When it comes to renovating your apartment, you've probably been told that in order for it to look good, you'll need to hire an expensive professional. However, that's far from the truth.
If you're thinking about renovating your place, here's five of the best tips you need to consider first (and how to save some cash doing it):
1) First, Ask Why
You should always think about the purpose of the renovation, and you're desired end result. Is it to make your place more attractive to sell or rent? Or is it for your own living enjoyment? This will allow you to determine whether the renovation is a short-term or long-term investment.
If your reno purpose is to rent or sell, it would be wise to spend less on materials, the labour, and furnishings. After all, in this situation your goal is maximum ROI (return on investment).
However, if the renovations are for your own enjoyment, you can afford to spend more on furnishings, but ultimately keep your expenses down by "shopping around", as well as handling some of the work yourself.
2) Now Ask Around
Chances are some of your friends, or someone in your own family have renovated their place in the past. Although prices may have changed a bit since then, they may still be in touch with their contractors or have referral information for someone they trusted to complete the job.
Don't forget to ask your friends and extended network for help too! Most people are willing to lend a helping hand and do some heavy lifting in exchange for a few drinks or a nice dinner.
A combination of hiring contractors and using your friend's assistance can save you a fortune and get the job done exactly as you had hoped.
3) DIY... IYC (Do It Yourself... If You Can)
For anything other than electrical work, DIY can often be the best option. After all, you know exactly what you're looking for and can be in control of your time and budget.
When it comes to sanding floors, painting walls, or installing shelves, you may surprise yourself to find just how handy you CAN be with some basic tools.
If there's something you think you can do, do it and save some vital cash in the process.
4) Be Stylish While Staying Within Budget
One of the biggest expenses when it comes to doing a reno is furnishing your place. The truth is however, you don't need designer brands to make your home look stylish.
When browsing through magazines and Pinterest for styles ideas, if you see designer made light fittings, lamps, tables, or accessories, know that with a little digging you can almost certainly find the non-designer version in that very style for a fraction of the price.
A good general rule to follow is to keep things simple; don't overbuy, and don't over clutter. Keeping your apartment clean, spacious, and simple can go a long way in making your place look fabulous.
5) The 3 x RE Principle
REcycle, REdesign, REuse - the 3 R's rule will come in handy when decorating your brand new interior.
Don't feel the need to purchase new items. You can buy recycled and refurbished furniture much cheaper, and often it can give your apartment a really unique look and feel.
The same rule applies to appliances - look at purchasing a gently used version from popular classified sites (Craigslist, anyone?). As always though, be careful purchasing used electronic items and do your research before hand.
With a little bit of elbow grease, common sense, and friends you'll get those renovations out of the way on the cheap, with stunning results.
Purchasing used goods can be a smart move, and one that can save you a lot of money, however, compromise only on price and never quality or safety.