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7 tips to wrangle your renovation costs

Renovation Tips

Whether you’re a first time renovator or a seasoned “professional” keeping your costs on track can be a difficult task. With unexpected costs around each corner and the temptation of spending a little more here and there, it pays to get the most advice you can on the road to a sparkly new home. We’ve put together our Top 7 Tips to wrangle your renovation costs and keep them in check.

Know your strategy

Is this your forever home, or are you wanting to sell or rent following the renovations? What you plan on doing with your home once it is renovated will have a big impact on your renovation strategy, and possibly your budget. If you are renovating for it to be your forever home, you can really do whatever you like in terms of style. However, if you are looking at reselling, you will need to consider cost vs. what you will receive in return and what colours and fittings will attract your targeted buyer.

If it is a rental, you will have to consider longevity and strength of fittings and how easy the house is to look after and clean. While you may love the idea of cream woollen carpet, this probably is not the best choice if you’re going to have a house of students renting from you eventually!


If there’s a sledge hammer and an unnecessary wall waiting to be smashed a budget probably won’t stack up against the list of fun jobs ahead of you. However, it’s important to look at what you can afford to spend during the renovation process. Your budget will be your bible.

Unless you’ve renovated before it’s an easy mistake to under-budget. It can be a good idea to research what labour and materials will cost before you start, so you can do up a more effective budget.

Remember, a budget doesn’t work unless you keep a record of your spending. If you’ve over-spent on paint, this may give you the motivation you need to choose less expensive tiles or tap fittings. Keeping your budget in check is all about give and take, especially when unexpected costs arise!

How do you plan to finance your renovations?

There are a number of options when it comes to financing renovations. These can include:

· Borrowing enough money to cover renovations when you take out your mortgage

· Taking out a Personal Loan. Heritage Bank has some really competitive personal loan interest rates.

· Keeping your savings in an offset account, attached to your mortgage, and taking the money out when needed. Check out our great range of savings accounts.

View Heritage Bank’s great interest rates.

Visit similar houses in the area

The best way to see what colours and layouts work best is to visit open houses in your area. Many Queensland weatherboard houses follow a similar design, depending on their size and the decade they were built. The same goes for brick houses and if you’re wondering how to get the most out of your space you’ll be able to see what does and doesn’t work. Once you’ve done this, you may want to visit homes more up-market from yours for style and colour ideas.

Compare prices and talk to your tradie

It pays to shop around – even if you are only saving $50 out of a $1000 job, it all adds up. Make sure you take the time to have a number of quotes prepared for you, and it doesn’t hurt to let tradies know you’re after the best price and you’ll be considering a number of options.

Make sure you explain your strategy and vision to potential tradies. If you’re worried about over-capitalising and wanting to stick to a tight budget, tell them this. Any good tradie will understand and will work with you to get the best result.

Muscle up

Do you really need to hire a painter, or is it just because painting isn’t your favourite job? There’s lots of renovation tasks people can do themselves, with a little bit of patience, perseverance and a face mask. Picking up a paintbrush can save you anything between $10,000-$15,000 on a small, three bedroom house. Sure, it’s not the way you want to spend your weekend – but after all, you’re renovating and that is your life now! It also pays to ask your tradie what you can do to save money– are there some tacks in the floor boards you can pull up before they come to do the sand and varnish? Other easy tasks you can do before a tradie comes in to do the heavy stuff includes:

· Gap filling

· Sanding

· Pulling up old tiles and carpet

· Pulling out old cupboards and fittings.

Does anything in your house have a second life?

There is always a market for second hand kitchens, curtains, tap fittings and bathroom cabinets. If you’re careful when pulling out items you could save a pretty penny by flogging them on eBay or Gumtree. Some buyers will even come and help remove the items. Be prepared to bargain and have fun racking in a little extra cash!

Remember, renovating is a big task to take on, and whether you are pushing to get it done in a small amount of time, or you’re doing it over a number of years, there’s many ways you can save some dough here and there.

If you’re considering a personal loan to help get your renovations under way visit your local branch or phone our Queensland based Contact Centre on 13 14 22 to find out more.

* Based on a $150,000 loan over 25 years. WARNING: This comparison rate is true only for the examples given and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate.