Do it yourself

11 Expert Tips to Save £11,560 on a DIY Home Renovation

Katie Court
Authored by Katie Court
Posted: Monday, June 7, 2021 - 15:36

Kitchen – a saving of £7,000

Professional cost: £8,000

DIY cost: £1,000

Refresh your kitchen’s aesthetic with vinyl wrap

Parminder Mew, Construction Director at Darcy Construction, says, “If your worktops are looking a little outdated and you’re seeking an instant solution, covering them with a quartz overlay is a fantastic trick. Quartz overlays simply slot over your existing work surfaces and immediately refresh your kitchen’s aesthetic.” You can pick up quartz or marble vinyl for around £50 for 15 metres of wrap, which should be enough for a standard-sized kitchen. 

Swap kitchen cabinet doors and handles instead of replacing the entire unit

You can easily revitalise your kitchen by swapping out your cabinet doors and door handles. Parminder suggests, “replacing your cabinet doors (keep the carcasses) for as little as £25 per unit – this is incredibly cost-effective as changing your doors can transform the look of your kitchen. Handles can be purchased for as little as £2.99 each, instantly changing the style of a kitchen.” Based on an estimate of 30 cabinets per kitchen, it would cost £840 to replace the doors and handles.

Replace your tap, not your sink

If your sink is in good condition, you could save money by only simply your tap. Parminder says, “This can refresh the look of your tap area without breaking the bank. Taps can be found for just £35 whilst professional installation should only cost £75 for a two-hour job.” That’s a total of £110.

Bathroom – a saving of £2,775

Professional cost: £4,500

DIY cost: £1,725

Curate a mixed suit with cheap and high-quality materials

Lee Devlin, Managing Director at Homecure Plumbers, said, “With most people opting for a white suite, you can easily coordinate a high-quality bath with less expensive sinks and toilets. These can be bought via online marketplaces, and you could sell your old suite and fixtures to reduce costs.

“However, you should be careful not to skimp. Lightweight shower trays and cheap fixtures may seem a bargain now, but they could compromise the look and prove a quick fix that is tough to plumb in or quickly scratches – buying cheap when it comes to bathroom appliances often leads to issues further down the line.” 

Using his shopping guide (which can be found on Ocean’s project page), this should cost £1,425 – which is around 50% of the normal price. 

Assemble your own DIY toolkit

One of the best ways to save money on your home renovation is to do as much as possible yourself, rather than getting the professionals in. Lee said, “Whilst plumbing and the electrics must be completed by qualified tradespeople, there’s nothing stopping you from removing tiles, painting or putting up shelves and mirrors. To keep costs down further, re-use old bedsheets or newspapers to protect the floor and sockets.

“A DIY set of tools will cost up to £300, however, this should be seen as an investment rather than a cost. Allowing you to reduce costs elsewhere and tend to any other routine maintenance needed in the house.”

Draw up your own layout plan – it’s free

Lee said, “Drawing up a plan to scale, however basic, makes your life easier. You can then choose whether you want to buy twin sinks, a bath, shower (or both), remedying difficult room layouts with corner/smaller baths and shower units. Following this tip will save you money on bathroom design services and envisage your use of the space.”

Bedroom – a saving of £825

Professional cost: £1,000

DIY cost: £175

Paint your skirting boards the same colour as your walls for a dramatic new look

Steph Briggs, TV Celebrity Interior Designer and Co-Founder of La Di Da Interiors said: “For a contemporary look, paint the skirting boards and architraves the same colour as your walls. Use good quality paint, particularly if you’re making a dramatic colour change, such as from white to navy. It may be a little more expensive initially, but it will save you doing additional coats. For an average-sized room, this would cost around £60.”

Transform the atmosphere with new lighting

“Lighting is often overlooked in a bedroom,” continues Steph. “But with new bedside lamps, you can really change the atmosphere. Although they’re not an obvious choice, angle-poise lamps are brilliant by the bed, as you can swivel the head to find the perfect angle to read in bed or rotate it to the ceiling if you want more ambient light. These can cost as little as £40.”

Make a small change for a big impact, with new bedding

Another way to revamp your bedroom on a budget is by changing up the focal point – but that doesn’t mean you need to buy a brand-new bed. Steph says, “The main focal point in any bedroom is the bed. For maximum impact, change the sheets and add layers of texture and colour using cushions and throws to make it tactile and attractive, which can cost around £75, on average.”

Office – a saving of £960

Professional cost: £1,000

DIY cost: £40

Refresh your old desk with reclaimed metal legs

Jeremy Poole, Sales Director at Building Interiors said, “Not every project has to cost a lot. For example, wooden desks can be repainted, sprayed, tiled or even replaced with materials such as glass to create a completely new look. Alternatively, metal legs can be added to an old wooden desk to create the rustic yet modern look that’s popular right now. A pair of reclaimed metal desk legs can be bought for around £30.”

Use blackboard paint for a rustic feature wall that’s handy for keeping notes

Jeremy said, “You could paint a section of wall using blackboard paint and frame it using rustic wooden slats. Not only will this create a feature on any wall, but it will also provide a good place for keeping notes and appointment times. Blackboard paint can be bought for around £5, and a few wooden slats can be bought for £3 to £4. Old trellis, window shutters or bed frame slats could be used instead if you have them laying around.”