Home Renovation #2: What Are The Essential Renovation Expenses?

January 22, 2021

In our last post, we went over the ways you can finance your renovation. Now that you have the money to back the changes you want to make, where do you begin your investment?

Do you spend a lot of money on design, or on high quality materials, or on the labour? How to spend your money wisely is a hard task, because there are so many facets of renovating to consider.

Where you can save

Work with your current structure. Unless you really need to open up a space, leave the walls where they are. Big structural changes are expensive and require analysis and planning to get the reinforcement right. That said you can take down a non-load bearing wall within a smaller budget, but just triple check it’s safe to go ahead. Having the ceiling bowed in will really see your budget blow out!

Keep your current lines.

On the same line as load bearing walls, it pays to use the existing plumbing and electrical connections. Labour alone in these areas will impact your wallet. Instead, ask about the appliances, fittings and switches that will work with the current setup.

Re-use materials

There are plenty of ways you can get a hold of second-hand materials such as wooden flooring, doors and windows. Some even offer beautiful lead light features. As well as sourcing existing materials, you can also look for ways to re-use the ones you have. Consider painting your existing tiles rather than ripping it out and installing new ones.

You can look at replacing the kitchen drawers with more modern materials but see if you can keep the internal structure as is.

Steer away from custom sizes

Unusual sizes mean a custom fit, which will cost a lot more. Look for designs that will marry well with standard window and door sizes so that you can easily source your frames, buy in bulk to fit every room and keep the costs down.

Where to pay to spend:


This is about durability. If you skimp on the quality of your floor now you will pay for it again...and again. Your floor bears a lot of weight and needs to be durable to go the distance.

As well as quality materials you do need to send some time and money on the design as well to ensure you are creating a flow through the house that ties everything together, creating a feel of harmony and connection.


When it comes to getting a return on your investment, the place to spend your money is quality fittings. Not only are more expensive fittings going to last longer, they speak to potential buyers of value, longevity and quality. An added bonus is if you have set aside room in your budget for quality fitting you also have a bigger range of style and elegance.

What are we talking about when we say fittings:

• Stylish door knobs

• Shower heads

• Decorative handles

• Brass taps

These are the details that will catch people’s attention with a wow factor. They may look small in the background, but these little units pack a big punch.

The downside is there are lots of them scattered around the home and even though each individual item might not have a hefty price tag, they will add up.


An easy way to emphasize the feeling and style in a room is with a quality light piece. There are plenty of designs to choose from and the little bit extra will really feel special every time you walk in the room as well as drawing attention to your chosen colours and room highlights.

Temperature control

Homes are about being comfortable. As well as looking at quality insulation options, back it up with a heating and cooling solution that will be energy efficient and comfortable all year round.

Consider a split-system or a multi-room system so that you can customise your temperature to match your living requirements minute to minute.

This will go a long way to making those power bills manageable for years to come.


Nothing says, amazing kitchen, as loudly and proudly as stone or marble bench tops.

You can have the most basic tiles in your kitchen and still see style with a quality bench installed.


This is probably the number one mistake renovators make, thinking the quality of the whitegoods doesn’t matter. It does! Look for quality and proven brands and match them where you can for more impact. These will not only last but they will be energy efficient as well. In terms of style quality brands tend to look better and have sleeker lines as well. If you can’t afford to spend big on all your appliances, focus your spending on the most important pieces; water heater, dishwasher, oven and fridge.

Who is Peta Stewart?

Award-winning conveyancer. Entrepreneur. Business mentor. Women’s cycling advocate. These are just some of the ways Peta Stewart is introduced. What ties them together is a steely determination to help people achieve their life goals and have fun in the process.

In 2004, Peta became the first licensed conveyancer in the Albury Wodonga greater region. Five years later, she launched her own business and started shaking up the industry with a good dose of personality, integrity and humanity.

Find out more

More Blogs

HomeAboutProperty servicesMentoringTestimonialsMediaBlogContact