7 designer tips on how to save money on construction

Designer Tamara Kiseleva shares life hacks that helped her save her budget when renovating a small apartment of 22 sq. m. The premise had to be decorated in a modern style for renting with the possibility of a quick renovation of the interior. For all repairs with rough and fine finishing and furniture, 13,000$ were spent.

1. Simple planning solution

The basic rule when drawing up a planning solution is to reduce the number of partitions and walls. As a result, there will be fewer doors in the room, fewer surfaces to paint, and less wallpaper rolls, and other costs for finishing materials. In such an apartment, more free space appears. Tamara advises combining the kitchen area with the living room, dining room, or hall.

Lifehack: try to zone such spaces using colors, textures, furniture, lighting, and textiles.  

2. Inexpensive wall decoration

It is generally accepted that when renovating, gluing wallpaper is cheaper than painting walls. And all because it does not require leveling surfaces. But Tamara considers this option more costly during operation. Because sooner or later there will be a need to update some sections of the walls due to stains or mechanical damage. And you have to peel off the wallpaper from all over the room, primer, and glue new ones.

Choose to paint the walls with washable paint in regular colors from the manufacturer’s palette without additional tinting. In case of contamination, it will be enough to wash this area or, at the most, to repaint one wall, without picking up again and without re-gluing any wallpaper. Alternatively, the damaged wall can eventually be accentuated and painted in a contrasting color.

Lifehack: choose a paint with good hiding power, so that the color looks good when painted in two layers. But use the wallpaper as decorative accent walls. 

3. Inexpensive flooring

Tamara recommends purchasing one material as a floor covering for the entire apartment, except for the bathroom and toilet. The larger the volume of one type you purchase, the easier it is to get it at a favorable price and preferential delivery terms.

Lifehack: in a budget renovation, you can use a 33rd class laminate in hallways and kitchens. It is necessary to glue the joints when installing the coating with a special adhesive sealant for the laminate. With small footage of the apartment, you can use wood-like porcelain stoneware as flooring throughout the apartment.

And to make it comfortable, add underfloor heating in the kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom areas. If the porcelain stoneware is laid with a herringbone pattern, then such a coating will very much resemble a parquet. Moreover, it has a number of advantages: low price, long service life, and ease of maintenance. 

4. Only two lighting scenarios

It is worth considering that repairs will be more expensive in the case of a large number of lighting scenarios. All this comes from the increase in wiring work, as well as the number of wires, sockets, and switches. In a budget renovation, Tamara recommends sticking to two lighting scenarios: “working main lighting” and “rest time / romantic dinner”. For the worker, it is enough to install recessed spots and overhead lamps with a powerful light. They are easy to find in construction shops.

For a second lighting scenario, choose one beautiful designer pendant, floor lamp, or sconce purchased at a sale. The suspension will decorate the area with the kitchen island or dining table, the floor lamp will complement the living area with a sofa or armchair, and the sconce at the head of the bed will create additional lighting. All together will create the necessary comfort.

Lifehack: expensive designer lamps can always be replaced with replicas.

5. Saving on tiles

When choosing ceramic tiles for the bathroom, use no more than three types of material. Manufacturers offer ready-made collections for walls and floors, and purchasing a large number of tiles in one place will significantly help save on shipping.

Lifehack: in the bathroom and toilet, you can use the same tiles on the floor and on the accent wall behind the bathtub or toilet. Floor ceramics are usually more durable, which will be an additional plus in use. And to add variety, lay the tiles on these surfaces differently. To save money, the rest of the walls can simply be painted with washable paint or laid out with more budget tiles, the remnants of which can then be used on an apron in the kitchen. 

6. Correct calculation of the required material

Be sure to check the estimates of the construction team for material costs and calculate everything yourself. For example, on all paints, they write the material consumption in liters per sq. m. Therefore, you just need to measure the perimeter of the room, multiply it by the height of the walls and subtract the area of ​​windows and doors. So you will find out the required area for painting the walls and calculate the required number of paint cans. And you can easily figure out how many rolls of wallpaper you need.

Lifehack: always buy clean materials yourself or with a designer. Don’t trust this choice to builders. So you will be sure of the quality and quantity of the purchased material and will be able to negotiate a discount.

7. Standard furniture

At the stage of renovation, already plan the purchase of kitchen cabinets. This will help to take into account all the nuances and not overpay for non-standard furniture dimensions. Remember that finished furniture is always cheaper than custom-made furniture.

Pay attention to exhibits from showrooms, sometimes they can be on sale at good discounts. List the largest and most essential items. And be sure to measure furniture with a tape measure before buying.

Lifehack: many websites have online furniture planners, where you can plan the arrangement of furniture according to the dimensions of your room.

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