Home renovations are a considerable investment, and probably something that’s been your savings goal for a while. On the flip side, if you’re lucky enough to have a big budget, house extension costs won’t be as much of an issue (lucky you!). For most builds, there’s opportunity to both scrimp on some things and save some money, as well as spend on other items that are worth the extra dosh.
Here are our tips for where you can save your pennies and when it might be okay to let loose a bit.
Scrimp: if you’re doing a house extension, see if you can add the new area on without reconfiguring your existing floor plan. It will likely save you a lot if you can make minimal adjustments to your existing structure.
Scrimp: if raising a house, align the new wet areas underneath the old ones above. This will save on plumbing costs.
Splurge: extra windows may cost more but they’re usually worth it. In cool climates, placing windows where they’ll catch the morning sun could even help reduce your heating bill.
Splurge: similarly, houses in hot weather climates need to consider their position with the sun. Typically, the north side of the house will get the most sun in the morning, so you could make sure those areas are well-shaded with a covered verandah, or trees and vegetation. You could also consider glazing or shutters so that you can keep the sun out during the hot parts of the day.
Scrimp: there’s a myriad of flooring options, so do your research if you’re on a budget. Vinyl plank is a low-cost product that’s gaining popularity, while even tiles can vary hugely in product and installation costs. Generally, rectified tiles and small tiles will be more expensive as they take more time to install.
Scrimp: floor-to-ceiling tiles look fantastic but make costs skyrocket. Consider doing a tiled skirting, then just tiling to the ceiling near the sink and behind the shower. You’ll still get that wow factor, but for less. You can also achieve a high-impact look on a budget by using a contrasting feature tile for a vanity backsplash, rather than an entire wall.
Splurge: a good rule of thumb is to splurge in the rooms you love the most. If you’re a foodie and cook a lot, consider nifty options like custom cabinets, soft-close drawers, and a huge pantry. Even people who don’t cook often find themselves in the kitchen a lot, entertaining friends – in which case, you’ll notice wear and tear on a cheap benchtop pretty fast.
Scrimp: if you’ve got a walk-in wardrobe, leaving the shelving open can save money, plus it makes everything easily accessible.
Scrimp: gorgeous pendant lights look fantastic but can drive up costs. Work with your electrician instead on how to make the most of the space with simple LED downlights. Lamps can add a bit of style and colour.
Splurge: energy efficient bulbs are a case of pay now, save later. They may cost more than incandescent bulbs, but they’ll immediately reduce your electricity bill.
Splurge: solar heating could be a house renovation cost you didn’t initially consider, but it can ultimately save you some money on your electricity bill in the long run. It will also help with your property’s energy star rating – remember, other options for achieving your energy rating may end up being more costly than solar.
Home extension costs can add up, but if you do your research, you’ll make sure the money is being spent on the areas that matter the most.