step 1

Know your limits

Firstly, a caveat. When we say it’s possible to get a fantastic renovation on any budget, we don’t mean cutting corners to save money. You may have watched more than your fair share of ‘Selling Houses Australia’, but does that really qualify you as a renovation expert?

Once you have an idea of what you want to achieve with your reno project, you should be able to easily identify the jobs that are best left to the professionals. Things like electrical, plumbing and structural work are not to be trifled with – leave them to the experts.

That being said, make sure you get at least three quotes for the work you want done, and see if you can find any reviews of each tradie before agreeing to anything. Getting the job done right doesn’t have to cost heaven and earth, but you want it done right.

step 2

Working bee, anyone?

Once you’ve ruled out the stuff you can’t do yourself, you’ll probably quickly realise there is a whole lot you can get accomplished with a little help. Depending on the scale of your project, it can very quickly become a little overwhelming, but all you need to do is take stock of the assets at your disposal.

If you’ve got a group of friends or family that are willing to help out, so much the better! Here are some of the jobs you can put them to work doing (after a little research online or at your local hardware store).

  1. Painting & landscaping

    So simple even kids can get involved. Give your mates a roller or a shovel, and you’ll be amazed what can be accomplished in no time.

  2. Fencing & floorboards

    If any of your family or mates are ‘handy’ it can help here, but even if they aren’t, as long as they’ve got someone to give direction, they’ll surprise you!

  3. Kitchen & tiling

    Most flat pack kitchens are really straightforward to assemble over a day or weekend, and with the right advice you’ll be proud as punch of your new look bathroom tiles!

step 3

Think differently about savings

The earlier you can start pricing your reno project, the better, as you’ll give yourself a budget to work from, and can allocate some money for any unforeseen costs.

It’s important to remember that there are different ways to think about renovating that can save you money.

  1. Head online

    Don’t just settle for the first price you’re given for labour, supplies and materials. Head online and shop around – it may take a little bit longer but you can nab some serious bargains. Ask for trade prices, and look for ‘scratch and dent’ stock or used building materials too.

  2. Think long-term savings

    Often when we’re building, it can be easy to overlook using materials that will provide long term savings like solar panels, LED lights, rainwater tanks and good quality insulation. Trying to incorporate these features into your build may prove healthier for your wallet in the long run.

step 4

Compromise happens

No two renovation projects are the same, but there is one thing all projects have in common. None of them are perfect, and you should expect the unexpected.

Things happen on a reno site, scope changes – it’s gonna happen. That’s why it’s important to be able to compromise and adjust to suit your budget. Commit to a list of must-haves, and if things change, you can concentrate on the things you absolutely can’t do without.

step 5

Update insurance

Once you’ve finished your project, hopefully you’ll be happy with both the end result and the fact that you didn’t have to spend a fortune.

Since you’ve now updated your home at a bargain rate, you should inform your insurer of the changes you’ve made, so your Home & Contents policy can be amended.

If you’ve become accustomed to getting great deals, now might be the time to consider making the switch and ensuring your place through Greater Bank – no need to wait for renewal time!