​Apartment renovation works out cheaper when you consider all aspects

Park View : Residential Care Home, Aralia Aralia Commercial spaces Wood Green
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When you think of renovating an aging house or an apartment, there are two ways you might go about it. One is to go all out, no expenses spared and be lavish about it. Very few can afford to go down this path. The second, more sensible way is to work sensibly within a budget but, calculate each aspect with care and consider all factors to help you get the most for your money. Consider the purpose. Is the renovation for the purpose of improving the looks or is it necessary because the building needs repairs or is it for the purpose of providing an extension or extra living space? In any case, first start with a budget, identify key areas of importance and make best use of materials to get maximum benefits. You do not have to renovate the entire house, just renovating specific areas such as floor, ceiling or walls and adding some lights will transform your interior and let you stay within budgets.

Age and type of house

Before Renovation ENVIRON PLANNERS Rooms

Before Renovation


Renovation costs and the extent of renovation required primarily rely on the age and the type of house. An apartment or a house that dates back to the 1950s or even earlier will need extensive repairs and renovations from top to bottom. On the other hand, more recently constructed apartments may not need many repairs and your renovations could be more in the nature of face lift to selected areas or even remodelling specific portions such as doors and windows. A house may be constructed of masonry and concrete, wood, prefab with use of fibreglass and steel with use of drywalls and so on. Another consideration is whether you own the apartment or is it rented? If it is rented you have to consider obtaining the owner’s permission. Regardless, you can start the process with a detailed inspection of your apartment. Keep a pen and paper pad handy. Take notes of each area that you think needs renovation such as floor, ceiling, windows, walls and doors. This done, sit down and evaluate each, assigning the task a level of importance, functionality and aesthetic contribution to the décor. Get back to that list later when you are fixing cost in consultation with a contractor. Include or exclude that item based on your budget and the level of its importance.

Creating a design plan

Park View : Residential Care Home Aralia Commercial spaces Wood Green Commercial Spaces

Park View : Residential Care Home


The next step is to call in a contractor/interior designer/architect depending on who you know and can trust to get the work done to highest standards of quality and give you the most for your money. Forget about DIY. It takes time and you will simply never be able to achieve that professional look. The designer or architect will be glad to listen to what you expect and prepare a design plan. The plan should:  • Specifically mention each task, components, materials to be used for each item and cost on the list you prepared.  • The time it will take for completion • Whether this will require permission from local authorities? If yes, the cost factor? If this adds to renovation cost, then omit that specific renovation task. An example is breaking partition walls to create an open look or extending windows and doors. 

There is an option for everything. For instance you could paint the walls or wallpaper them. Explore various options vis-à-vis looks, cost, sustainability and durability. Discuss the list, cost of materials and labour cost with the designer and ask for repercussions of leaving out certain items in order to save on cost of apartment renovation, or using cheaper materials. 

Take time to finalize the plan. You could spend a month thinking over it and then make up your mind. This time around finalize the plan with the architect/designer and get a firm estimate with a time schedule.

How to save on changing the trim

Aluminium Clad Wood Windows and Doors Marvin Windows and Doors UK Classic style windows & doors
Marvin Windows and Doors UK

Aluminium Clad Wood Windows and Doors

Marvin Windows and Doors UK

Changing door, window and cupboard trims could do a lot to transform looks of your interiors. It also adds to the renovation costs.The cheapest alternative is to let the trims remain in place but, let them have a fresh coat of paint. Another alternative is to consider covering existing trims with laminate. You can settle for cheaper quality wood but ask the designer/contractor to suitably finish and paint the wood, resulting in cost saving. Moldings can add a decorative touch. Plastic trims are another way to save money when you change trims. They will never need maintenance or painting. uPVC trims in wood grain or a variety of colors are becoming quite popular and are a low cost, lasting alternative to wood. People have been known to change not only the trims but entire windows and doors, picking uPVC doors for their light weight, lasting properties. However, the overall interior and your preference dictate choice of material for the trim.

Floor screed and floor covering

Simply changing the flooring and installing vitreous tiles transforms the look of the room. If the work involves floor screed work, then you can consider a few options. Reduce thickness of the screed from 50 to 30 mm (provided there are no heating pipes to cover).Reduce the amount of cement used in the screed mix. The usual sand to cement ratio is 4.5:1. Change that to 6:1 or as advised by the contractor. You can just as well buy ready mixed screed and save on time and labour. Consider self-levelling alpha hemihydrate calcium sulphate screed. It requires less time and manpower to layout and the thickness can be reduced, consequently saving costs. For the floor covering a good option is to select large sized vitreous tiles that can be overlaid on the screed with minimal post finishing required. They last a lifetime. Vinyl might be cheap but tends to develop scratches and parquet flooring requires care too. The flooring design shown in the picture above is the good work of Van henry interiors & colours, interior architects from germany. 

Ceiling renovation

Chipping the ceiling and getting it plastered with cement is time-consuming, laborious and expensive. Instead, opt for gypsum boards that can be affixed quickly to give a smooth, flawless surface. You also have choices in the patterns and designs possible with use of gypsum boards for an exotic touch at an ordinary price.

Save on material delivery

Normally, a contractor factors in delivery costs while giving you a quote. If you have opted to supply the material yourself, then you can save on delivery costs by bargaining with the supplier to get the cost reduced or include in the price as the starting point. Then again, you can consider picking the nearest supplier who might bundle your supplies with supplies to someone else along the route and thus offer lower transportation cost. You can also consider buying all materials required for your renovation and then hire a pick up truck to gather and transport all materials to site in one go. Another option is to pick up the materials and transport them in your own car, provided these are small enough to fit in. Paint tins and other materials can easily fit into the boot of your car. This certainly helps save on transportation costs. 

Careful planning, consideration of the work from various perspectives, choice of materials and methods and choice of work that needs to be done will help you save a lot on renovation costs while achieving the desired look.

Are you in a dilemma to go for minimalist style decor for your home? Checkout this ideabook and decide - Is the minimalist style cold and boring? Decide for yourself

What are your plans for next renovation? Feel free to let us know your queries in the comments below.

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