design. 

I have set a reasonable time frame. 

I have budgeted for unforeseen costs. 

I will not make changes to the plan unless ABSOLUTELY necessary. 

I have complete quotes in writing and have a full understanding of the quote given. 

I will hire a qualified professional for jobs that require the expertise. 

My renovation plan has considered resale value.


If it is possible, plan to renovate when the weather is warmer. There are a few reasons for this.

  • With trades in and out all day long, if it’s winter, it can get cold and uncomfortable and you’ll see your power bill rise while you see that warmth quite literally disappear out of the door!
  • There are less delays due to rain – particularly if needing trades (extensions, roofing, fencing, driveways)
  • If you’re changing windows and doors, you will find yourself with a tarp over the hole left behind, whilst you wait for delivery of new one. Again, cold air rushing in is not pleasant.
  • It’s a lot easier to live off BBQs and salads, if you’re having your kitchen ripped out in summer! 
  • Tradie’s boots create a mess everywhere when it’s raining.


Out of all the DIY projects I’ve done, the one that often makes the most dramatic difference is opening up living areas by removing walls or partial walls. 

Knocking down a wall is a great way to create an open floor plan, or simply make a room larger. But before you start, you should get an idea of the feasibility of the project by identifying which walls in your home are ‘load’ and ‘non-load’ bearing. The difference between these walls is what you’d probably imagine. A ‘load bearing’ wall is to transfer the weight of the roof down to the ground. A ‘non-load’ bearing wall is simply a room divider, which makes removing it a much simpler project to complete. The type of wall you are hoping to knock down will greatly affect the cost, timeline and simplicity of the project.

If your wall is not load bearing, you can consider taking it down yourself but I do advise consulting a professional to confirm your observations before reaching for the sledgehammer. Please don’t guess based on where the walls are.

Even if it is a ‘load bearing’ wall you can often keep part of the wall intact, and add a counter / benchtop (if it’s in a kitchen area) for extra seating. This may also allow you to keep the wall outlets so you don’t have the extra expense of an electrician.

By no means is this an easy project, but you can save yourselves a lot of money by being able to do the work yourself. The change can increase the value of your property by thousands $$$$. 


Creating more space needs to be a focus for every renovator. Open-plan is the way of life now and as a renovator you need to work out how to do this to increase the value of your home. 

One way is to consider which way the doors open into rooms – if the door was hung the other way, would it create more space in the room? With more space you can reconfigure the layout of furniture and fixtures…this is particularly useful in bathrooms and small rooms.

Is there a way to have the door replaced with a sliding door? This can save a lot of space. 

In the main living areas, can you remove the doorways and open up the area?  This is far more favourable for today’s modern family open-plan living. Kitchen remodels open the space, perhaps incorporating lonely dining rooms, and feature recycling centres, large pantries, and recharging stations.

But please check with a builder before removing walls.


Renovating for ‘perceived value’ is a great way to keep costs down whilst maximising value. If you are renovating to resell (flip) then you are looking for the fastest – least expensive ways to add value. You should focus on the owner-occupier market…try to find the WOW aspect that will appeal to your market.

  • Renovations are often about perception. 
  • Perceived value is creating value higher than what you spent.
  • The market does not care how money you spent – it is always about perceived value.
  • Do not over capitalize – renovate for the current market demographic.


Updating your kitchen cabinets doesn’t always have to mean tearing out and replacing your current cabinets, though in some real estate markets, full replacement may be necessary. Updating and upgrading can be as simple and inexpensive as painting your cabinets. An exercise that is not as difficult as it sounds. There are many, many YouTube videos walking you through each step of the process. I have painted and spray-painted cupboards and it always turned out great if you take your time and prepare carefully. 

If the cupboard doors are damaged (so can’t be painted) a step up, both in terms of cost and buyer appeal, is ​cabinet refacing. Refacing means replacing the cabinets’ doors and drawer fronts. A technician can apply a real wood veneer to the side of the cabinet boxes so it all blends in and looks new. Then you finish the look by adding new cabinet hardware (handles and maybe hinges).

