Create the home you want without breaking the bank.

Even the best budgets can end up vastly overinflated once you start work on home improvements. It’s easy to get carried away and if you’re not that experienced you may simply not know just how much everything costs. However, you don’t have to end up with a big black hole in your bank account if you want to make your property a better place to live – according to a Which? Money survey you can save money on home improvements if you’re smart. That way you can avoid having to borrow money on an unsecured loan or find a guarantor loan.

Buy at the right time. Saving approx $180

Customers in the Which? survey found that you can save considerably on the cost of home improvements by making purchases at the right time. Waiting for the annual sales and taking advantage of deals and offers yields great savings for savvy buyers – bank holidays, Easter and Christmas are key times to look out for.

Avoid the big retailers. Saving approx $60

Consumers generally pay more for everything and so avoiding big consumer retail stores can generate considerable savings when it comes to home improvements. The alternative source for materials and supplies is trade stores, builder’s merchants and outlets where you should be able to pick up everything from tools to furnishings at a lower price. Even if you feel like a pro after a few weeks, it’s important not to pretend to be a tradesperson in these stores as that could affect your right of return.

Shop around for workmen. Saving $700+

It always pays to get a wide range of quotes and estimates when it comes to home improvements, as there’s such a broad spectrum of different trades people out there. Particularly if you’re looking for a quote on a substantial job, such as a conservatory or a conversion, you could knock a considerable percentage off the price you pay by finding the right person for the job. If you’re concerned about low quality work with a cheaper quote then ask for references from former clients and examples of jobs already completed.

Do the job yourself. Saving $1,400

Of course this depends on the job – and on the DIY skills that you have. If you’re attempting to do all the plumbing for an entire home, with no experience, you could easily end up creating such a mess that it costs thousands to sort out. However, if you’re painting a room, putting up shelves or wallpaper this is something most people can manage with a little effort and minimal instruction. There are plenty of online resources to help if you want some guidance, from instructional YouTube videos through to online tutorials.

Other ways to save yourself some cash

  • Haggle with traders and workmen – there’s no reason why you need to accept the first price given
  • Be clever about sourcing materials – you don’t have to buy new
  • Get help from family and friends – you can paint a room a lot faster with 4 people doing it
  • Use local traders rather than a national chain – prices are often lower and more flexible