How to Save Money renovating a Unit


A unit in the suburbs that was still original - 70's Flooring Kitchen and associated colours.  Rent was only $210 per week


It's always important to know why you are renovating - Is it for capital growth,or to increase rent.  The renovation will be different.  In this case it was to increase the rent


The fastest way to add wow for less, but it can also the biggest dollar spinner

If the kitchen is salvageable keep it  - You need the carcase needs to be structually sound. This can save you Thousands
In this case it wasn't so we needed to add a new kitchen.  We chose to use  a DIY Kitchen through Semble.  We didn't want to spend hours trucking the prefab to the unit (we saved 3 x 3 hour trips - saving is not always about the dollars!) PLUS  the price was spot on as well and they were very helpful.

I did however go past a garage sale and pick up a sink for $50 - My rule is to be alert for these types of things but not waste time chasing them - RenoSave has great prices on all things property and my time is worth money to me.

The Benchtops were a huge savings and a great Wow factor.  We chose $99 benchtops from Bunnings - Solid Timber benchtops that are already pre-oiled  or ready for a 2pac topcoat for protection   

Don't move things around too much  - keeping the water and stove in the same place saves you serious time and money.



Always the biggest bang for buck in any renovation
Always use the best quality paint - it saves you many coats of cheap paint.  The professionals recommend only one coat on the ceiling (My arms are happy about that!) so you need good paint. 
We had UGLY brick walls  - one option was to gyprock over them - but I was on a tight budget - so painting did the trick - Big Thanks to WATTYL - love that trade account 


This unit had oringinal lino - yuk and it was going to be an absolute pain to get it up.  I am very time concious so when I spoke to the guys at Integra Flooring and was told I could lay Loose Lay vinyl planks straight overtop they became my best friend.  Soo easy guys and such a big difference.  And I saved money buy putting them everywhere including the bathroom and bedrooms.


Bathrooms can be expensive - but look at only what needs to be fixed or changed
The sheeting in the shower needed repair but didn't warrent replacing the whole shower which would have been expensive so we just replaced the one sheet with a similar looking lamipanel
We put a new rail showerhead in and kept the original taps but changed the handles to white instead of 70's brown
A new Vanity and new toilet along with the new flooring made it look a million dollars  Although you can't see it in these pictures we spashed out on a new shower/bath screen and exhaust fan from Highgrove Bathrooms  

Before After  - New Shower screen also installed

The Numbers

We budgeted on $10,000 for the lot  - new floor, new kitchen, paint, lighting  and repair all other items but came in under budget due to using the RenoSave card  and cutting a few unneccessary items

I use a spreadsheet to  work out my budget -  REnoSave-Reno-Checklist-.xlsx (49.5 KB)

-I use it as a guide and to remind me what to look for - hope it helps you

Item  Breakdown     Estimated          Actual  RenoSave Savings

Kitchen -  saved money on our Semble Kitchen $300 and sink $100 so included a dishwasher $450   3,000 3050 300

Paint  - great deal at Wattyl Trade 500 400 100

Flooring - Love the look and durability of Integra Floors  2,000 1,600 400

Blinds - Kmart rocks 550 500

Bathroom  only replaced one panel - so added a screen and new WC
Highrove Bathroom screen and exhaust fan saved $200
1,750 1,000 200

Electrician  - reused the fans and repainted where yellowed 500 300

Plumbing and carpentry - if you can DIY some you will save more 1,400 1,200

Hardware - doors- lights  etc  Hardware discount 400 300 100

TOTAL 10,000 $8,350 $1100

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