Kitchen renovation list of work:

1.Tear out unwanted features
2. Replace or resurface your cabinets & countertops  

3. Create new splashbacks

4. Replace your outdated appliances

5. Install new flooring, trim and lighting
6. Repaint your walls


You can save a lot of money by doing some/all of the bathroom renovation yourself.

Firstly, you want to make sure that you are clear on your ‘vision’ or ‘theme’ for the bathroom before you begin. This will save you time and money. However, you must keep in mind that there are things that you should not do yourself. If you are not licensed, you should not do electrical work or move utility lines.

A visual guide or plan is essential when you are attempting something for the first time. Annotated (notes over or around the picture) pictures of bathroom layouts and furniture are a valuable resource in creating the look and pricing for your project. Download and cut out pictures of fittings and collect brochures with pictures and instructions. Choose photos that are as detailed as possible then price up the items that you like.

If trying a new skill (ie tiling) , you can find bathroom pictures that have step by step instructions with them, you have a better guide than with just words alone. Not only can you read what you need to do, you can see the specifics in the pictures. That means you are far less likely to make a mistake.

When renovating a smaller bathroom, planning is crucial to ensuring all the necessary elements will fit your space. I often drew it all out with spray paint on the floor to make sure I was happy with the layout and my plumber and / or builder was clear on my vision. 

When it comes to sinks, each one is different, but the basic mechanics of how the water comes into the tapware and how to attach the drain are all going to be very similar no matter what the sink looks like. If you find very detailed bathroom renovating pictures that show you step by step how to attach the important features, your sink installation has a better chance of being a success when you are doing it for the very first time.

When it comes to installing tiles, especially when incorporating designs or patterns, having pictures will help you out tremendously. Images on the internet and YouTube videos will show you how to do both, and will definitely give you a leg up when you tackle your tiling endeavour. In this case, a picture is definitely worth a thousand words.

Renovating your bathroom can be a very tricky task – after all, there’s so many elements to think about! Make sure you are clear what trades you need and when you need them. To save money you can do all the manual work – prep work. Ripping out old bath, removing old tiles, removing cabinets/mirrors. In other words …stripping the bathroom back to wall and floors. This saves hours in labour costs regardless how much of the new bathroom is DYI or trades.

IMPORTANT … always consider order of works. 

  • Ensure all pipework is fully completed for shower, sink and toilet before tiling and installing cabinets, mirrors etc. 
  • Consider access if something goes wrong with plumbing…how will you get to pipes if there is a blockage? You do not want to have to rip out tiles unnecessarily. 
  • Any electrical work should be completed before the plumber starts work. Discuss the scope of work with both trades so you know how much time to allow. Do not schedule them to be working in the bathroom on the same days…consider scheduling carefully. Leave any painting until these trades have completely finished their work.
  • Prepare your plan as far in advance as possible and make sure you clean and prepare the site as best you can to ensure that the job goes smoothly, and brace yourself for any unforeseen issues to arise.


(unless you are renovating your own home).

This is one of the most common mistakes made by those who are new to investing and renovating.

When considering purchasing and improving an investment property, your judgement should be based on the perspective the local demographics – the potential buyer. It is essential that you do your research so that you understand the needs and wants of the people that will be interested in your property. 

Don’t let your personal tastes and desires affect your judgment. When renovating you must think like the potential buyer or potential tenant – focus on what they ‘need and desire’ from a property not what you want or like. 


I’m a talkative person by nature and I always love talking about my plans and learning from my trades but as I’ve already mentioned, time is money (they are usually charging by the hour).

Of course, mention something if you’re not happy, and ask questions, but let the experts get on with their job! Just make coffee (lots of it), be available and approachable if your trades have questions. Always make sure everyone has your mobile number and you have theirs.

Home renovation can be very exciting, but very tiring at the same time. It requires a lot of planning and budgeting. I hope these tips are useful for you in lowering your renovation expenses whilst maximising the value of your home.