Brighter And some

How to avoid a reno budget blowout

by Kate Watt, Marketing Manager 14 September 2023

As Scott Cam delivers budget warnings to the latest line up of The Block contestants, renovators watching the show may feel some empathy for the challenge of wrangling a home makeover budget.

Building costs have risen sharply in recent years, meaning contingency budgets don’t stretch as far as they used to.

So where are the pitfalls to avoid when planning your own makeover?

Houzz offers these tips to help keep you in control of your reno budget, room-by-room.

  • For kitchens, keep your cabinet and cupboard costs under control. Design your kitchen to use standard, not custom, size cabinets, and standard sizes for door fronts, kickboards and benchtop depths. It will give you more options to suit your budget and make it easier to assemble if you’re doing some DIY.
  • Hidden costs could include adjusting cabinets for non-square walls or leveling a floor slab in older homes. Moving plumbing can also add up so if you can keep your taps in the same place, you’ll save some dollars.
  • For bathrooms, it’s all about working with what you’ve got to the extent you can. If you can keep your layout the same, you’ll minimise your plumbing costs. But if you do need to move your loo, then it could pay to bring in some design advice.
  • In bedrooms, some of the priciest features will be the wardrobes, so get quotes before you begin, and consider opting for standard sizes rather than custom built if you can make that work in your space.

Ultimately, planning is key. So time invested in planning and costing your reno could shorten the time you’re paying it off.

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