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8 Ways to Cut Home Renovation Costs

House 2 min read

08 Jul 2020

House2Home: The Complete Guide to Renovating or Redecorating

So you’ve worked up your dream home with a designer or architect – and now its crunch-time; can you afford everything on your plans? If the cold hard light of day has anything to do with it - probably not.

When you send out plans to your head builder or contractor, you might need to work out where you can nip and tuck. It’s hard to dash those big dreams, but we’ve got a few tips.


1. Hire an architect, interior designer and/or quantity surveyor 

Ok, we know what you’re thinking. But - that’s going to cost me more… Well, upfront yes. But, the money you save in the long-run in terms of negotiating, discounts, ensuring the project stays within the allocated time and budget, makes it worth it. Try to get someone who is qualified in both interior design and architecture as this could mean you don't have to pay two fees.

If you can include one, a quantity surveyor will also ensure everything on your spec is done efficiently and cost effectively – saving you a lot of money.  


2. Home Improvement Grants 

Although the Home Renovation Initiative (a scheme where you could claim tax back on renovation costs) had ended, there are other ways you can claim money back on your home renovation expenses. If you are getting works done which affect the energy efficiency of your home, there are grants available from the SEAI. Have a read of our blog here, which outlines the various grants available, and here to see just how much you could save in the long-run.

 3. DIY

Although we wouldn’t condone any building, labour or manual work if you have no qualification of experience, you would be surprised at some of the things you can do yourself. Sometimes all you need is a YouTube video or a handy friend or family member to help you along. Tiling, painting, fitting kitchen doors, varnishing and plastering are tasks which can be simple and completed yourself if you can set time aside. Why not see what work is time-consuming and costly, and see if it’s worth doing it yourself?


4. Second-Hand Furniture and Materials

Always look for second-hand pieces when you can. It might take you a bit longer to source/check quality etc., but you can save up to 70% in the long-run on furniture and even materials for your kitchen or bathroom. Materials such as stone like marble, limestone as well as tiles, wood and glass ate all sold second hand - as well as nearly-new furniture like expensive sofas and tables – you might have to do a bit of digging, but when you find the right pieces, it will all be worth it. Check out sites such as Done Deal or Adverts.ie.


5. Keep Originals

Before you install new floors, ceilings, doors or fireplaces, think what can be repurposed first. Are those old oak floorboards do with a varnish, or the fireplaces a little refurbish? What about painting the doors, or putting new handles on them? Sometimes all it takes is a little revamping as opposed to a complete replacement.


6. Mix IKEA Bargains with Statement Pieces  

If you centre a room around one or two expensive pieces (like a piece of art, or one expensive table) theyou can dot minimal, cheaper pieces around them. The cheaper pieces will be improved. Have a dig around TK Maxx or IKEA for simple pieces that can complement the investment ones.

 7. Invest in Insulation

It is wise to invest a chunk of your budget into the large structural work first – for a lot of the smaller furnishings and interior design pieces you can always look to do in the future. This is the hardest bit but the most worthwhile investment, so think; insulation, heating and plumbing, windows, walls. It means you won't waste money going back and doing it again.

If you invest in your home’s energy efficiency, it will also save you money in the long run on energy bills.

 8. Low-Cost Home Improvement Loans

If you’ve nipped, tucked, trimmed and squeezed, but you really can’t go any further – your local credit union can talk to you about a little help with finance. After all, we do have some of the lowest home improvement loan rates in the country. Click here to see some examples. 


#House2Home: We’ve partnered with Roisin Murphy; architect, interior designer and presenter of RTE’s Home Rescue, to bring you the House2Home Series on Credit Union.ie – where we’ll be sharing advice on planning, budgeting, as well as design and style ideas and inspiring stories - so you can turn that house into the perfect home.  

Click here to read Roisin’s four things you need to think about when planning a renovation, or here to read the main questions she always asked a client before starting any project. 

You can also keep an eye out for #House2Home across FacebookTwitter, or Instagram
If you need any help with budgeting or financial support with your project, (big or small) don’t hesitate to contact your local credit union - we’re here to help.