Where NOT to scrimp on your renovation

When planning your home renovation it’s definitely best to plan ahead and not spend money on things you don’t need to. But there are still times when scrimping is unlikely to pay off!

Sometimes it’s tempting to cut corners and save a few pounds but it’s likely you’ll regret it in the long term. You may even run the risk of making your interiors look old and worn out way before they should. Check out our 5 top tips about where NOT to scrimp when it comes to creating your dream renovation.

When-Not-To-Scrimp-on-Your-Renovation-Dark-Tiled-Bathroom
Image credit: Emil Eve Architects

TIP No.1 : Don't economise on your extractor fan

You may know that we go on about extractor fans A LOT but it’s because saving a little bit of money on this key item is a big no-no! Choosing one which isn’t powerful enough can mean humid bathroom air isn’t extracted fast enough and can make your bathroom look shabby more quickly.

Our ultimate guide to extractor fans

Check out our comprehensive guide to selecting the right extractor for your bathroom below!

TIP No. 2: Don't cut corners on paint finishes

Make sure you specify the right paint finishes for your new space (especially if you have kids). Spend a little more time on the wipe clean versions! It will mean you won’t have to decorate as quickly. 

HomeNotes_Make your budget
Image credit: @archway_home

 For the products with the best reviews, see these three below:

Dulux Trade Diamond Matt is a tough and cleanable emulsion with a smooth, even matt finish. Perfect for busy environments that require frequent cleaning.

Price: Approx. £31 / 2.5 litre

Johnstone’s Emulsion is the best washable paint for any homeowners looking for convenience. Tougher than conventional emulsion paints, this product is strong enough to withstand constant wear and tear, and for a lower price.

Price: £19 / 2.5 litre

Crown’s Clean Extreme Scrubbable Matt provides a true matt finish with the durability and longevity that allows repetitive cleaning. It also has the added benefit of excellent stain resistance.

Price: Approx. £30 / 2.5 litre

When-Not-To-Scrimp-on-Your-Renovation-PoulsomMiddlehurst_Lonsdale-Kitchen
Image credit: Poulsom Middlehurst

TIP No. 3: Don't scrimp on your kitchen worktop

Looking for maximum aesthetics at minimum cost? A great way to achieve your dream kitchen for a wallet-friendly price is to use basic Magnet or IKEA carcasses and simple cupboard doors – but spend a little extra on a killer worktop. It will elevate the whole design plus the worktop gets the most brutal use and a good quality one will pay dividends over time.

Another way to reduce the overall cost of your kitchen is to use standard sized units, typically 40cm wide or 60cm wide. Bespoke items come with a price tag!

For some inspiration check out our three worktops below:

When-Not-To-Scrimp-on-Your-Renovation-Worktops
Image credit: By Chris Tubbs

Corian

Corian is a synthetic, solid, nonporous surface with the ability to feature a nearly seamless joint.

Corian is also extremely durable and easy to maintain. It’s stain, heat, and sunlight resistant and comes in a variety of colours that do not fade or tarnish from wear and tear.

Drawbacks: Although Corian is a strong material, sharp objects should be avoided as they could cause damage.

Price range: £300- 700 per sq/m

Marble-Worktop
Image credit: Tessa Neustadt

Marble

Marble is effortlessly beautiful, and we especially love Carrara Marble with its light grey veins and patterning. It works really well against a white backdrop, or light timber such as birch ply, or with painted cupboards like the example above. It’s also heat resistant, a plus for any kitchen worktop.

Drawbacks: It must be looked after properly, including being re-sealed every few years.

Price range:  £300 – 500 per sq/m

Concrete-Worktop
Image: Via Apartment Therapy

Concrete

Concrete is a very durable and long-lasting surface, immediately adding depth to any space.

It can be custom made to any size or shape, doesn’t scratch and is easily cleaned.

Drawbacks:  Concrete worktops are expensive, and require annual sealing. Additionally, they are almost impossible to repair and cracking does sometimes occur.

Price range:  £250 – 400 per sq/m

Ultimate-Guide-Handles-Superfront-Mini-Reflection

Your ultimate guide to cabinet handles

If you want to go one step further with your kitchen design, spend a little extra on door handles to give that bespoke handmade feeling!

TIP No. 4: Don't tighten your belt with ironmongery

If you are on a budget, then the slightly sad reality is you can’t upgrade every item to the higher end of the price spectrum. If you do – even with small bits here and there – you run the risk of going over budget, and fast! However, there is a place for considering a small upgrade on an item you’re in contact with every day. Namely: ironmongery.

Selecting the cheapest option for door handles can be a mistake as you need them to be robust and withstand the everyday use. We recommend getting a sample of your chosen ironmongery and checking how it feels and looks before pressing the go ahead button.

Project by Hut Architecture
Plank Hardware

TIP No. 5: Don't save on design

We purposefully left the best tip until last! When working to a tight budget the fittings and finishes don’t have to be expensive. BUT it will always pay dividends to employ a professional to design a space for you. For example, paying for a bathroom design that is well considered will have more impact and look more expensive than paying for pricey fittings that haven’t been well placed or considered.

Our HomeNotes Journal is here to bring you clear and up-to-date information for homeowners renovating their homes. For more in-depth help we provide online courses to help you get started the right way!

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