Mastering the skill of spending a small amount of money on a renovation project but attracting a disproportionately value for that project (therefore adding value to the property), is a great way to increase the equity in your home. This is referred to as ‘perceived value’. Something ‘looks’ expensive but it was not.

Before you decide what you want to do, work out how much you want to spend. Keep it affordable and don’t over-capitalise. The amount you have will largely determine the approach you’ll take. Don’t worry, you can do a lot with a little bit of money and a lot of care. 

  • Try to do as much as you can yourself to lower labour costs. For example, do your own demolition and removal work if you can. And, collect items rather than paying for deliveries. 
  • Opt for less expensive finishes and materials in the kitchen. There are plenty of lower cost alternatives on the market. For example, while granite is a popular choice for countertops, there many cheaper options to consider including recyclable products, concrete, tile and stone. Laminates have also come a long way in recent years and can give you many exciting kitchen design options.
  • Transform a property with a great ‘neutral and modern’ colour scheme – choose paint carefully and always test on walls to see how light changes the colour.
  • Remove any unnecessary walls to open up living rooms to give the home a modern feel.
  • Build walls to create more bedrooms – a great way in instantly increase the value of your home.
  • Add an ensuite to massively increase value.
  • The outside is just as important as the inside. Create great street appeal so that buyers are emotionally connected to the house before they walk in.
  • Reuse materials: The biggest way to lower your renovation expenses is by reusing cabinetry. You don’t have to get rid of the old cabinet. All you need is a coat of paint on them, and you will save some big bucks. If your cabinets need more than paint, be aware that you can still save a lot of money if you only replace the doors and handles, but leave the cabinet body in place.

Staying in the home whilst renovating is totally doable with a few tricks and by staying put, you’ll save money on renting elsewhere or paying two mortgages.

  1. For anyone on a budget (i.e., all of us) focus on the ‘living areas’ first…kitchen /dining/bathroom/lounge-family rooms. Doing a bit here and there in multiple rooms will leave you feeling unsettled and frustrated. The place where you spend the most time should serve as the focus of your energy and investment. Then, when the budget allows, move on to the next space.
  2. Become the project manager, saving money on hiring a professional to do so. You need a collection of timetables, payment plans and delivery schedules – these will be your most-prized possession for the duration. Set up a timeline that is communicated to every person involved in the project.
  3. Stay on top of the budget – updating constantly so costs do not get out of control!
  4. Create a room that is your sanctuary – relatively dust free and tool free.
  5. Have at least one room that acts as a storage area for items that are yet to be fitted. What’s more, keeping everything in one place is a sure way to prevent buying duplicates.
  6. Hire a ‘kitchen pod’ (a mobile temporary kitchen unit) that can be installed wherever you can get access to a cold water tap and powerpoint – typically in the garage. This will keep you sane and eating properly during the renovation.