Saturday, 27 February 2021

Where to save and splurge on a renovation, according to Dea Jolly

Renovating can be a daunting prospect for many reasons, not least of which is knowing what to spend your hard-earned cash on and when to keep your hand in your pocket.

With so many options available, knowing what is worth investing in and what isn’t will make all the difference to your total spend at the end of a project.

Here are my top tips on where to save, and where to splurge when renovating:

With so many options available, knowing what is worth investing in and what isn't will make all the difference.With so many options available, knowing what is worth investing in and what isn’t will make all the difference. Photo: iStock

Where to spend

Depending on the size of your renovation and budget, invest in the best help you can find. A good architect or draftsperson will help your dreams become a reality and a great team of tradespeople are worth their weight in gold. These experts will make or break the success of your project and your budget, so listen to their recommendations, look at their prior work, and don’t make decisions based only on price.

Invest in timeless, quality fixtures and fittings that won’t date and will stand the test of time. Splurge on top-quality decorative light fittings in areas that need that wow factor, and good quality tapware throughout. Beautiful finishes such as stone benchtops and splashbacks make a big statement in any renovation.

When choosing appliances, think about the way you live and entertain and choose accordingly – buy that coffee machine if you love coffee, install two ovens if you have a large family and love to cook.

If the layout of your space isn’t working or more natural light can be achieved, don’t be afraid to change your floor plan. While it will add costs to your renovation, the perfect layout can add value to your property and create a home that functions better.

Flooring makes a big impact on the look and feel of a home and is not an easy thing to change. Whether it’s floorboards, carpet or tiles, choose the best quality option your budget will allow, stay away from trends and choose flooring that won’t date. This will act as an anchor to your spaces.

Where to save

Wherever possible, don’t move existing plumbing and electrical points in kitchens and bathrooms. Working within your existing layout will save you money on tradesmen and fittings.

Save money by using standard sized doors and windows that won’t need to be custom made. You will benefit from even more savings when it comes time to pick window furnishings and tracks, which will also be standard sizes.

Painting is everyone’s least favourite renovating task, but taking it on yourself will save thousands of dollars. Hiring the right equipment and taking the time to practice is a must! Even if you end up doing just the walls and ceilings and paying an expert to tackle windows, trims and doors, it is well worth it.

Landscaping is another area where savings can be made if you are willing to have a go yourself. Taking the time to come up with your own garden plan, creating garden beds, planting and even installing simple irrigation systems yourself can reduce your landscaping bill considerably.

When deciding to renovate a kitchen, join the mailing lists of all the large appliance retailers and keep an eye out for their big sales. There are huge savings to be made just by paying attention to what is happening in the retail market.

There are many flat-pack cabinetry options available that are much more affordable than bespoke cabinetry if you are willing to try installing yourself. Cabinet makers will produce and deliver your cabinets with instructions on installation for a considerable saving, or there are many off-the-shelf options.


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