Top Tips to Save for Renovations

It can be difficult to keep up with New Year’s resolutions and goals that become even more intense when they include saving money – especially for something big like home renovations!

According to This Is Money UK, lockdown homeowners in 2020 spent £400 more than usual on renovations, with an overall average of £2,608 on home improvement expenses. 79% of those homeowners also said there was room for improvement in areas such as the kitchen or garden where the most money was spent.  

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As a landlord, your New Year planning may include renovations, whether your property needs an update to continue to appeal to the market or because there are improvements that urgently need to be made.

Whether this involves knocking down walls or redecorating the living room, you need to ask yourself if your goals are realistic. Tackle the most important updates first, rather than try to do everything at once! It’s also important to consider and budget for the long-term, as you’ll want to protect your updates, so it’s worth calculating for Home Emergency Insurance too. 

Renovations can leave your bank account looking sparse, so the first step should always be figuring out your finances. The cost of renovations doesn’t need to break the bank as there are plenty of ways to save. 

5 Top Saving Tips

  1. Budget. It’s always wise to start saving sooner rather than later. You may find it helpful to track your spending by using our free document storage tool to keep everything in one place (you can find this on our dashboard when you sign up for an account). While it’s tempting to put your head in the sand, you should always know your outgoings and how much of your income is being spent on paying monthly bills such as your mortgage and insurance.
    Once you know the fixed outgoings, it’s easier to look at your variable expenses like groceries, petrol, and other necessities, and begin to see where you can budget for that renovation plan. A great tip is to try putting aside 20% of the income you make in your savings account, if you can. 
  2. Set goals. While it’s always good to set money aside, when you know you’re saving towards something in particular, you want to have a goal in mind. Do some research to get an idea of how much you’ll need for the renovations you’re planning, build in a buffer amount, and that’s your savings goal.
    It’s a real motivator to see the cash mounting up each month as it brings you closer and closer to that target. It also means you’ll have an idea of when you’ll have the cash, so you can start planning! 
  3. Don’t cut corners. If you’re doing more than just giving your property a fresh lick of paint, you will probably need professional help. Budget for the right help, rather than look for cheaper alternatives or favours that might come back to haunt you later. Do your homework and only work with qualified, well-reviewed tradespeople
  4. Prepare now. While no one wants to think their renovations will uncover a nightmare, it can happen, so you need to be prepared! According to the Reader’s Digest, top renovation nightmares include issues with home foundations, infestations, and moisture complications. If any of these come up and you haven’t budgeted for them, you will regret it! Once you’ve calculated how much you’ll need for your plans, add another 20%. While this will mean you’ll be saving for longer, you’ll be glad of the extra should you need it. And if you don’t need it, you’ve got a headstart on your next savings goal!
  5. Sell or trade. There are plenty of online platforms today that allow you to sell what’s no longer of use. You would be surprised to know that the old cabinet in the corner is worth more than you expected, so if you’re planning a New Year clear out, consider selling what you no longer want, to get yourself some extra cash towards your goal. Swapping is also a growing trend, so you could also consider swapping some items for furnishings you can upcycle for your property. 

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So now you’ve hit your saving goal, what about the renovation itself?

4 Tips for planning your renovations 

  1. Make a Plan: As soon as you’ve set your savings goal, you can start making your plans. Block out time in your calendar for when the renovations can begin and start researching materials you need and tradesmen to do the job. If you are doing these renovations when you currently have a tenant on your property, be sure to keep them up-to-date with your plans, as it’s their home that will be disrupted.
    Now is also the point where you can start to make more detailed plans. Do you need to consider kid-proofing or pet-proofing your properties in order to offer them to a wider market?
  2. DIY: If you’re wondering how you can save money on the renovations themselves, ask yourself if you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and do a little DIY. The important thing here is to know your limitations! If you know you have the time and physical ability to give the place a lick of paint, then by all means do so. But don’t allow YouTube tutorials to convince you that rewiring your property is a piece of cake! Look online for ways to elevate your finishing, but be sure to bring in professionals to do important electrical, gas and plumbing work. 
  3. Upcycling: Unlike DIY, upcycling is a much easier way to save some money, without worrying if you’re qualified! If you’re offering a furnished home, check out your local markets and charity shops while you’re saving up for the larger renovations. You could bag a bargain that’s much nicer than self-assembly pieces and can be spruced up quickly and easily. Not only can you save money, you’ll also be ticking that sustainability box!
  4. Get your certification: Once your renovations are done, be sure to check that you’ve dotted all the i’s and crossed all the t’s, especially if you’ve had extensive new gas or electrical work done. Make sure your Gas Safety Certificate and EICR are both up to date. It’s also worth considering updating your EPC if you’ve upgraded a lot of appliances that might bring your property up a grade or two.

Plans can feel frustrating and time-consuming, but quick decisions could easily empty your pockets. So put in the work at the start by saving, planning, and the sky’s the limit really. 

We wish you the best of luck with your 2022 renovations! 

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