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20 DIY Ways to Cut Costs in a Reno

Renovating a house doesn’t have to be left to the pros.

Of course anything licensed like electrical, plumbing, gas and waterproofing, must be done by those licensed trades.

But you’d be surprised how many ways you can cut costs to your renovation by doing it yourself.

Here are just some of the ways I’ve been able to reduce reno costs on the two homes I’ve been renovating.

1. Demolition

Save on labour costs by doing the demolition yourself. Organise the isolation of electrical points and plumbing by an electrician and plumber. Also don’t forget get a gas fitter to disconnect any gas appliances and services. But any cabinetry or stripping down of the space can be done DIY.

2 . Re-finish floors

Pull up grungy carpet and put down a hard surface like laminate floorboards, or real timber if the budget allows, to radically change the property. There are many DIY products around for hybrid floorboards (or similar).

3. Paint

Anyone can paint. Preparation is key for a flawless paint job in the home. Invest in a spray paint gun like this one if you’re going to be painting large surface areas in the home.

4. New doors and handles

Replacing hardware only requires a drill or a screw driver. This is an easy DIY which gives instant results when updated.

5. New skirting boards

There are plenty of videos on Youtube that show how easy it is to replace skirting boards. Precision is key as is the right adhesive and sealant.

6. Lights

Anything electrical – like new light sockets will require an electrician. But if you’re happy with the current placement of lights, changing bulbs to LED or updating pendants is definitely something you can put your hand to.

7. Window dressings

If you get a few measure and install quotes from window furnishing companies, you may baulk at the costs.  As long as you can measure correctly you can install window dressings yourself. If plantation shutters are on your reno must have list, why not order them online and fit them yourself?

8. Plastering

Learning to plaster small patches in walls is a handy skill to have around the house. Youtube has great videos on techniques on how to get a smooth finish when plastering small patches in plasterboard walls. You can even re-sheet rooms.

9. Salvage your kitchen

A full kitchen renovation with new cabinetry can set you back a bit on your reno budget. Look at the condition of the cabinetry and consider whether you can you re-paint existing cabinets and freshen the splashback? Or if the cabinets are great but the doors aren’t can they be painted over? If not could you just replace the doors? If the cabinetry is in great condition, maybe all you need is a new benchtop to lift the space?

10. Refresh the bathroom

If a bathroom has good bones but everything’s dated with the wrong colours then refresh with tile paint and resurfacing. An acrylic bath can be resurfaced white and tiles can be painted for an instant update.

11. New front door and entry

Hang a new front door and tile or paint the entry way to refresh the space. Add a few plants and a welcome mat for instant curbside appeal.

12. Paint your aluminium window frames

The biggest impact to your renovation is painting aluminium window frames. Don’t replace when you can spray paint over. Check out how here.

13. Tidy the garden

Removing dead or overgrown bushes can take a bit of effort, but once the garden is cleared, you can plan for new plants and garden bed coverings. Tidying the gardens can be done on a weekend and having a few extra hands can make light work.

14. New wardrobe doors and handles

Update built in wardrobes with new doors and handles. Easy to source and install yourself. You can also make your own handles for a DIY hack.

15. Teach yourself how to add noggins and studs to a wall

If you’re planning to hang shelving or wall mounted tapware or even appliances, after demolition, learn how to measure and install noggins and studs to a wall. This can reduce labour time when the professional trades come in to install the appliance or tapware.

16. Install your own flatpack kitchen

If the kitchen is in need for a full revamp, why not install a flatpack kitchen to save costs? If you have  the patience and enjoy building IKEA furniture, you’ll have no problems installing a flatpack kitchen. Just follow the instructions.

17. Hang a barn door

Barn doors are an affordable way to segregate a room for privacy or to hide a storage area.

18. Cut tiles and lay them

All you need is a tile cutter and measuring tape to cut your tiles. Learn how to lay them and how to apply grout and finish the tile surface. Practice on smaller surface areas like splash backs or entry ways.

19. Cut laminate benchtops

When renovating smaller areas like the bathroom or laundry, why not learn how to cut laminate benchtops? You can cut to size – just make sure you’ve got the right PPE equipment.

20. Seal around fixtures and fill in gaps

This can be a tedious job! But fill any wall gaps or fixture gaps with sealant. Use an automatic caulking gun for a smooth bead and a paddle pop stick remove excess for a neat finish.

Want to learn more about HOW TO RENOVATE?

Have you always wanted to renovate and don’t know where to start? No idea on budget? How to buy in a hot market, or what costs are involved? What about the tools you might need for DIY?

Would you like some styling tips? Learn about what paint goes where? How to stage your house to sell?

Did you answer YES to any of these questions?

Then RENO RULES is for you.

Buy this eBook and you’ll be armed and ready to take on your next renovation project.

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