Home Renovation 101: How to Renovate Your Home on a Budget

Everyone deserves their dream home at a price they can afford. But can you really renovate a home on a shoestring budget?

Home renovation doesn’t have to be costly. Think strategically about the materials, design, and timing of your renovation project. To stick to a tight budget, do simple tasks yourself, collaborate with a contractor, and be on the lookout for sales.

Read on to get more money-saving home renovation tips and ideas.

Tips to Save on Home Renovation Cost in the Philippines

home renovation budgeting tips - tips to save money on home renovation cost

1. Set a Budget and Stick to It

Start with a well-defined budget that covers all home renovation costs. This ensures you will not overspend on renovating your house.

Take stock of all the things you need to pay for, such as labor, materials, tools and equipment, permits, and cleanup service. Also, set aside a contingency fund—around 10% to 20% of your total budget—for unforeseen expenses.

Put your home renovation cost breakdown in a spreadsheet that will also serve as your house renovation checklist[1]. Refer to this file from time to time to check if your spending is on track with your budget.

2. Start the Planning Early on

By leaving everything at the last minute, you risk overspending on mundane things. To stay within your budget, start lurking the aisles at various home improvement centers and hardware stores, so you can compare prices of various appliances and fixtures.

3. Find the Right Home Renovation Loan

Ideally, you have cash savings to pay for all the costs of remodeling your space. However, the home renovation cost in the Philippines is never cheap—you’ll be spending hundreds of thousands of pesos for renovating an entire house.

Your savings might be just enough to cover small projects such as a new paint job or installing a new gate. But for larger projects, an easy way to finance your renovation is to get a home loan.

Save more on your home renovation cost with a home loan whose monthly repayments you can afford. How much a loan will cost you depends on factors such as the lender, its interest rate, your income, and your chosen loan term.

Work with an online mortgage broker like Nook that can help you easily find the best home loan and get approved for it. This way, you can save both time and money. Instead of wasting time talking to different lenders, you can focus on your home renovation project instead.

4. Know Where to Shop for Affordable Home Decors

Be extra cautious when buying home decors, as it’s tempting to splurge on beautiful items you fall in love with.

To keep your home decor costs to a minimum, do your shopping at tiangges and surplus shops where items are sold for cheap. You can order from the online shop of Dapitan Arcade, the most popular place for affordable homewares and decors in the Philippines.

Related: 9 Sulit Tiangges in the Philippines for Budget Shoppers

5. Do Small Home Renovation Tasks Yourself

Renovating a home involves a range of tasks, including demolishing, cleaning, and adding the finishing touches. Although professional assistance is required for major tasks like electrical works or new fixture installations, you can save money by doing some simple tasks yourself.

Don’t be afraid to DIY! You can do moderate DIY tasks such as painting your walls or building a headboard. For learning DIY home renovation, YouTube is your friend.

6. Compare Quotes from Different Contractors

home renovation budgeting tips - compare contractors

Even if you’ll DIY your home renovation, the more sophisticated tasks will have to be handled by a professional, so you won’t waste money re-doing things.

Ask for referrals from people you know. Contact the recommended contractors, interview them, and get at least three quotes. Compare not just the cost estimates but also their track record and relevant experience in the type of job you need to get done.

Offering the cheapest rate doesn’t necessarily mean a contractor is the best one for the job. If there’s a contractor who’s competent and whom you’re comfortable with but is charging a higher price, ask for possible ways to cut costs (like changing the specs or completing the work in stages).

Read more: What is the Best House Type for My Family?

7. Discuss Your Budget with the Contractor

Simply communicating your budget restraints with your contractor will help you save on home renovation costs. It allows the contractor to collaborate with you on the house remodeling project and come up with cost-saving ideas to help you stick to your budget.

For instance, flooring often costs a big chunk of money. Your contractor can make a few calls and see if there are any leftover tiles and flooring options from previous projects that you can buy at a cheaper price or even get for free.

Home Renovation Ideas on a Budget

home renovation budgeting tips - home renovation ideas

1. Refresh Your Home with a New Paint Job

A fresh coat of paint might just be the only thing you need to give your home a whole new look. Repainting is a lot cheaper and easier to do than tearing up your walls and changing the structure of your house. And it works wonders in enhancing the ambiance of your space without having to buy furniture and decors.

To save on home renovation costs, do the paint job yourself or with the help of family or friends. If you’ll repaint the entire house, choose a suitable color[2] that will evoke your desired mood for each room.

Working on a tighter budget? Just repaint your doors, window casings, and cabinets. This will instantly give your home a makeover while saving significantly on paint.

2. Let in More Natural Light to Illuminate Your Home

Is lighting your biggest concern? Do you wish to brighten up a dull hallway?

Instead of splurging on fancy light fixtures or new windows, simply add light pipes to the area. Adding a window requires you to create a hole in an existing wall and install the frames, which can be quite costly. Light pipes cost three times less than a window and distribute the natural light beautifully in the space.

3. Find Cheaper Alternatives

Buying expensive furniture will blast a hole right in your budget. These days, high-quality furniture made of alternative materials is available at a fraction of the price.

Instead of buying a pricey mahogany chest, for example, a particleboard drawer will serve the same purpose for much less. But if you have a particular design in mind, approach a local carpenter and have them make affordable custom versions of the expensive furniture you want.

Consider getting second-hand instead of brand-new furniture. It’s a perfect idea if you’re aiming for a vintage vibe for your remodeled home. You can score great bargain finds in ukay-ukay and Japan surplus stores[3] as well as online marketplaces.

4. Maximize Existing Spaces

home renovation budgeting tips - maximize existing spaces

Want more space in your home? Expanding a home, such as building an additional room/loft or extending an existing room, requires a huge budget.

Instead of burning your money on an expensive house expansion project, create more space in your home by getting rid of all the clutter. Sell your old stuff and add your earnings to your home renovation budget.

Adding storage in each room helps organize things and maximizes your space. Set up overhead shelves, floating shelves, under-the-bed storage space, and built-in cabinets where appropriate.

Another trick is to install mirrors that create an illusion of a bigger space in a room.

5. Retain Your Existing Furnishings

If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. A home renovation shouldn’t mean a complete design overhaul. Unless your home was built decades ago, there’s no need to tear apart all existing furnishings and change every room’s layout.

Need to update your old, worn-out flooring? You don’t have to remove your existing floors. Peel-and-stick vinyl floor tiles can make a huge difference to a room’s look at less the cost of expensive flooring.

If your current plumbing and electrical fittings are working fine, you’ll be saving money if you keep them in the same location.

6. Use Recycled Materials

home renovation budgeting tips - use recycled materials

To cut down on your renovation expenses, use as many recycled materials as possible. Repurpose any old but usable stuff at home and hand-me-downs from family and friends.

For instance, a vlogger spent only PHP 5,000 for renovating her room[4]. Her secret? She DIY-ed pretty much everything with recycled materials and inexpensive items bought on sale.

7. Decorate Your Home with Plants

Display indoor plants such as snake plants, peace lilies, or aloe vera instead of pricey home decors. Houseplants don’t just add a homey vibe to a room, but they also keep the air fresh. Also, taking care of plants can be therapeutic, so go ahead and bring out your inner #plantita or #plantito!

Final Thoughts

If you’re thinking about renovating your home and your biggest concern is getting everything you want in a very tight budget, these simple home renovation tips and ideas should help you refurbish your old space without breaking the bank. Also, consider applying for a home renovation loan if you plan to do a major overhaul on your space. Plan your finances and compare your loan options.