By Lana

We’ve all been there… you ‘pin’ an amazing interior designer look on your Pinterest board, show friends and family what your reno is going to look like only to be brought crashing down to earth when you find out how much it’s going to cost to get THE look! So many of us have Champagne taste on a beer budget! What’s up with that?

Fear not! You can still achieve the reno of your dreams at a fraction of the price. In this week's blog, we are going to share our top 5 ways to save a bit of coin. 


If you’re renovating a brick house, you might assume that you need to render it to get the look you’re after – but that can cost a packet. We’ve found one of the best ways to transform an ugly brick exterior is by spraying the bricks using standard exterior paint. This is much cheaper than render and can be completed in 1–2 days by a professional. Oh, and did we mention sprayed bricks also look great? One of our sprayed-brick properties even made the front cover of a glossy magazine! But, if you’ve got your heart set on that rendered look, consider rendering just the front façade and spraying the sides and back of the house. We’ve done that too.  

It’s true what people say about not moving your plumbing to save money. A bathroom, kitchen or laundry renovation will cost much less if you keep the main plumbing services where they are. Feel free to upgrade your toilet and shower by all means, but don’t move their location. If you feel you must move them, the smaller the move, the cheaper the price. So, before you decide to shift your toilet from one end of the room to the other, consult your plumber and then your budget.  

Save on materials and labour in bathrooms by tiling only 1.2 metres up from the floor (except for the shower recess) and then use paint for the rest of the walls. This will cut your tiling bill in half and give the bathroom a softer feel, with fewer hard surfaces.

Gone are the days where only tradies could access a huge range of tapware at great prices. With the expansion of online shopping, you can (and should) take on that responsibility yourself by finding the items you like and ordering them direct. This removes the mark-up your tradie would have passed on to you, not to mention their charge for the time spent sourcing and buying them. Check out Little Miss Know-it-all laying down the law to Ez and I in this picture below ;-) That's the tap we put in the kitchen of House 5 #dorf #vixen.

One of the single biggest ways for costs to blow out is if you change your mind mid-reno causing ‘variations’. Seemingly small changes, like a different tap or bath, will cost you if your plumber has already ‘roughed-in’ for something else. The same applies to wall placements and features like built-in bench seats and picture windows. If your builder has to re-do work or do extra, he will charge you for a variation.

In case you missed our most exciting announcement to date, the Thre Birds Reno School has launched. We are sharing everything we know about renovating! The early bird Reno School price is almost over, do not miss out.