While it would take some serious sorcery to complete a home renovation project without spending a penny, it is totally possible to do so on a budget.

Taking advantage of some less conventional methods will help along with patience, depending on the scale of your budget renovation project will dictate how long your plans will take to execute. If you’re just running a lick of paint over your walls, this will obviously be quicker than attempting structural changes.

Let’s take a look at some of techniques you can use to save a bit of money on your journey.


Does the size and scope of your project actually require the assistance of an architect? There’s no question that for certain projects, the answer to this would be yes, however not all projects, especially small-scale extensions and internal remodelling. Will require these services.

So, what are the alternatives? 

  • Draw the plans yourself – If you’re up for the challenge of drawing up your own plans, as long as you include all the information that the planning department would require, this would be totally acceptable.  Do bear in mind though that you’ll need drawings for building reg purposes, and this is also what you would hand to your builders to tender for the job.
  • Hire a draughtsperson – A draughtsperson is someone who specialises in technical drawings. They’d be capable of transforming ideas into precise plans. If you choose this route, make sure that they carry the relevant qualifications and insurances for this type of work.
  • Ask your building contractor – It’s entirely possible that your contractor may have a service that offers them drawing up their clients plans for them. It’s definitely worth asking the question!

It’s definitely worth checking whether plans are needed and if so, considering the alternatives outlined above!

Don’t be swayed by the brand name with suppliers

Everyone can be guilty of having a preference over a product because of the brand name! I’m sure if you looked in your kitchen cupboard there will be certain logos that you’ll only ever buy! But if you’re looking to complete a renovation project within a budget, it makes sense to maybe research some less recognisable options too. 

This is also true when you’re looking for tradespeople or contractors to work on your project with you. Don’t be seduced by the big players just because their operation is larger, this does not necessarily mean they would do a better job than a smaller firm, who with less overheads may work out the more budget friendly option.

Project Manager

There are an exponential number of reasons why hiring a project manager is super beneficial to you and your project, however it also happens to be a good way to cut costs. The role of project manager should not be underestimated though, the decision you’ll be making and the sheer amount of time you’ll need to dedicate to the build is often a lot more consuming than you think. If you feel like you have the skills, time and mindset to have such a pivotal role in your project, it could be a great option. Being project manager also means you’ll have complete control on the expenditure for labour and materials, leaving the decision of what to leave as a DIY job and what to have a professional complete is up to you entirely. 


There are a few options to go for when shopping for materials for your project. Let’s take a look at some now.

This may be quite the obvious tip, shop around! Buying your whole kitchen or maybe even bathroom suite from the same supplier may be the quickest route but it is definitely not the most cost-effective route! There’s no reason why you couldn’t look to purchase your worktops from a different company that is supplying your kitchen units, mix and match until it’s right for you!

Another great way to save some money is to reuse old materials. Things like bricks, roof tiles and slates that are in good condition will both save you money and help blend your new additions in with the existing property, it’s a win-win! 

Look out for dupes. In recent years, the high street has been incredibly good at coming out with more affordable alternatives for some designer products. This is true for a lot of sectors such as fashion, food and drink but is also true for interiors, so it’s never been easier to get that luxury look on a budget. 


100% the most obvious way that you’re going to save money is by doing a portion of the work yourself. How confident you are and your skillset will dictate which of the jobs you feel you can tackle. There’s an abundance of instructional videos online that really will help you understand the process of a lot of jobs. 

There are some jobs that are just better being handled by a professional though, and at times like these ‘giving it a go’ beforehand can cause more damage than good, potentially increasing the cost from what it originally would have been. Be sure to do your research and evaluate what is within your remit and what you think you should hire someone to do.

So, we’ve dipped our toes a little bit into the budget friend alternatives but only you can really make the decision on which, if any, of these tips you take onboard your journey renovating your home. 

If you’d prefer to open your options to include receiving estimates from a full project managed service, Olive & Umber offer a few services that may suit. Our Design & Build offering was created for anyone at the beginning of their journey, without architect plans. One of the biggest benefits of Design & Build is the fact that as we are handling the design portion of your build too, we will always design within budget. This means you’ll never have an overly designed home, way out of budget as we know how heart breaking that feeling of falling in love with a house design you can’t afford is.

If you’d like to discuss your options with us, pop over an email to info@olive-umber.co.uk where one of our team will be in touch.

Olive and Umber Office

Where We Operate: Olive and Umber are building contractors based in Peterborough providing design and build service for home renovation, house extensions, loft conversions, plumbing services and new builds across the UK including LondonOakhamHuntingdonNorthamptonCorbyKetteringCambridgeWisbechEly and more.