5 Helpful Tips For Renovating on a Budget.

Whether you are renovating a space for reinvestment purposes or for your own personal use, budget is a key factor that will determine how successful your project will be and if you will get to complete it.

Not having enough funds can be a good excuse to keep postponing a very important renovation project, but it doesn’t have to be an excuse anymore if you know how to make your funds work for you. So if you have the finance to start the project but do not know how you will complete it because the extent of work to be done exceeds your funds; here are some tips that worked for me that I think would be helpful to you too:

Create a flexible To do list

Have a to do list that is categorized by the spaces to be worked on and one that is categorized by the work type e.g tiling work, painting etc. This offers you the flexibility of switching in between depending on the funds you have at the moment.
To do list samples with To Do List by spaces on the left and To Do list by work-type on the right.

Remodeling by work-type requires more money as you would be paying for more materials and labour to cover all related work (in this case re-tiling) for the entire project. It does have the advantage of discount from suppliers which saves you money in the long run. You can switch to remodeling by space if you don’t have enough money to cover a particular work throughout the project and just pick a space. You will be buying less materials and spending less for labour in the short run. Its more convenient, but cost more in the long run.

Get different quotes

Use the To Do List to get quotes from different contractors, stylishly hinting that other contractors are quoting as well. This will help you get some competitive costing to your favour. Contractors usually add some profit to the materials, so it is advisable to go with them to the suppliers to avoid this extra cost. Remember you are on a budget so you can’t afford to not choose a skilled contractor as the last thing you would want is paying for a bad job and not having the money to re-do it. Don’t hurt yourself because you are pricing too cheaply, neither should you go over budget too much because of a certain contractor. Find a way to meet in the middle.
An example of a cost sheet for a kitchen renovation

Consider new contractors

New contractors just starting their own business will most likely go lower in price than their counterparts. They are more willing to cut a little from their profit since they are trying to enter the market and improve their portfolio. You can take this direction, but just make sure they have the skills to do job.

Flexible payment plan

When discussing with potential contractors, try negotiating for a flexible payment plan. Sometimes, your funds are not able to cover a project because the contractor or designer wants an initial payment that will leave you all strung out, or the proposed payment plan doesn’t give you sufficient time to gather enough funds before the next payment. Look for contractors that are willing to allow you pay in installments. For example, I was working on a renovation project were we had to re-do the walls. We got a painter that was willing to allow us pay him in installments. The first payment we made was for the purchase of the materials as quoted, over the course of the work, we paid the workmanship in three parts with the final part when the project was completed .It was relatively comfortable even under a very tight budget.

Do it yourself

Not every area of a project needs to be contracted out. Take a good look at your to do list, and select items you could do yourself or give to a smaller contractor who would charge less. Less technical things/things with less details are better with smaller contractors that will charge less except you have a small contractor who is pretty good with very technical things. Then Good for you! If you have an idea what to do, you can look for a labourer to work with as a muscle man while you direct the process.
Images are from livinspaces, csib, a beautiful mess.
Hope you find these little tips helpful. If you have any tip not mentioned here that works for you, you can leave a comment to share with us all. Thanks.
Subscribe to stay updated on featured projects, design news and insights across Africa.

I have read and agree to the privacy policy