There’s no two ways about it: renovations are extraordinarily expensive endeavours. That’s why most will only renovate once or twice in their lifetime, if at all. Even then, it’s unlikely that you’ll get EVERYTHING you ever wanted in a home. However, knowing where to scrimp in a renovation can save you some cash so you can get the things you really want in a new home, or simply invest it elsewhere. Without further ado, here are 9 things you can sacrifice to save cash in a renovation.
1. Refresh, don't replace
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Or replace it. Why not, you say? Well, simply put, new stuff’s expensive. Instead, save a buck. Refinishing the flooring, repaint cabinets, and even scrubbing bathroom fittings down can yield massive savings. That, and it also cuts down on landfill waste.
2. Reuse old appliances or get discounted ones
Need appliances? Bring the one from your old place, if it isn’t too old. Or wait for seasonal clearance sales. Or even buy display sets. They come with the same warranty and it’s not like people use them at the store (except TVs). Save the cash for things that REALLY matter; don’t scrimp on things like mattresses, sofas and dining tables. Quality and durability matter there. Unless you actually like sleep depravation or eating on the floor.
3. Forget tiles
Flooring is among the most costly expense in any renovation. The worst are tiles. Tiles are expensive. Laying them is expensive. Replacing them is expensive. Everything about tiles is expensive.
However, what’s not expensive is vinyl plank flooring. Thankfully, they’re super waterproof, super durable, super affordable, AND super comfy to walk on. Is there more to be said?
4. Keep existing fixtures fixed in place
Fixtures like built-ins, sinks, and plumbing hate getting moved because, hey, they’re fixed in place. It’s in the name. Which is why then you move them, it’s astronomically expensive. If you can make them work where they are, don’t move it.
5. Go with timeless and durable
Cheap doesn’t always save dollars. Stick to durable and classic looks. That way, the odds of you having to replace it because it breaks or becomes outdated is far less likely. If you have to follow the trends, save it for accents and decor.
6. Goodbye built-ins, hello standard
Next to flooring, built-ins are the worst money sinks. Sure, they fit perfectly and the maximise space. But think about it: what if you want to change it? In contrast, furniture with standardised shapes and sizes are far more affordable, easily moved, and readily replaceable. Go with loose furniture and only go with built-ins where you REALLY need them.
7. Recycle "waste" building materials
Ask your contractor about “waste” building materials you could use; they’ll likely have some from existing or recently concluded projects. They usually come at a a fraction of the cost of retail.
8. Reuse – Reduce – Recycle – Repurpose
Just because they’re second-hand doesn’t mean that HAVE to look like it. Shop around. You’ll be surprised. And it’ll be at a fraction of the cost of a brand new thing. Or better yet, head over to Buy Nothing Singapore and possibly pay nothing at all. Just be mindful that it might not be in the best condition and it may need to be spruced up a bit.
9. Trade DIY time for savings
You can’t do everything yourself. That said, no one said you can do nothing. For example, painting. Just that little bit of your time could save you a suitcase of cash. And if you’re a pretty accomplished DIYer, you could do a little more, like upcycle furniture and refurbish existing built-ins.
Invest where it matters and save where it doesn't
It’s tempting to change everything to finally get that dream home you’ve always wanted. However, for the better part of valor, and your wallet, it’s often wiser to really consider what you really need and what you want.
Posted on 3rd November 2023
Written by Kenny
SIXiDES Editorial Team
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