Four secrets to keeping your renovation costs down | WindowArt

Home renovations costs can leave you gob-smacked. It is no small feat to break-through, build-on or reposition parts of your home. The renovation costs are high and so is the stress associated with the upheaval of the whole exercise.

There are ways to diminish the financial burden, which should also help abate the sleepless nights. Here are four secrets to keeping your renovation costs within an ideal budget.

1.    Keep renovation costs from overstepping the mark by working around your current plumbing and electrics.

Your contractor, more often than not, will not be an expert in rewiring the electrics in your home nor will they be adept at finishing all your plumbing requirements. This is when they call in sub-contractors who will meet all your requirements. This comes at a cost and includes a mark-up by the contractor to add to his commission.

If possible, attempt to renovate around where your plumbing and electrics are currently situated.

2.    Build inward as much as possible to save on the exorbitant cost of laying foundations.

Generally, if you are looking to renovate you either want to create new spaces or you are looking to create more space. Either way it is wise to always consider whether you can create your ideal look and feel within the parameters of your current home. Building onto the grounds of your home will cost you due to the additional work needed to lay proper foundations. These foundations will also cost you in time and inconvenience.

For instance, if you wish to create an entertainment and indoor braai area you might look to the room that backs onto the garden. Many homes have an open-plan layout and the dining room and lounge flow through a shared space. You might consider moving your lounge into the area where your dinner table is and creating an entertainment area where the lounge was situated. Installing sliding or French doors that open onto the back yard or pool area and renovating the room to include an indoor braai will create the entertainment area of your taste.

3.    Avoid throwing money at hiring a professional building consultant and head to the retail stores.

Consultants are expert and if you have a complicated idea in mind then include them in your renovation costs. If not, and your renovation ideas are fairly straightforward, then head directly to your local builders retail warehouse and have a chat with a consultant.

The retail consultants are up to speed regarding the latest in renovation options and ideas. You will have to sit through a sales pitch and accept a business card by the end of your consultation, however, you might also walk away with plans in place and a list of all the necessary materials.

4.    Avoid having to budget for your contractor’s mark-up on materials in your renovation costs.

If you leave it up to your contractor to source all the materials, fixtures and fittings for your renovations, you will most certainly end up paying slightly more as there is a mark-up on the costs. Contractors are well within their right to add to their commission if they are sourcing all things necessary to go ahead with your renovation plans. However, you don’t have to rely on them for everything and if you source as much as you can by yourself you will avoid the additional cost.

To source the materials yourself will require a bit of research but a couple of late evenings online will be well worth it to keep your renovation costs down. Again, head off to your local builders retail store with your list of materials in hand and a good idea of the style of fittings to your taste and shop.

Ultimately, keeping your home renovation costs down requires you to project manage the renovations process. This will give you a lot of control over the timeframes and the materials used. Rolling up your sleeves to do some shopping, digging and mixing will get your hands dirty but will keep your budget in check.

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