Thinking of renovating? When to splurge and when to save

Thinking of renovating? When to splurge and when to save

Renovating is on the agenda, but you’re working to a tight budget. So, what are the key areas to put your funds into? Josh Terrett and Charlotte Ekas, stars of The Block, give their tips.

Renovating can be daunting for some people. You often hear of the ‘budget blow out’, which means jobs can be left unfinished or you end up spending a lot more than you really wanted to.

I know it’s easier said than done, but it will help in the long run if you carefully allocate your funds before you start a renovation. Spend some time preparing a budget – you’ll thank yourself later. However, the big question is: where should you splurge and where you should save those extra pennies?

When deciding where to spend your money, you need to consider your lifestyle and how you use your home, but always remember the resale value of your property. People say it all the time: don’t overcapitalise. They say it because it’s easy to get carried away!

Ideally we’d all have endless renovation budgets, but in reality you need to make compromises about what to focus on. Here are a few tips for when you’re creating your budget:

1. Spend money on the bones.

Make sure the permanent fixtures take priority in your budget – spaces such as kitchens and bathrooms are costly areas to replace. Potential buyers see dollar signs (and not in a good way) when a kitchen or bathroom needs to be renovated. It’s best to put extra money aside for these spaces.

2. Have focal points.

Focus on impact and have a ‘wow’ area or room. Splurge on a feature that everyone will comment on and they will actually notice; for example, a stunning gas fireplace or a beautiful shelving unit.

3. Keep what you can.

You can have grand plans, but remember every change you make costs money. Try to be clever with your floor plan and keep as many existing walls as possible. Hardwood floors are another great feature to restore, even if only in particular rooms. Not only does this save money, it also helps retain character from the existing home.

4. Save on gadgets.

Fancy electronics – for example, lighting control devices, wireless security systems ­– are generally not a deal-breaker in a sale. A potential buyer can quite easily add these items themselves.

Make sure you spend time nutting out the finer details before you start and, most importantly, prioritise the spaces in your home that are going to have the greatest influence in your life!

Renovating and adding value to your home should be a fun and exciting process.

We hope these tips have encouraged you to take some time and think about where your money should go to make the biggest impact in your renovation.

It’s time to get planning!