3 handy tricks to keep reno costs down

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1: Don't be an impulse buyer. Stay true to your budget: if you plan to spend $100 on taps, keep it to that. The $250 special on a much better quality product might be appealing, but it’s out of your budget. Don’t even consider it.

2: Use tradesmen with a good local reputation. You might be tempted to head straight for the Yellow Pages or the internet, but you will probably get better results through your social network. Talk to anyone and everyone. Find out which builders the people you know have used and if they were happy with the work. You may start to notice a few builders keep getting mentioned.

3: There are loads of jobs you can do yourself. The easiest are painting and landscaping, but tasks such as tiling and paving are not beyond the DIY skills of most people. The trick is realising what you have time for. If you’re working a full time job and only have time to do renovation work when you’re free, many jobs will be beyond your reach. It might actually cost you less to simply pay a professional rather than have a job drag over weeks as you attempt to do it yourself.

Whether you are looking to buy your first home, move home, refinance, or invest in property, a mortgage broker can help. Access loans from all the major lenders, get help with paperwork – plus there is no charge for this service. Get help from a local mortgage broker

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