The cost of living crisis is squeezing household budgets, meaning many of us are cutting back on costs as much as possible. This could mean abandoning any home improvements projects that aren't strictly necessary, such as redecorating, installing a new kitchen or bathroom, or building an extension.
There are plenty of ways to save money on home improvements, though. We’ve rounded up our top money-saving tips below.
A regular and efficient cleaning routine will prolong the lives of your furniture and appliances, delaying the need to pay for replacements.
Clean, fully functional appliances, surfaces and pipes will make your home more pleasant and save you money, as fewer repairs and refurbishments will be necessary.
Fitted furniture for kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms frequently goes on sale. There are traditional peak sales periods – post-Christmas, around Easter and over summer – but other deals pop up across the year too.
Get quotes from multiple suppliers and be prepared to wait until exactly what you want goes on sale.
Double-check what is included in any deal, as retailers can run multiple promotions simultaneously, so figuring out what the cheapest option is can be confusing.
Good advance planning can help you save money. When installing a kitchen, plan ahead and reduce kitchen costs by doing the following:
For larger projects such as building a conservatory, extension, or loft conversion, make sure you have an agreed quote and timeframe with the builder. It should include clearly defined conditions for what happens if the price of materials increases during the course of the project.
Think hard about any added extras, too. When buying a new fitted kitchen, for example, you could pay extra for:
Consider what you will actually use, and which options are worth the additional cost.
These decisions come down to your perspective on the look of your kitchen versus the cost, as, for example, end panels are a purely aesthetic option.
Buying fitted units and larger furniture from reliable, high-quality brands can help save you money in the long term, as the products should last longer.
Instead of a major overhaul of your home, try some smaller, cheaper, updates and tweaks to your surroundings.
Rather than fitting an entirely new kitchen, for example, search builders’ merchants, local kitchen manufacturers and specialist companies for new kitchen unit doors, worktops and drawer fronts. This will be considerably cheaper than buying all new but will still refresh the appearance of your kitchen.
Repainting a room can bring it a new lease of life, without crippling your wallet. Try a new, brighter colour, or, if you're feeling creative, paint a wall mural.
Consider the tasks and skills necessary for an installation or update and try doing some of it yourself, if you have the skills and confidence, rather than paying someone else to do it.
However, don’t take any chances with gas or electrics, and it’s always best to hire a professional if you are not confident about anything. Use a to ensure you don’t get stung by an unscrupulous trader.
Tools and DIY products often go on sale, both in store and online. If the task you're doing is not urgent, try waiting for a promotion.
If you're installing a new kitchen, then a second-hand (previously installed in someone’s house) or ex-display kitchen (that has only been in a showroom) could be ideal. It’s also a sustainable option, as it prevents a kitchen ending up in landfill.
Be sure to check what you're getting (look over it in person, ideally) so you're not stuck with something damaged. Private sellers aren't obliged to draw attention to defects.