Splurge vs Save: How to Efficiently Spend Money in a Renovation


Splurge vs Save: How to Efficiently Spend Money in a Renovation

June 15, 2021
Piggy bank with house to reflect housing renovation costs

It’s no secret that renovating a house takes a lot of money and, at times, feels like a never-ending cash flow being poured into your property.

Thankfully, there are many tips and tricks to cutting spending without cutting corners. Here’s the ultimate list of where to save your money and where it’s important to splash out when refurbishing your home.

How Can I Cut Back Costs for a Home Renovation?

First up, how to save and what materials and appliances can you choose for cheaper options without impacting the quality or longevity of the product.

Wood Flooring

Chair on wooden flooring

Having affordable and cheaper wood flooring options doesn’t mean you have to opt for vinyl and have your home looking like rented student accommodation. When it comes to saving on wood flooring, you need to consider more than just the price.

Engineered wood, for example, isn’t the cheapest flooring on the market, but it’s extremely hard-wearing and long-lasting, making it a great option for high-traffic areas or if you own a dog. In comparison, laminate flooring breaks down and bubbles over time, meaning that engineered wood flooring is a cheaper option in the long run and wouldn’t need replacing.

Although in saying that, recent innovation means there are even high-quality laminates available that you can fit and design in a way that makes it look expensive, for example, Herringbone design.


Cushion on carpet

Carpets are another flooring type that most immediately think they must spend out on to get the flush, thick finish of high-quality carpet. Well, that’s not strictly true. Reasonably priced carpets are available from a range of good carpet and flooring shops — you just need to be prepared to shop around.

To cut down costs, opt for a blended carpet, so it’s durable, stain-resistant and more affordable.


Modern white kitchen

For appliances, it’s essential to know the difference between paying an affordable price versus buying cheap. You certainly don’t want cheap appliances that won’t work efficiently and end up breaking down just outside of their warranty. But, if you’re doing a complete kitchen refit and replacing all of your appliances, then you’re going to want to keep costs down as much as possible.

There are often reliable, well-priced and sturdy appliances available on the high street, such as AO, which offer a range of electricals and appliances for good deals, including clearance prices. They all come with good energy and customer ratings, and they’re a reasonable price, especially if you’re getting a whole new suite of white goods.

Project Management

If you wanted to cut costs back for the overall renovation, taking on the project management yourself is one way to do this. However, managing a complete build is a time-consuming and fiddly process; from getting the exact measurements to ordering the right parts and people at the right time and finalising approvals and regulatory documents — it’s a lot. So this could save you money in the short term but cost you time and stress in the long run.

Kitchen Cabinets

Modern white kitchen with pattern tiles

The most cost-effective way to save money on kitchen cabinets is to keep your existing ones and simply give them a facelift by painting the cabinetry and adding new door handles. Speak with your kitchen fitter upfront, as they will be able to carefully remove your cabinets, keeping them in as good condition as possible.

Top tip — Even if you don’t want to keep your kitchen cabinets, if you remove them carefully, you can sell them on second-hand kitchen sites to make back some money.

If you do want new ones, there are lots on offer at a cheaper price point — and lots of ways to make them look more premium, including splurging on kitchen worktops.

What Items Should I Invest in for a Home Renovation?

Spending more on certain aspects of your renovation or house redecoration allows you to scale back in other areas, but most importantly, it will enable you to focus on the high-quality products and how they’ll last a lifetime, compared to cheaper alternatives.

Kitchen Worktops

Kitchen showing a wooden modern countertop

Good-quality worktops will elevate the look of any kitchen, but most significantly, will withstand everyday use, so if you invest, they’ll last a long time.

Spending out on the worktops can also add an expensive look to your overall kitchen, even if you’ve gone with more affordable cabinetry, helping to bring the whole look together.

Quartz, Corian and Marble are exquisite high-end choices for kitchen worktops.

Hot Taps

A luxury addition to any kitchen, but after installing, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without one. Having boiling water on tap alongside your regular hot and cold tap makes prepping food and hot drinks a breeze.

They’re competitively priced and are convenient and more environmentally friendly than boiling a kettle, even when left on standby. So while you invest in this piece of kit for your kitchen, you could bring your household bills down.

These hot water taps also come filtered — a bonus for those who are in a hard-watered area.


Storage is so important and regularly overlooked, even if you think you’ve planned enough, look at your plans again to see where you can add more because when it comes to day-to-day living, you’ll notice the storage you don’t have.

Yes, good-quality carpentry is expensive, but this is an investment worth having. From built-in wardrobe systems to under stair drawers, carpentry adds a sophisticated elegance to storage solutions that are long-lasting.

Good Quality Taps

Sink with a marble countertop and gold faucet

You may think that kitchen and bathroom finishes, such as taps, are a quick way to save money, but that isn’t the case when it comes to faucets. Spend less, and you’ll spend twice. The reason being, taps are used constantly throughout the day from washing your hands, brushing your teeth, or prepping dinner; anything that’s a high traffic zone would benefit from investment pieces, else you’ll be paying out again within a year or two.

Splurge on Sockets

In a similar vein to storage, you don’t realise how much you need multiple sockets throughout your home until you’re living in it, but we’d suggest increasing the amount you have — and thus splurging out on the overall cost.

When considering where to place your plug sockets, think about adding them close to regularly used areas. For example, you’ll want one on either side of your bed for charging your phone overnight and the same for the sofa in your living room. I suggest spending out on getting the plug sockets with built-in USB charging ports too, as well as dimmer switches for atmospheric areas of your home.

Don’t Forget!

Every property in the area will have a ceiling value, so when doing any type of building work — unless you plan for it to be your forever home — it’s important to consider the cost that you’re inputting into the property and the anticipated pay off in sale and equity when it comes to moving.

Also, budgets are required for any type of building work — including a contingency plan — and at times, it can feel challenging to stick to. So if you have an absolute financial limit, but you see your costs creeping up, review our ‘save list’ to see if you can cut back on other areas of your budget and balance out the books.

Hiring a Professional Tradesperson

Searching for the right professional tradesperson to carry out the building work for you is not something you should scrimp on. The quality of the craftsmanship in the trade will shine through in the finished product and make the process run a lot more smoothly. If you want help with your home development, use for trusted professionals who can help at any stage of your project.

Flexibility in the Building Renovations

Our list is not exhaustive, it’s a helpful place to start when renovating your home. What’s important is that you spend the money on the important elements that require it, else you could regret that later down the line.


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