Parts of your home will need updating from time to time, but home renovations don’t have to be big or expensive to make an impact. So if you’re planning on modernising your first home, or just fancy freshening things up in your current place, there are smart ways you can renovate a house which won’t break the bank.
Budget DIY renovations
The most cost-effective way to renovate your home is to do it yourself. There are plenty of resources and tutorials online to guide you through a whole range of DIY jobs. And with a little planning, preparation, and care, it’s not as daunting as it sounds.
DIY kitchen renovations
Often, the kitchen is the heart of the home, where families spend most of their time cooking and eating together. So if you’re looking to update your living space, the kitchen could be a good place to start – and you don’t need to install a brand-new kitchen to make a difference.
Update kitchen tiles
Updating the tiles in your kitchen gives you the opportunity to change the colour scheme of the whole room. Whether you choose tiles with more neutral tones or ones that make a bold statement, removing the old tiles and fitting the new is a simple job when you know how. Simply search tutorials online for assistance; big DIY stores often have a library of videos you can watch too.
Before you think about ordering your new tiles, it’s best to read up on the things you’ll need. Measure the space you want to tile to ensure you order enough materials, and you’ll also need to gather certain tools, such as a tile cutter, notched trowel, and grout spreader. Consider borrowing these tools from friends, family or community tool libraries in your area, rather than purchasing outright.
Repaint old cupboards
It’s surprising how a lick of paint on your old kitchen cupboards can completely change the look and feel of the room. If your cupboards were dark, opting for a lighter colour will really lift the space. Or if your cupboards were light, a darker colour could add a touch of style and class.
The type of paint or stain you’re able to use will depend on the material of your cupboards. It’s important you choose the right paint or stain, and prep them correctly so as not to damage them. And when you come to sand and paint them, ensure you do so safely and ideally outdoors or in a well-ventilated area.
DIY living room renovations
From movie nights to games nights and lazy Sunday afternoons – your living room is the place you and your family come to spend time doing fun things together. With a bit of DIY, you could turn it into a cosy retreat the whole family enjoys.
Revive wooden floorboards
If you’re lucky enough to have wooden floorboards hidden under old carpet, then you have an opportunity to totally change the design of your living room for less than you might expect. Generally, reviving wooden floorboards involves removing any grippers and underlay staples, before sanding and varnishing – and you may be able to do all of this yourself.
When it comes to sanding the floorboards, you may wish to hire an industrial sander from a local provider, which will make light work of even the biggest of rooms. When sanding or varnishing, ensure you wear the correct safety equipment and open all available windows.
If you already have wooden floorboards, they’ll need some maintenance on occasion to keep them in good condition. If you don’t have the option of wooden floorboards, you can always buy laminate or real wood flooring. While it could be expensive to buy (depending on style and room size), you could fit it yourself to save money.
Renovate the fireplace
Do you have an electric, gas, or log burner fire? A brick or tile surround? Whatever style you have, there are many DIY tricks you can use to fix up a tired-looking fireplace. First things first, giving it a good clean could be a good place to start.
In terms of DIY, you could look at replacing the surround with new tiles; paint your wooden mantelpiece a new, fresh colour or even replace it with a brand-new one; or you could make the chimney breast the statement piece of the room with a different colour paint or distinct wallpaper.
Don't attempt work on any gas or electric fittings unless you’re qualified to do so.
DIY bathroom renovations
It’s possible to refresh your bathroom without changing your whole bathroom suite. For the cost of some flooring, tiles, paint, or accessories – your bathroom will look and feel like brand-new. However you choose to change it up, it can be a fraction of the cost of a new bathroom suite.
Lay new flooring
New flooring will give a lease of life to your bathroom. It’s worth noting that the type of DIY job you’ll need to undertake will vary depending on which flooring you choose to install. That said, whatever design you settle on, there’ll be a handy how-to video online for you to follow.
Tiles are the most common and are easy to remove and replace. Amongst other options, you can also choose vinyl, wood panel/boards, or laminate, which are all easy to replace yourself. If you’re ordering materials from a flooring store, you’ll need to take accurate measurements of the space to ensure you order the correct amount.
Update bathroom tiles
Similarly to changing the tiles in your kitchen, changing them in your bathroom allows you to reinvent the colour scheme and freshen up a tired room. You could tile half the walls and pair with a complimentary paint colour, or you could opt to tile the full wall to create a wet room.
As mentioned above, ensure you understand how to tile before starting the job, as well as making sure you have the correct materials, tools, and safety equipment.
DIY bedroom renovations
If your bedroom is lacking a bit of personality, or you’re wanting to turn it into your own relaxing retreat, then some cost-effective DIY updates could create a more inviting space.
Choose a colour scheme
It may sound simple, but choosing and sticking to a colour scheme for the bedroom can have a big impact. Be it bold or neutral, by using inexpensive updates such as fresh paint, new bedding, upcycled furniture and prints all in a similar colour palette, they can unite and uplift the space.
Layering fabrics and textures like rugs, throws, cushions and upholstered bedheads can also bring an elegant and cosy feel to the room.
Add wall panelling
One of the most popular home renovation trends at the moment is wall panelling. Done right, this cheap update can make your bedroom look expensive. For the cost of some MDF board, lengths of wood, adhesive, nails and paint, you can bring an air of luxury with traditional panels, modern wood slats, or go bold with a geometric pattern to make an accent wall.
As with the other updates above, the most important part of this project is carefully planning the design and measuring the wall to achieve the number of panels or style desired.
If this guide has inspired you we have plenty of other helpful articles to discover in our blog if you need money saving advice or a range of mortgage guides to help with a house purchase. And for ideas on where to keep your renovation budget, browse our range of savings accounts.