Renovating a home on a tight budget is no easy feat. As such, we have compiled some ways to improve drastically improve the appearance and monetary value of your home without breaking the bank.
Our first piece of advice is to hire independent contractors for smaller-scale projects instead of larger companies. The individual tradesmen will generally have lower fees that large companies due to their smaller overheads and operating costs. Another major positive of hiring independent contractors is that you will be able to find reviews of their individual performance and standard of work online, ensuring that the person working on your home will be the best you can find. Additionally, they will be directly accountable to you for the quality of service delivered, instead of potentially directing your complaints to an indifferent customer service department.
Our second tip is to do any simple work yourself. The fitting of cabinets or trimmings and painting of rooms are fairly straightforward tasks and can be accomplished by any able-bodied adult. However, it is very important to adequately prepare by creating detailed plans and double-checking your work before proceeding (“measure twice, cut once!”). It is also crucial to be sure to use the proper tools and safety gear to prevent having to take time out of a project to correct poor handiwork or recover from a preventable injury.
Consider adding a parking space or driveway to your front garden if your house does not already have one, or even adding a gas furnace. This will lend extra value to the property and can be done in a short amount of time by using relatively cheap materials such as paving slabs and/or gravel in order to fit well within your budget. Although many people consider tarmac may be a more attractive option, with oil prices steadily rising, you may find it to be substantially more expensive.
A fourth method to make your money stretch further is to re-purpose your garage into a workshop, gym or recreational room instead of using it purely for storage. This is a relatively cheap option, as most of the costs will be in furnishings (i.e. workbenches, mats and carpeting, game tables, a safe etc) and most of the necessary items can be found second hand either online or in your local thrift shops.
Our final and perhaps most powerful tip is to clean up your garden. Kill any ants, repair bald patches on the lawn and consider adding flower beds with characterful but cheap and low-maintenance plants such as lavender, which possesses a nice aroma, color and which is virtually indestructible owing to its resistance to both arid and cold climates. Maidengrass is another favorite, as it fills a good amount of space and is extremely hardy, much like Spirea a fairly undemanding shrub that produces a good amount of blossom. Another pick is Heather, which will provide year-round color and is very resistant to frost. Finally, if you can commit to bi-annual pruning, Ivy can be added to cover any unsightly walls.