Renovating a Home on a Budget

If you ask people what their life goals are, buying a fixer-upper and renovating it is often high on the list. There’s something about taking an old property and making it your own that’s a lot of fun, even if it is hard work, and with house prices in the UK on the rise, it appeals to those who can’t find their dream home on the property market. It can, however, be an expensive endeavour, even if you buy a bargain home at auction, as the costs soon add up, so here are some ways you can renovate on a budget. 

If it’s your first renovation, choose a simple project

Some first-time renovators make the mistake of buying a home that has structural damage or other extremely costly projects that need to be done. Before you buy any property, get a survey done, so you can see exactly what you’re working with. If you’re getting a builder to do the bigger jobs, get them to come to a viewing with you so you can get a rough estimate of costs. 

See what grants you can get

While property developers are unlikely to get much help to fix up homes, if it’s a property you intend to live in, you may be able to get some help with costs. For example, you can find out about grants through Help to Buy Windows for double glazing or see whether you’d be eligible for costs such as insulation. It’s important to get quality, eco-friendly products for your home; otherwise you’ll end up with huge energy bills.

Do some DIY

Not all people have the skills to renovate a house, but you can often save some cash if you do certain things yourself. You’ll need to leave electrics, gas, and plumbing to the experts, and once you’ve got a blank canvas to work with, you can do many of the projects when you have the right tools. Things like painting and decorating aren’t too difficult, but they just require a lot of patience and a YouTube tutorial to get right. Even things like tiling and plastering can be done to a high standard as long as you take the time to learn a new skill.

Find inexpensive materials

Materials will take up a large chunk of your budget, so it’s worth shopping around. Some tradespeople will quote for materials and labour, but the materials cost will often be higher than buying yourself, as they factor in their time and effort. Buy direct and get things delivered to your door. Look for second-hand and recycled materials where you can, with sites like Gumtree, Facebook, and eBay, full of bargains. If you’re savvy, you can even buy a second-hand kitchen and get a carpenter to install it, or find almost new furniture for a fraction of the cost. 

While it’s important to overestimate your budget a little, to give yourself a financial safety net, there are ways to renovate a fixer-upper home for a low price. This gives you the freedom to get the style of home you want and can be cheaper than buying a new build or a freshly decorated home on the UK market.