7 tips to get the biggest bang for your buck on your next renovation

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Hi, I'm Angel Those who know me best may describe me as a princess with an obsession for shoes. Hmmm…. I guess I can’t argue with that though I’d prefer ‘independent princess’. Someone once said ‘find a job you love and you will never have to work another day in your life’. In my day job I work as a business analyst and an information designer for the Government. I don’t mind it so much as it’s good money and great conditions but it certainly feels like I’m working five days a week. My passion lies in all things property – building and renovating, styling and decorating and investing. I hope to be able to follow my passion full time one day. XO Angel
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Renovating is one of my top 10 favourite things to do. There are very few things I enjoy more than to transform an ugly duckling into the prom queen.

Whether you are looking at renovating your own home because you’re tired of living in bleakland or you’re renovating to make a profit, the 7 tips below should add a bit of “˜chic’ to your next project.

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you twice how important it is to work out your budget and plan your renovation before diving right in, especially if you are on a budget. Like everything else in life most of us can’t have absolutely everything we want so we have to learn to prioritise and compromise.

Now that the serious stuff is out of the way, let’s get down to the fun already.

Here are my top 7 cosmetic renovation tips to give you the biggest bang for your buck:

1. Fresh paint

Painting (inside and out) will give you the biggest and the most noticeable transformation. The paint itself is relatively inexpensive and if you DIY you’ll save a tonne of money. So from a cost benefit perspective, this one is a no brainer.

If you choose to DIY, ensure you put in the time and effort into the prep work like wiping down the walls, taping up the edges and putting down drop sheets. I know it’s painfully boring but it’s necessary if you want a good finish. Also invest in good quality rollers, I use either wool or micro fibre rollers. They are more expensive but you will get a much more professional looking job – trust me it’s worth it.

2. New flooring

During your planning phase you would have determined if new flooring was necessary. If the existing floor coverings are smelly, disintegrating under your feet or have bright orange and brown flower patterns, it’s a good indication that it’s time for an update.

If you have hardwood floors underneath the old floor coverings my advice would be to sand and polish them. If not you have an array of options available these days – bamboo floors, engineered timber floors, vinyl (in many designs), tiles or carpet. Make your selection according to the style of your house, budget and taste.Depending on how many rooms you have to re-do,

this will likely be the most expensive item on this list.

3. Clean until everything sparkles

Don’t over look cleaning, it is one of the most under estimated and most effective techniques to transform your place. And the best part – it costs next to nothing if you DIY. When I say cleaning that includes tidying up outside too, so mow the lawn, trim the shrubs, rake the leaves and take any rubbish away.

4. Lighting

Update your light fittings with ones that are more modern and suited to the style you’re going for. You might not think so but it makes a difference. Shop around to find a bargain.

5. Window coverings

Window coverings can really transform a house. However, yours may just need freshening up. Curtains can be washed or dry cleaned, and blinds dusted and wiped down. If you do need to replace your window coverings, look to see if “˜ready made’ curtains or blinds will fit your window sizes as this will be your cheapest option. If not, you can get them custom made online. Request for fabric samples to be mailed to you first. Ordering online is easy as picking the fabric, deciding which side you want the draw cord on, entering your window measurements, putting in your delivery instructions and paying with a credit card.

6. Taps, mixers and shower heads

Replace old drab taps, mixers and shower heads with shiny new stainless steel ones. Nice accessories will make a huge impact on the perceived value of your property and it doesn’t have to cost the earth.

There are a number of eBay stores I regularly buy from who sell good quality sexy bathroom accessories at a fraction of in store prices.

7. Knobs and handles

Uupdating your door, cupboard and draw handles is another way of modernising your place without breaking your piggy bank. Again make your selection according to the style of your house, budget and taste.

Bonus tip

Don’t be afraid to shop online as this is where you will find the best bargains. Do your research and be discerning but don’t be afraid. Here are my 9 tips to avoid getting ripped off online.

The tips above are for a cosmetic renovation only. Structural renovations on the other hand are more complicated and costly but your returns maybe far greater. But that’s another story.

Until next time….