12 thrifty tips to cut the cost of home improvement.
If you want to redecorate your home but money is tight, don’t worry! There are plenty of ways you can revamp your home on a budget. Here are my top 12 tips to help you cut the cost of your next home improvement project.
12 ways to cut the cost of home improvements.
1. Do it yourself.
Instead of paying a decorator or tradesman to renovate or redecorate your home, why not do it yourself? Not only can DIY be fun and therapeutic, you’ll have the added satisfaction of knowing you’ve saved a fortune in decorating costs.
Whilst most of us are happy to pick up a paint brush, some DIY jobs are more of a challenge. However, even if you’re a DIY novice, there are plenty of tutorials on Youtube, Instructables and Pinterest to show you how it’s done.
2. Sell your old stuff.
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, so why not start your next home improvement project in credit, by selling your old stuff first? With careful planning, your renovation project could cost next to nothing if you flog your old furniture and accessories first. Nowadays, eBay isn’t the only place you can sell your stuff. In fact, if you’re selling large or bulky items and prefer the buyer to collect, try Gumtree, Paperclip, Facebook Marketplace or Shplok.
3. Get free stuff or buy secondhand.
One of the best ways to cut the cost of a room makeover is to decorate and revamp your home with free stuff and secondhand goods. Not only are eBay, Gumtree, Paperclip, Facebook and Shpock great places to sell your old stuff, they’re perfect for picking up secondhand bargains, too. However, they’re not the only place you can find a bargain settee for your study or lamp for your lounge. For more places to shop for secondhand items and free stuff, check out my earlier posts: Top 10 places to find secondhand goods.
4. Save money on building materials.
As well as finding cut-price furniture and accessories for your home renovation project, make sure you shop around for budget building materials, too. Rather than visiting large DIY stores and home improvement centres, look for smaller companies and specialist suppliers for your heating and plumbing supplies, timber, flooring, tiles, paint and skirting boards.
Not only are some of the products from specialist building material suppliers cheaper than those from DIY superstores, they often run economy ranges on essential building materials, too. For example, if you’re looking for skirting boards, you can buy primed MDF Bullnose skirting, one of the most popular skirting board options for modern renovations, from online skirting specialist SkirtingsRus for as little as £6.23 inc vat for 4.4 m*. That’s less than half the price of the equivalent quantity of coated Bullnose skirting at B&Q.
5. Ditch the label or buy big brands for less!
Even if your budget is limited, you can still incorporate the latest design trends into your home makeover. If you’ve set your heart on the sleek looks of a designer bathroom suite or sofa, you can ‘get the look’ for less by ditching the designer label and buying something similar from a budget brand.
Or, if you really do need a designer label, check out HomeSense or TK Maxx where you can get big brand names for up to 60% off the retail price.
6. Choose the best time to buy.,
When you decide to renovate or redecorate your home, plan ahead before you splash your cash. It might seem obvious, but when it comes to buying items for your home, timing is crucial. Rather than pay full price for the things you need, wait to see if you can get what you need in the clearance sale. It may mean you have to wait a little bit longer to finish your home or garden project, but it’s worth the wait if you can get even more for your hard-earned cash.
Waiting for the right time to buy is even more important when it comes to seasonal products. Buying a brand new barbeque in the autumn or a fireplace in the spring or summer could save you hundreds of pounds.
7. Upcycle, revamp and reuse your furniture and accessories.
Give your old furniture a new lease of life with a fresh lick of paint. There are thousands of fantastic examples of upcycled furniture projects on Pinterest to inspire you. Plus, if you’ve never attempted an upcycling project before, you’ll find plenty of step-by-step tutorials on YouTube to show you what to do.
Jess over at Mummy of Boy Girl Twins transformed her old farmhouse style dining table with furniture paint to give it a stylish, modern look: Our dining room table: A Makeover.
As well as painting your furniture and accessories, there are plenty of other ways to rejuvenate and modernise your home on a budget:
- Add new handles to cabinets and doors.
- Add new cupboard doors to kitchen units.
- Replace outdated taps in your bathroom and kitchen.
- Paint over old wall tiles with specialist tile paint or whiten the grout to freshen it up.
- Paint old mirrors and picture frames.
