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RENOVATION ADVICE FROM OUR EXPERTS: Save Time and Money

The school of hard 'Blocks' has taught our experts a thing or two about saving time and money when renovating. Read on as they share their wisdom.

 

PREP, PLAN, PREP AGAIN

“You can’t be over-prepared,” says Georgia. “That comes down to planning the space, doing your research on trades, doing your research on furniture, shopping around and getting the most cost-effective option. It’s just investing the time into planning, and that’s my number one tip. If you do that, then there’s less room for error.”

Ronnie & Georgia The Block 2017 Ronnie & Georgia used this strategy on The Block and managed to finish rooms ahead of time - usually unheard of!

FOREVER HOME? OR FLIPPING?

Understanding why you are embarking on the reno journey will help you make decisions throughout the process. “You should know how long you want to stay in the house for,” says Alisa (The Block: Sky High winner and Fans vs Faves). “That determines how you finish things and what you spend your money on. Whether you plan to stay in a house for five years, for life or if you’re renovating to flip. That’ the biggest question that you have to ask yourself.”

UNDERSTAND YOUR PRODUCTS

When picking your tile, “don’t be swept away by a design before you know both the laying/cutting procedure and the ongoing maintenance required,” says The Block host Shelley Craft. “Some small tiles take plenty of hours to work with and cut and lay – this will add to trade cost, some large format need plenty of cutting too or can be very heavy on a wall, so will require more time to lay. That means more money.”

The Block's Shelley Craft Bathroom Byron bay (Picture: Instagram @shelleycraftofficial) Shelley has just renovated her own bathroom in her Byron Bay house (Picture: Instagram @shelleycraftofficial)

A GOOD PLACE TO PULL BACK

If you’re tight on cash, the laundry is a good area that if you need to reign in the budget, that’s where I’d do it. Even just some open shelving instead of built in cabinets is a good way to save some cash.

DON'T CHUCK OUT YOUR OLD APPLIANCES

If you have existing appliances that still work then install them in your new kitchen to save you money.  "But double check they’re standard sizes so they can be replaced later on, " says Lysandra (The Block: Sky High winner and Fans vs Faves)

Josh & Elyse Knowles kitchen The Block 2017 Make sure you leave space for your dream appliances if you decide to hang onto your old ones.

GIVE IT GOOD BONES

“Design a solid, quality and timeless foundation,” says Alisa (The Block: Sky High winner and Fans vs Faves). “All the pretty stuff —cushions, rugs and artwork— can easily be changed depending on trends. The foundation has to be something that will last. Strip everything out of the room and just make sure that your foundation— the wall colour, the floors or the lighting—is going to see you through the years. All the rest is pretty easy. Soft furnishings are so affordable that you can change them every couple of seasons if that’s the way you are.”

Alisa says it's easy and cheap to change the pretty stuff so make sure you nail the fountations.

PICK UP A PAINT BRUSH

Painting your home whether you are using a professional or doing it yourself can be a daunting prospect. There are so many choices. If you are trying to save money, “get on the paintbrush. Everyone can paint,” says Ronnie (The Block: 2017). “Practice makes perfect, so definitely give it a red hot shot."

Bianca Chatfield & Carla Dziwoki The Block 2018 The Gatwick The rules of The Block state the couples must do ALL the painting themselves. It may not save them time but definitely saves them $$.

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