How to save budget when renovating a house?

When renovating your house into a fantastic living space, it is possible to make plans that exceed the budget. Once the renovation job is done, you may discover that other people got their home renovation job done at a lower price. Before starting home renovation task, it is essential to determine the amount of budget you are willing to spend. It will help to ensure the available resources are used accordingly.

In this article, we’re going to look at the ways of saving money while renovating your home:

Avoid replacing everything

Most people don’t understand the meaning of renovation as they think it is replacing everything with new items. If you’re thinking in this dimension, then you need to change your mind. Always replace furniture and other things that are not worth keeping. Reusing items that are in good condition can help to save money that could have been used in acquiring new products. Always avoid getting rid of an object without first realizing its actual value. Take time to sort out what is worth keeping and what is not.

Auction the items you don’t value

Before getting rid of items, it’s good to find a good market for these items, even if items mean selling them at lower prices. Putting such items on sale is the best way to go. If your schedule is tight, you can opt to advertise your products on websites that buy and sell.

Purchase refurbished items

If your budget is limited, then shopping refurbished items is a good option. Even though people may feel that second-hand items are substandard, it’s a good option depending on the budget set. You can find the refurbished items that match your house at reasonable prices. Several websites sell such items and offer a limited warranty for the refurbished products where the customer can return the product if it has a defect.

Shop smart

Purchasing alternative products is also a better option, and it even gets good if you have the opportunity to acquire them from different shops. Think of purchasing such items from other stores rather than the local stores. You can browse on the internet to compare the prices of the same product on different websites. It can help to determine the best store to purchase products of best products at reasonable prices. Rather than visiting the stores, you should think of electronic-shops that you can place an order and get products delivered to your doorstep.

Alternative Options

Don’t rely on a specific brand or company when it comes to purchasing items. Even though you may have the company or brand that you prefer the most, explore other options when having a limited budget that doesn’t match those brands. Products being sold at lower prices doesn’t mean that their quality is low. Look for new vendors that sell their best products at relatively affordable prices.

Do It Yourself (DIY)

Using DIY skills to renovate a house can save you lots of money. The workforce is very costly and doing some tasks that don’t demand special skills can help to save on cost, especially when having a limited budget. For instance, you can save on the cost by using your DIY skills to paint your home. Getting help from friends and relatives can help to save on the cost when hiring a third party to do the same job. This helps in reducing the cost involved in home renovations.

Make Cosmetic Fixes

When having a limited budget, avoid concentrating on everything. Think of cosmetic fixes. They are fast, affordable and simple to implement. These are the things that visitors or guests notice when they visit your home. For instance, when not in a position to renovate your entire bathroom, you can think of changing the shower screen and taps as well. Cushions and curtains are the best options to start with when planning to renovate your bedroom. These small fixes are usually eye-catching.

The discussed above are some of the tips that can help save money while renovating a house.

How much does it cost to build a house in Australia?

How do you feel when moving into your new house? Everyone dream of this important chapter of life. most of us prefer living in our homes than renting a house to live in. Building a house is a step, and also a responsibility. We live in rentals as we plan and raise funds to buy land for building our homes, or buy the already existing home on sale. It takes time for one to decide these, but once the information about the building costs is at hand, it is easy for one to budget the savings and allocate some to build their new home.


Building a home is easy and affordable for anyone. The main factors to be considered is the size of the house and the design. These determine the cost of the building. Some people have an existing land and they find it easy for them to build since they don’t have to incur the extra cost of buying land to put up the structure.

Building involves a series of stages, first, there is site preparation cost, that involves site survey, soil testing, bush clearing, service connection such as connecting gas and water pipes, and fencing. Other costs are pre-start meetings cost that comprises 5% of the total cost.

After prestart meeting costs are electrical installation costs, roofing material costs, tilling, fixtures and fittings costs and kitchen prestart cost. Above all the costs, there is a contract variation cost that is paid to contractors depending on the cost of the total cost of the construction contract and the finish cost.

It can be very difficult to estimate the cost of building a property to its point of completion following the different preference of the owners. Someone who needs a big house tends to use more in construction, as compared to one who needs a small house in Australia. Also, there are some other hidden costs involved in construction. These costs may vary from the owners’ preferences, this may involve the quality of materials such as kitchen, washroom, and lighting equipment.

Cheaper house to build

In Australia, there is an extremely affordable house for the families that need to build on a budget. The lowest you can build your 3 bedroom house with an approximate of 150-200 meters floor space is around $117000-$118,000. This house is unsuited off the master bedroom, kitchen, dining and sitting room. There are other additional costs such as driveways, flooring among some others that may amount to around $40,000. Adding up the total costs to build a cheap house in Australia may add up to

Around $157,000.

