During the cost-of-living crisis, every penny counts. So, while you might have a pot set aside for renovations this year, how can you stretch that budget to make sure the most important elements are covered first? And what should you scrimp on?
When it comes to home renovations managing the budget can be a daunting task. That’s where smart planning and strategic allocation of funds come into play. Keep reading to get the most out of your budget while making the right choices to transform your space.
Start with a clear budget allocation
Before you begin any renovation project, it’s crucial to have a clear budget in mind. Allocate a specific amount for the entire project and break it down into categories such as materials, labour, permits, and unexpected expenses. This will help you stay on track and avoid overspending. Set aside a portion of your budget for unexpected expenses. Renovation projects often uncover hidden issues that need to be addressed, so having a contingency fund can prevent financial stress down the line.
At NJ Architects, we recommend budgeting around 20% over the estimated cost of the renovation. During building projects there are often circumstances that nobody can prepare for including plumbing and electric problems, unexpected damage and delays in the delivery of materials. So it helps to keep an extra bit of money aside to prevent undue stress if problems should arise.
Prioritise essential areas
Focus on areas that will have the most impact on your daily life and overall property value. The kitchen and bathrooms often provide the highest return on investment. These spaces are where functionality meets aesthetics, so investing here can pay off in the long run.
However, while high-end finishes and luxury materials are tempting, they can quickly eat into your budget. Instead, consider cost-effective alternatives that offer a similar look and feel. For instance, laminate countertops that mimic the appearance of natural stone can be a budget-friendly option.
Two budget-friendly yet impactful renovations are a fresh coat of paint and updated lighting fixtures. A new colour scheme can transform the ambiance of a room, while well-placed lighting can highlight architectural features and enhance functionality.
Optimise energy efficiency
Allocate a portion of your budget to enhance energy efficiency. Upgrading insulation, windows, and doors can lower energy bills while increasing comfort. Although these changes may not be as visually striking, they contribute to a more sustainable and cost-effective home.
Shaun Soanes, Partner at NJ Architects said: “With the recent rise in energy costs, creating a more efficient home should be a top priority. Something simple like replacing radiators can add value to a house and save money on household bills. Or if you intend to renovate a kitchen, underfloor heating provides efficiency and comfort and allows families to maximum the space for different purposes”.
Repurpose and upcycle
Before discarding old furniture or fixtures, consider repurposing or upcycling them. A coat of paint, reupholstering, or minor modifications can breathe new life into existing pieces, saving you money and reducing waste. If shopping for new materials and appliances, don’t settle for the first option you come across. Research different suppliers, brands, and models to find the best deals without compromising on quality.
Seek professional advice
Consulting with architects can provide valuable insights into cost-effective design solutions. Their expertise can help you make informed decisions that align with your vision and budget. A successful home renovation is all about strategic budgeting and making informed choices. By allocating funds wisely, prioritising essential areas, and seeking innovative ways to save, you can transform your space while keeping financial stress at bay. Remember, the goal is to create a home that reflects your style and meets your needs without breaking the bank.