Discover just how easy it is to save money by tackling renovations yourself and following these simple tips.
With ABS statistics showing Australians invested over $27 billion in renovations in the last year it is clear the DIY trend is as popular as ever — here are our tips for tackling your own DIY…
Before you begin
- Create a mood board — this will provide direction and inspiration when the going gets tough.
- Consider the emotional stress — project managing a renovation can be an extra 20 hours a week outside of work hours; can you handle it?
- Cost of accommodation — will you need to vacate your home for any period or pay to stay in a hotel? Factor this into your budget.
- Check with your local council — ensure you’re not violating building codes and are within safety standards.
Tried and tested – tales from renovators
Pepita Hampson had a strict budget when renovating her 1940s home. “I looked at the very beautiful and expensive high-end products and finishes and then tried to work out how I could replicate that on a budget; it’s absolutely achievable. You’ve just got to put your mind to it.”
Jonathan Clarke only had $20,000 left for renovation after buying his worker’s cottage. “I bought light fittings from deceased estate auctions and did as much as I could myself especially the painting,” he says. “Look for good bones. If the house is solid, cosmetic renovating can be done on a small budget.”
Deb Whitby gave her daughter’s bright pink room a chic update during the extensive renovations of their home. “By doing the demolition work myself I was able to save on manual labour charges,” she says.
Whitby chose a simple colour scheme to allow a personal touch through end styling. “Simple, cheap pieces of furniture like the bedside table (only $20 from a garage sale) got a fresh coat of paint, and I added matching handles to tie the room together,” she says. “The wardrobe was a flat pack purchased from Ikea so I was able to design the storage myself.”
Megan Baxter included current design trends, such as a more minimalistic style, to modernise her dining area. “Changing the furniture and artwork is an easy way to refresh a room,” she says. “Even just a new light fitting can change the whole room. I painted my own pictures and you can get frames from second-hand stores rather than paying for new ones.”
“It only cost about $500 to block a door,” she says. “And if you haven’t got a decorator to do it for you, tint the paint yourself until you get the right colour. If you have a lot of painting to do buy an airgun to spray the walls, it’s quicker and you use less paint.”
Don’t have the coin to re-tile the bathroom or laundry? Use tile paint to refresh the look without breaking the bank. White Knight Tile Paint 1L RRP$49.90, stockists www.whiteknightpaints.com.au
Check what’s under that old carpet – floorboards that only need a sand and polish? Renting a floor sander and edger for a DIY job can save around $1000.
Replace light fittings for a quick and easy update or install a skylight to add light and warmth to previously dark rooms. Bunnings Acol Ezylite round skylight RRP$99 stockists www.bunnings.com.au
Devil’s in the details
Take care of small repairs and give your house a high-pressured wash. Rent a high pressure cleaner from $80 a day.
Have you done your own DIY renovation? Share your tips in the comments below!