Nothing beats the excitement of buying an apartment that you can truly call your own, and to renovate it to your preference and taste.
However, home renovations are also notorious for having the potential to rack up higher-than-expected spending fast, sometimes faster than your typical overseas holiday or shopping for new clothes for the new year.
That said, it is possible to keep your budget in check for your renovation while ensuring a beautiful result for your renovation, as long you heed these five tips.
#1 Do Your Research And Determine The Wants And Needs For Your Renovation
Before you embark on your quest to renovate your home, be sure to make sense of the renovation details you want, such as the theme or design, fittings, furnishings and appliances you would like to have. From there, you can start to work out on the exact items you need, and also plan for the essential items that need to be carried out, by whom, as well as the timeline and expected costs.
If you intend to hire an interior designer, be sure to ask around and check out recommendations from your relatives or friends. Always look at their portfolio, ask for three to four quotations and do your due diligence by checking out reviews of them to compare around before making a final decision.
#2 Determine A Realistic Budget And Try To Stick To It
As mentioned earlier, the worst nightmare in planning for a renovation is to rack up high spending for your renovation. To avoid this situation from happening, you should plan a realistic budget so that you can keep your spending in check.
You should plan diligently by determining what you will need for your new home based on your research, and then to list out the costs of each purchase required. In addition, you should provide an allowance of 20% as a buffer in your budget planning for unforeseen circumstances.
#3 Know The Difference Between Needs And Wants
In all excitement, some people may want to buy additional appliance or accessories for their home, but do not realise that it could be a want and not a need.
For example, you may have opted for a designer rain shower, mirror and towel shelf for your toilet, but it i costing you around $1,000 as opposed to an off-the-rack shower and fixtures, which will only cost you a fraction of the $1,000. Perhaps buyer’s regret ensues, and you may think this money that was spent on designer fixtures could be better spent on something else.
This is why it is important that during the budget planning process, you should think through what you really need and compare against what you want before making a purchase.
If possible, it is better to leave out the “wants” from your purchase until you have moved into your new home, so that you will have a better understanding if you truly need something at the first place.
#4 Source Your Own Stuff To Keep Your Budget Low
While it is convenient to get your interior designer or contractor to source some items for you, but this service often incurs markups.
Some people will circumvent this by sourcing their own stuff, such as furniture, furnishings, or even electrical appliances, instead of deferring to their interior designer or contractor for help.
This allows better control of their spending, which helps in managing the overall costs of renovation.
For those who are keen to source their own items can look towards platforms such as Taobao, Lazada or even furnishing retailers in Johor Bahru to get items at a low price.
If you do not mind getting pre-used items, you can turn to other platforms such as Gumtree or Carousell.
#5 To DIY, Or Not To?
Besides sourcing your own stuff, there are some things you can try to do-it-yourself (DIY) to keep costs low.
After all, there are plenty of jobs that you can take on, such as getting the paintwork done or assemble the furniture on your own. This can help save precious dollars that can be better used elsewhere. For DIY work, all you need is some basic safety equipment, patience, and perhaps getting a friend or two to help out.
However, be discerning what you can do. For example, if you are intending to do the paintwork on your own, you will need to weigh up if you are able to get the same result for yourself, and also if you have the time to DIY. Also, as a general rule of the thumb, be sure to leave the specialised tasks, such as the installation of gas pipes and any electrical and wiring works to the professionals.
In conclusion, the key to avoiding a blowout on your renovation budget is to be smart, flexible, and have a plan in place. Be sure to be able to make a compromise at some point, such as using a slightly cheaper material in your renovation.
Also, be always on the lookout to find ways to save at every stage of your project, such as making your own purchase for furniture, or to roll up your sleeves and prepared to get your hands dirty by getting some work done on your own.