8. Cover it up!
If your sofa is looking tired and worn, covering it with a nice throw and a couple of scatter cushions is much cheaper than replacing it. Similarly, if you can’t afford a new carpet, save money by covering it with an inexpensive rug instead.
9. Look out for leftovers!
If you’ve got a smaller DIY project in mind, you can make big savings by buying leftovers and off-cuts. For example, timber merchants and DIY stores often sell off-cut pieces of wood and other materials for pennies instead of pounds. I’ve picked up MDF and plywood pieces for some of my own shelving and DIY projects for as little as 20p! Similarly, carpet suppliers sell all sorts of carpet and vinyl remnants and ‘roll ends’ at heavily reduced prices. The remnants aren’t too small to be useful, either. I’ve seen ‘roll ends’ that are big enough to carpet an average-sized room.
10. A fresh coat of paint.
One of the simplest and cheapest ways to revamp a room in your home is to give it a fresh coat of paint. To keep costs down, have a look in the garage or shed for part-used tins of paint. If you don’t have enough to paint an entire room, why not mix one or two colours to create a new shade or paint one wall to create a ‘feature’ wall? If you’re feeling particularly creative, use masking tape to create a geometric pattern on your wall and use different paint colours to create a unique paint effect.
Alternatively, keep things cheap and cheerful by painting your room with white emulsion, adding colour with some of your existing cushions, throws and accessories or treating yourself to some new ones.
11. Say it with flowers.
Flowers add colour and life to a room makeover and ‘bring the outside in.’ If you have your own garden, it won’t cost you anything if you pick some homegrown blooms and pop them in a vase.
12. Bargain wall decor.
Pinterest is bursting with plenty of ideas for decorating your walls for next to nothing. Most of us have old picture frames and photo frames lying around the house. Instead of spending money on artwork or paintings, make your own works of art by framing family photos, children’s artwork, collectables, or you can download FREE printable quotes or pictures from the web.
Don’t forget to check cashback websites like Quidco or Topcashback and voucher code websites like HotUkdeals.com to cut the cost of your renovating and decorating projects even more. You can also buy vouchers for hundreds of stores and services from Zeek, the online voucher marketplace, for less than face value.
Over to you.
Have you got any thrifty tips to cut the cost of home improvement? If so, I’d love to hear them.
This is a collaborative post. As always, all words and opinions are my own.
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Some great ideas here, makes you think a bit harder. You’d be proud of my 50p stool upcycle (the kind you sit on) – painted it pink from a bargain pot that no one wanted! And I love Jess’s table colour, very french!
Stool…Tee Hee! Nutter!
Fab tips Jane, our bedroom is the most neglected room in the house and could do with a lick of paint. I also keep meaning to cover the headboard so must get myself a staple gun and some nice fabric!
OOoh! I hope you put that in a blog post! Thanks for your comment! Hope your summer is going well….Me? I don’t know where it’s going?!!
Fab tips. We have been applying these tips in our house to make it more saleable (is that a word?). Lick of paint can make a massive difference and really easy to do. We picked up a reduced table from a clothes boutique shop (long story) for our living room and we purchased some really cheap prints and then framed them ourselves in some good frames and it has given our room a whole new lease of life! Will be pinning this post 🙂
Thanks, Emma! I’ve had a peek at your bits (the table!) and I’m impressed 😉
All wonderful comments and ideas! After 35 years, our design firm always loves the projects where we “repurpose” our clients furnishings to become new again. And DIYer’s…we love you! All of our Digital Design packages are just perfect for the handy and adventurous client. We love your approach to bright, fun colors and the chic designs you are creating!-Laurel
What a great selection of tips! I love cashback sites, I’ve made thousands over the years! I also love a remnant xx #HomeEtc
Ah, thanks so much Becky! Cashback is great! I find myself grumbling if I can’t figure out a way to get money off something I want nowadays!
Ha ha me too!
Such fab tips Jane!! I’m a great advocate of selling old stuff to make room (and money) for new!! I’d be lost without Ebay and similar!! And our house would be groaning under the weight of too much stuff!!! 😉 #HomeEtc
I’m with you on all of these tips. I love a bit of salvage myself. #homeetc
Lovely article! I think wall decor is such a great way to jazz up a room. i’s seriously underrated. I love to switch up cabinet handles every now and then too, it’s amazing what a difference it can make.