7 tips to wrangle your renovation costs
When it comes to renovations, the laundry is often the last room in the house that people consider. For one thing, it’s not a super exciting room to begin with. The major concern for a lot of people, however, is the price. Lots of white goods, plumbing and electricity in a small space is enough to give anyone a headache.
However, your laundry renovation doesn’t need to be a hassle. With these easy tips, you can give your laundry a new lease on life – without breaking the bank in the process.
The first – and perhaps most important – rule of budget laundry renovations is to leave the plumbing alone whenever you can. Changing plumbing, even slightly, can balloon out costs and timeframes.
When you’re in the initial planning phase, don’t get too excited about moving the washer and dryer to the other side of the room. Instead, try to make the most of your current situation – more on that later.
If you have your heart set on moving the washer and dryer, involve a plumber early in the planning process. Asking the experts can often lead to creative renovation solutions that can save you time and money.
When it comes to laundry renovations, functionality is the name of the game. The space should look good, but most of all, it should make your life easier.
One of the most important considerations for any cheap laundry renovation is storage. Your average laundry is stocked with all manner of chemical products – none of which are particularly sightly when out in the open.
To hide detergents and the like from view, but still keep them close at hand, have a look at installing some cabinets, floating shelves and baskets.
You can buy flat-pack cabinets from major retailers, and these are often the most cost-effective option. Floating shelves are an easy alternative to having full cupboards installed, and fabric or woven baskets can be an aesthetically pleasing way to keep all your laundry essentials organised.
Obviously, your washer and dryer will take up a good amount of room in your laundry. However, that doesn’t mean that you need to compromise on ergonomics. Building cupboards, benches or tabletops around your machines is the easiest way to maximise your use of the space. Because your major appliances are square, it should only take a little bit of planning to Tetris your storage needs around them.
If you have top-loading machines, you can even install a hinged benchtop for maximum convenience – which leads us nicely to the next tip.
In most Aussie laundries, space is at an absolute premium. To declutter the space and free up a bit of extra real estate, investigate fittings that can fold away when not in use. These can include wall- or door-mounted ironing boards, retractable clotheslines – even a fold-up folding table!
It sounds simple, but more often than not, people forget to decorate their laundry. Remember – if you’re bored when you’re renovating, you’ll be bored with the end result. So have some fun with it!
Don’t underestimate what you can achieve with a fresh coat of paint and a few decorative pieces here and there. What’s stopping you from hanging a nice painting in the laundry, or investing in a decorative light fitting?
As part of your renovations, you may find it’s worth your while to upgrade your washer and dryer. Technology has advanced in leaps and bounds, and a new washer and dryer could end up paying for themselves with the money you’ll save on electricity and water usage.
You may also consider LED lights or a water tank to help save you money over the long term.
Every renovator on a budget starts testing their own limits sooner or later. “I wonder if I can take out this wall myself?” “I can probably handle all of this tiling…” “Glass cutting! How hard can it be?”
While it’s often cost-effective to complete tasks yourself, there’s nothing wrong with admitting when you’re out of your depth and consulting a pro for help. In fact, recognising when you need an expert can save you plenty of time and money that would otherwise be spend on failed attempts.
Shop around, be smart about it – get three quotes for every project – but don’t be ashamed about calling in some back-up every now and then.