Renovation tips from the 'Budget Queen'

When undergoing your first renovations, budgets can easily spiral out of control.

Caro, The Block Budget Queen

Before you pick out any paint colours or tile choices the first and most important thing you need to do is to set a realistic budget. Begin by talking to tradesmen and getting as many quotes as possible; always ask for a quote including materials, delivery charges, labour and include GST.

Research online for everything, from materials to trades, from fixtures and downlights, as you can get just about everything online.

When speaking with trades about your renovation, ask for a discount if you decide to use them for the whole renovation - Don’t be afraid to ask! As the old saying goes, ‘if you don’t ask, the answer will always be no!’ I did this with just about every purchase on The Block and it worked every time, saving us heaps! Every little bit counts, so even if you save $10 here and there, it is better than nothing!

And remember, you don’t need to buy $500 designer cushions like some of my other Block contestants! You can pick up some great buys from Ikea or Target - Redecorating doesn’t have to break the bank.

It's also a good idea to document and write down all your purchases. I always write down my estimated price quoted from my trades, as well as what it actually cost me, so then I'll know how much I am in the red or what I have saved. If you don’t do this, your budget and spending will multiply!


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