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If you plan to build a new home or renovate an existing home, you need as much helpful information as possible. Consider this list of money and time saving tips for your project.

These tips can help you get the most out of your efforts, and make the whole process easier and less complex. Being a first-time home buyer means you’re experiencing this process without the same insight more experienced home buyers have. You can, however, get advice from professionals and experienced homeowners to guide you through the process.


Main image above: Design by Anouska, interior designer from London on Design for Me. See more here and shortlist them for your home project.

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Here at Design for Me, we’ve helped thousands of homeowners all over the UK to find the best architect or designer for their project.

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Get a Thorough Inspection

Before you begin the renovation or building process, have the land and/or the building inspected first. This type of inspection goes beyond the initial purchase report/survey and helps establish a good foundation to make the right design decisions for your site, and to plan your budget efficiently.

If you plan to build, rather than (or as well as) renovate, you want to ensure you choose a good piece of land without unseen hazards, frequent flooding, or other unfavourable aspects. Problems aren’t always visible at first and warrant a second, more detailed inspection. For example, the risk of occasional flooding in the area you chose may not have been picked up in initial inspections. 


Pick Out Your Finishes First

If you want to save time and headaches down the line, it’s best to pick out your build or renovation finishes early on in the design process. Some finishes to focus your attention on include:

  • flooring
  • countertops
  • cabinets
  • exterior materials.

You can select and then order the finishes so they are ready for use by the builder. Just check with your architect first and make sure your contractor can install them before you place the order. This strategy can make the entire process go faster and smoother. Another point to consider is that you can take the time to shop from several sources to get the best materials for the best prices instead of having the builder order it from their sources or having to buy locally because you’re on a deadline.


Work with a Designer

The renovation process of an entire home, or even part of a home, is an immense undertaking. There are many decisions to make, and it can become overwhelming. When you’re overwhelmed, you’re not placed to make the best decisions and you may regret them later. 

Consider working with a designer to help reduce stress and make the process go smoothly, especially if you’re busy during most parts of construction and installation. A designer also has a trained eye and plenty of experience to help the decision-making process. Ensure they can be on site during any installations and other crucial times to guide the contractors and ensure everything goes according to plan. 


Tackle the Most Pressing or Expensive Tasks First

One of the best ways to approach a build or renovation is to get the major parts done first. That may mean the most expensive or the most important, or both. The best way to gauge this is to figure what must absolutely get done first tackle that and then move down in the order of importance. 

Cost and importance aren’t always the same thing but fall pretty close in order. Once you get the big stuff out of the way, you can take more time to do the other things or put them on hold temporarily if necessary. 



One action to take to reduce problems with decision-making and the budget is doing plenty of researchIf you take time to find out more about the design features you want and how to approach them on a budget, you’re likely to save money and learn more about alternative approaches.

You can also find great, fresh ideas while researching materials and furniture, sometimes for a fraction of the price of other items you had in mind. Be sure to check Home of Cozy for furniture reviews too. Putting in a few hours of research for each idea or proposed finish or feature can save thousands and make the finished product more effective.


Use Repurposed Items

One way to reduce cost and add a unique feel to any space is to use repurposed items. You can find great additions such as cabinets, doors, and mantels in your area for a fraction of the price you spend on new things. You can also expand your range by using an online platform to purchase these salvaged items if you don’t find what you want locally. 


Tackling a Build or Renovation as a First Timer

Although building a first home or renovating it seems daunting, it’s easier to put some thought into the project and use some of these tips. It’s important to set a detailed schedule and budget before getting started and revisit them both regularly.

Even though the project may not go exactly as planned, you can effectively reduce costs and hold-ups with some of these suggestions. You should also consider helpful information and advice from professionals to guide your path.



Need some professional design advice?…

Design for Me is a free platform to help you quickly find the right design professional for your home project. My name is Emily Barnes and as a residential architect myself, I started Design for Me after finding that talented and innovative smaller firms and individuals, who are perfectly placed to design new homes, extensions and renovations, can often get buried under the online profiles of large commercial companies.

Before Design for Me, the right design professional was very difficult to find!

Once you register your project, we’ll match it with 100s of top architects or interior designers in your area and beyond, and you can see who may be available and eager to work on your project straight away.

  • quickly see who’s interested in your job
  • create a shortlist
  • invite up to three for a no-obligation consultation


Emily  Design for Me

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Here at Design for Me we match you with the right design professional, from thousands all over the UK. Get quotes & arrange up to three no obligation consultations. And it’s all completely free! Find out more here or get started below…



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