Building cost per square meter

Most builders and homeowners prefer building contracts based on dollars per square meter. The total cost of construction is added up and divided by the total space of the home floor space. The common challenge to these terms is the calculation of the actual cost since the calculated space may not give the exact cost of construction. The house with several partitions such as kitchen and toilets among other rooms may reflect low construction input cost as compared to the house with more spacious or more empty spaces. The following are the cost per square meters of different houses.

Type Cost in Dollars per square meter:

  1. Custom build home ( Deluxe) 2500-4000
  2. Custom build (Basic) 1500-3000
  3. Project Homes (Deluxe) 1000-3000
  4. Project Homes (Basic) 620-780
A4 Bedroom home

The cost of building a 4 bedroom basic range from $130,000/ (160sqm) to 190,000(300sqm) but for wider coverage, it can go up to $230,000.

A5 Bedroom Home

A 5 bedroom house will be slightly higher than a 4 bedroom house. The basic range may cost from $195,000 and the wider range is slightly above $230,000.

Other costs

There are other costs that one may incur after building the property. These costs may include:

Contour and Soil Test– The cost of these test maybe around $1500-$2000, the test is done to the contour of the blocks and the soil.

Flood prone areas– Extra costs may be incurred during building in flood-prone or swampy areas. The extra costs include the cost of raising the building beyond the point that water cannot flow into the house. These charges cannot be estimated since it depends on the condition of the land.

Bush fire-prone areas. Houses build along the bush fire prone areas need an additional cost of installing ardor safety mechanism around the building to safeguard any unpredictable peril. The extra costs cannot be estimated since it depends on the kind of equipment the owner prefer to use.

Reblocking and restumping a house

Since the foundation of a house is not visible, most home owners do not realize that there is a problem with the foundation and they often think there is a problem with other areas of the house. However compared to other rooms, the foundation is most likely to get damaged quickly, because it is exposed to high moisture levels under the ground surface for many years, especially after rainfall. Hence many home owners would how to know when a house needs to reblock and restump, so that they can budget accordingly and find a suitable company for reblocking or restumping.

The requirement for reblocking depends to a large extent on when the home was constructed and the material used for the stumps. For older brick houses, the stumps in the foundation is usually made from wood. This wood is likely to decay further and it may be also attacked by termites, and other pests, who will eat away the base of the house. The foundation of newer homes are usually made from concrete which is more durable compared to wood. However depending on the moisture levels and type of soil, the concrete stumps can also develop cracks, which can affect the entire house.


There are many indications that the house may require restumping. Since the stumps are attached to the floor of the house, one of indicators that there is a problem with the foundation is that the floor is sloping or uneven. Another indicator of a foundation problem is when there are cracks in the tiles, or plaster in the house. Additionally it may become difficult to close the doors completely or the doors may get jammed due to misalignment. The floor will keep changing their position. If the moisture levels in the foundation are very high, it may be necessary to reblock or restump the house.

Often home owners think that there is a problem with other parts of their house and try to repair the doors, flooring without realizing that the root cause of the problem is the foundation of the house. Hence it is advisable to arrange for the foundation of the house to be inspected to check its condition before spending money on other repairs. The cost of only an inspection will be less compared to other repairs, and it is a quick way to find out the cause of the problems. Usually construction experts will recommend that a reblocking will be required if the house has been constructed before 1970 due to the natural wear and tear process.

Depending on the condition of the foundation, either reblocking or restumping will be required. In restumping, the existing stumps are removed and replaced with new stumps which are made from concrete and reinforced with steel for additional strength. In reblocking, the existing stumps are repaired and strengthened using concrete and steel. In both cases, a hydraulic jacking system is used to support the house while the damaged wooden or concrete stumps are removed, and new stumps are fixed into position. After the concrete in the new stumps has dried the hydraulic jacking system is removed.

Since the restumping process is fairly expensive many home owners would like to find out How long restumping lasts? Able Reblocking Specialists in Melbourne is offering a warranty of ten years on all the reblocking as well as restumping work which it undertakes and completes. However, the duration for which the reblocked foundation will last depends to a large extent on the weather and soil conditions in the area where the home is located. Due to heavy rainfall, or drought, there is a possibility that the foundation will sink and there may be a gap. Under ideal conditions, the foundation can last for fifty years or more.

