Last year, my beloved and I embarked on our first home renovation adventure. As it was our first mission, we thought it apt to focus on something fairly straight forward. So, we decided to focus on our garage and laundry.
Both of these areas were in desperate need of a face lift. The floors were 30 year old vinyl that had peeled off in patches here and there. The walls were bare brick (and not the nice kind). The foundation supports were rusting. And, the laundry consisted of a metal tub and old, broken taps.
So, we set sail on our first DIY adventure as home owners on a strict budget. As we discovered on this adventure, there are plenty of ways to be frugal during home renovations, which won’t sacrifice on quality.
Home brand paint
If you’ve got some painting to do in an area such as your garage, where a premium paint finish is not as high of a priority, make sure you peruse home brand aisle of your local paint, trade or hardware store.
In Australia, Bunnings sell the brand ‘Spring’ for a fraction of the price of the big brands’ premium paint ranges. 15 litres of Spring interior undercoat or low sheen top coat currently set you back $67.50. In comparison, comparable Dulux and Taubmans branded products currently set you back upwards from $160 for 15 litres.
… Wanna know the best bit about opting for Spring instead? It’s made by Dulux. 😉
Re-purposing old furniture
Ever looked at an old piece of furniture and thought “what can I make out of you?”. Well, that’s exactly what I did during our laundry renovations.
I had an old desk I’d had since I was a kid with a solid pine top. When I was a kid, my Mum used to do up wooden furniture, so I was well aware of the infinite possibilities for reuse that solid wood offers.
As a result, instead of buying a new bench top for the renovation, we stripped back my old desk and used the top of it as the laundry bench.
All it took was some elbow grease, sanding, and a few layers of water proof sealant; and our new bench top was done. This saved us about $400, and reduced the environmental impact of our renovations at the same time.
Overall, re-purposing old furniture is a great way to keep the costs down during renovations and will give you a great feeling of achievement at the same time.
Scavenging hard rubbish
As I outlined in my guest post on Think Save Retire, scavenging hard rubbish has become a hobby of ours. I’m always amazed at the quality of stuff some people throw out… Although, not at all surprised as we used to do the same thing!
One of the things I’ve noticed, is that people have a tendency to put out items left over from renovations on hard rubbish days. Some of the items often thrown out include tiles, gyprock, wooden framing and paint.
By being savvy and having an eagle eye, you never know what you might pick up for your own renovations on hard rubbish day.
Buying items left over from other peoples’ renovations
In addition to finding renovation leftovers on the street on hard rubbish days, you can also source these items through second-hand consumer-to-consumer sites such as Ebay, Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace.
For our renovation, we managed to get a pair of $100 brand new, quality laundry taps for $13 delivered. These were leftover from a renovation and the seller was just glad to get rid of them and make a few bucks.
I’ve seen plenty of renovation leftovers such as tiles, taps, bench tops, sinks and even windows advertised at bargain prices.
Borrow tools, rather than buy
As I outlined in my recent guest post on Zumper, having positive relationships with your neighbours can really come in handy:
“Say you’re in the middle of changing a tap spindle and you realise you don’t have a long enough socket for the job… Do you really want to head off to the hardware store to buy a tool you’ll barely use, or would you rather skip next door to your neighbour’s place and see what they’ve got?
If you’ve got a good relationship with your neighbours, the ability to borrow, rather than buy, tools could save you hundreds.”
Home renovations can be very expensive. But they don’t have to be. Armed with a few frugal tips and tricks, you can refresh a room or two, without breaking the bank.