Home Renovation Costs: When to Splurge, Where to Save

Home Renovations Costs and keeping your project within budget are often major concerns for homeowners. Undertaking a major home renovation and extension is a large investment in your family home, and in your family’s future.

There are a myriad of decisions and selections that need to be made, and overarching it all is a budget that you are determined to work within. Amongst it all, you will inevitably find yourself pondering questions such as:

  • ‘’Where should I spend big on my renovation project, and where should I try to cut costs and save?’
  • ‘If I cut costs now, will I regret it later?’
  • ‘If I splurge on expensive items, will it add value to my home?’

There are some aspects of your home where it will definitely be worth splurging extra cash on. This is especially the case for fixed items that are difficult and expensive to replace or retrofit later on.

Our number 1 splurge item for your home renovation is a stone benchtop in the kitchen

A stone benchtop is an absolute must. Alternatively you may opt for another good quality surface. Whatever you choose, choose the highest quality you can afford, you will thank yourself every day for a long time to come! They do not come cheap, but they are worth every cent.

Buy quality Kitchen Fixtures and Fittings

Kitchens are the central hub of the home, and scrimping on costs in the kitchen is something that you will regret later on. It will also limit the resale value of your home if your kitchen does not stand the test of time due to poor quality finishes and fixtures. Another way of looking at it, is that the kitchen is used every day and needs good quality fixtures, appliances and finishes to withstand the treatment they will get.

Storage, Storage, and more Storage: build in as much storage as you can fit in

Build in storage wherever you can manage, there can never be enough. If you are building a second storey, talk to your Designer about utilising the space under the stairs.

In the kitchen, there are many nifty inserts that will allow you to use space even in the tightest corner. Where-ever you can find a space for storage, you will thank yourself for it later.

Install Home Security now and save later

If you don’t have it, get it. Your home is your castle and building in security at the same time as other electrical work will save you money in the long term, and provide great peace of mind. So in effect, this tip is both a splurge and a save item!

Home Renovation Costs and where to save

Saving in a home renovation is certainly not about taking short-cuts. In fact, cutting corners will inevitably cost you money in the long run. Careful planning, and not being tempted to purchase the latest fad items are areas when you can really save.

Save with smart planning and clever design

Having a master plan will save you money. A good designer will ensure that you maximise the potential of your block orientation and design a solar passive home extension that uses natural light, and natural air-flow as much as possible. This will save you in future costs, with future savings factored into the design that will result in saving you money on cooling and heating in the future. Consider long term costs, not just short term gains.

Do you really need all that space?

Big is not always better, just ask Pinocchio!!. More floor space will add thousands per square metre to your total budget. Do you really need it that big? Consider good design over large design. A well-utilised space will be enjoyed more than a barn style approach.

Beware of gimmick or fad items

Beware of gimmick purchases or luxury end items that are unlikely to get much use. A great example of this is a as a pot-filler. A what? A pot-filler is a faucet installed on your stove top so that you can fill a pot of water without having to carry it from the sink. These peaked in popularity in the U.S. some five years ago, and have steadily fallen from favour.

While it is not a disaster if you fall for a fad item, it is an area where you can save money. So in this example, there is extra plumbing and a fixture that you simply do not need – unless you boil big pots of water every day. Beware the bells and whistles!

Bathroom Tiles do not need to be expensive

Bathroom tiles do not need to be expensive to look good. A good tiling company or interior designer should be able to assist you with a great design, pattern or colour to match your taste, without costing you a fortune.

There are often sales available on tiles, where you may be able to get premium quality at a discount rate. Tiles are often reduced to clear the last remaining stock, so a word of caution.

You will need to ensure that there is ample stock to meet your requirements, while also allowing for wastage. If you do not have enough tiles and need to order more, chances are that they may come from a different batch, and colour or texture variations may not match the existing tiles.

For more tips on selecting tiles and what to look out for, please read our article on the Top 10 Renovation Mistakes to Avoid.