The time taken to complete the restumping work depends to a large extent on the size of the house since the area of the foundation will be more for larger houses. Typically the reblocking work can be completed within a week. There may be some damage to the rest of the house, which will be repaired as part of the work. The company doing the reblocking work will usually get all the required permissions from the local authorities. Home owners in Melbourne are advised to check their foundation repeatedly and get the reblocking or restumping work done if required, so that their house remains in good condition for many years.

How to make your own different type of backyard pools?

Haven’t you dreamt of going to your backyard and finding your own swimming pool? As lavish and expensive it looks and feels you can always find a way to restructure one at your own budget and aesthetic preference. Before taking a plunge, understand the types of pools and figure out the best one for you and your family. Here are some ways to do it.

The first step would be to decide whether you want a natural pool or a swimming pond. If you have your own vision and design already, try to make sure it is simple. The one with a one level foundation (same depth throughout) is much easier to manage.

Try to recycle stuff to form your pool

For example a lying dumpster can be transformed into a lavish pool if you are willing. Find out if you have any such containers lying around or abandoned. Another very minimalistic idea for a pool would be the one with a wooden pallet. It takes up less space and give you a raised wooden deck to lay aside the pool and forms an amazing backyard retreat. If you have been seeing a shipping container blatantly lying around, use it to pull off a cool swimming pool. The only issue with the shipping container with water inside would be the possibility to rust which can be fixed with by painting the problem ridden surface.

If you want your pool to be in-ground, you can go for one accordingly.

A cheaper choice for an in-ground pool is the one with a vinyl liner. While concrete pools are customizable, note that they become expensive with this feature. However, this will be an investment as a concrete pool adds value to the house as is looked upon as an asset. Lastly, these pools can also be made of fiberglass and is the one that requires the least maintenance.

Talking about natural pools, these can make you feel like you are away from home and instantly adds to the scenic environment of your backyard. These pools can consists of further items like floating aquatic plants. They do emulate a truly wild experience but are quite complex to build as opposed to normal swimming pools due to the structural differences and other specifications. Make sure not to use harsh chemicals in the water. Another way if you are willing to put a lot of effort and time into your pool is to build one with a concrete base and walls. It requires minimum maintenance cost in the long run and can be quite spacious.

Additionally, if none of these could impress you, you can go for an indoor pool or an infinity edge pool but remember, these fall on the higher end of the market place in terms of pricing.

A dip in the pool for a minute or two seems to take away all the stress of the day but we don’t always have time to hit the swimming club or fitness center. Through these ways you can form one of your own within a budget and enjoy it at your own home.

Suters Architects

Suters Architects is a multi-disciplinary architecture practice striving for architectural excellence and creative leadership in all aspects of our professional services.  The Practice offers consultancy services in Architecture, Interior Design and Urban Planning with associated resources in Town Planning and Landscape Architecture.

Brian Suters commenced with the firm in 1958, becoming a partner in 1964.  His first significant public project was the Civic Park Fountain, Newcastle, done in collaboration with the leading Australian artists, Margel and Frank Hinder.

Since then, the Practice has evolved into a dynamic architecture firm of national significance with offices in Sydney, Newcastle, Brisbane and Melbourne. The strategic location of offices has enhanced our ability to undertake and service projects locally, nationally and internationally.

Suters Architects has established a professional association with a number of international architectural practices including:

– Reichen et Robert, France
– Nightingale Associates, UK
– S/L/A/M Collaborative, USA

Projects have also been completed in conjunction with Michael Wilford and Associates and Renton Howard Wood Levin, two leading British architecture practices, and AJM, the largest architecture practice in Malaysia.

The team at Suters Architects consists of professional and support staff with eight Directors, who are all practising Chartered Architects and actively involved in the management of the Practice.  Other team members include five Principals, eight Associates, chartered and graduate architects, technical and administration staff.

Quality Assurance as a management tool is fundamental to the success of each project.  Management has strongly supported the Quality System, implemented in accordance with AS/NZ 9001, and fostered the development of a strong commitment to Quality by all staff.

Specialised expertise has been developed in a wide range of project types including Health, Education, Tertiary Education, Retail, Interior Design, Commercial, Industrial, Public Sector, Leisure, Tourism and cultural buildings.  As well, the firm is a leader in conservation, restoration and adaptive re-use projects.

Suters Architects is committed not only to providing the highest quality of service to meet the needs of the client but also to supporting the ethics of our profession. We are proud of our reputation and achievements.

International Links: USA:
S/L/A/M Collaborative
Glastonbury CT, Atlanta GA,
Cambridge, MA
Nightingale Associates
9 Hatton Street,
London NW8 8PL
The Cherry Barn,
High Street,
Oxon OX11 0EY