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Renovating your home? 6 smart money tips

By Abhishek Agarwal
Last updated on: September 12, 2016 13:54 IST
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Go make a beautiful home but spend smartly and wisely!

Photographs: Rhiannon Boyle/Creative Commons

Just like quick changing fashion trends, home decor trends also change fast in modern times and that calls for redoing your home from time to time. If you are not the one to fall for these fickle trends then also, plain boredom of looking at the same painting year after year may force you to renovate your home.

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Though we all love to buy pretty new stuff but a word of caution is necessary; renovation should be planned carefully so that you do not end up spending more than you intended to.

Budgeting is the key

For any expense it is important to budget before you start the actual job. Do remember that there are bound to be some hiccups that will throw your budget off-track so keep that in mind and keep a sufficient cushion too. It is advisable to break the budget into smaller pockets; like you could do it each room wise or you could decide how much you want spend on lighting, how much on furnishings etc. It's important to keep the budget realistic!

Here are six ways to spend smartly when renovating...

1. Identify

The first thing is to identify the areas that require work. This could be as simple as that the kitchen requires more storage space, or furnishings need to be changed or the house needs a new coat of paint or more complex ones.

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Once the areas that require attention have been indentified it is important to categorise them as 'urgent', 'desirable' and 'can wait' categories. This is for obvious reasons of budgeting and time constraint.

2. Research

With the wide range of choice available it is imperative that one carries out extensive research. In case one is looking at furnishings check out not only the sellers but also about the variety of material available. Compare on the basis of cost and quality and availability.

While you want to save money, you do not want stuff that is tacky or where you have to wait long for deliveries. Research about new options that are economical and more user-friendly in the long term. There are new lighting options that offer energy saving, are trendier and also more illuminating.

3. Online options

Online sites that sell products can add a lot value and choice to your renovations. When you approach a brick and mortar shop your choice is limited; but online the choice is so vast that it can end up confusing you!

Look at online sellers whether it is for furniture, bathroom fittings or artifacts before making a choice. While buying artifacts online is simple, buying fittings and furnishings could be tricky.

So it is advisable to have a look at the products physically also and then make a decision. Though buying online could be cheaper, getting it installed or fixed might pose a challenge so make sure to check about that.

You could also look at buying used products online if they match your requirements and are in a good condition; they definitely would be cheaper. Also make sure that you sell the extra stuff in your home online; this adds to the liquidity that you have when spending on the renovation.

4. Do it yourself

There may be a few things that you can do yourself to renovate your house. Lots of online sites provide help and guidance. Simple changes or hand made stuff from used things like hand painted vases, mirrors or quirky cushions can lend individuality to your home decor and also save a lot of expenditure. Again it is important to be realistic and be aware of your abilities as you may end up wasting rather than saving money.

5. Postpone

If you feel you are overshooting the budget then it is better to postpone the not so urgent things. Rather than starting with everything at once, start with 'urgent', then go on to 'desirable' and then to the 'can wait' things. This way you do not end up with an exhausted budget and incomplete work.

6. EMI

Yes we saved the best for the last! If you do not have the budget but want to renovate then you could opt for the monthly installment option. A personal loan, home loan improvement loan or EMI option offered by credit card or sellers are the choices available.

However this option must be used with lot of caution and after careful financial analysis. Loan availability will be subject to your CIBIL score and other conditions. Being ambitious and overstretching yourself financially can disrupt your financial planning and CIBIL rating also in the long run.

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The author is Co-founder and Director Credit Vidya.

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Abhishek Agarwal