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Try the 1% rule!

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1% saving could mean €100’s or even €1,000’s in saving!

It’s true for most cases but most people aren’t as bothered about saving you your money as you would be yourself. Using the budget guide we gave you a few emails ago you should begin looking at places where you can save small bits here and there. Associate a saving with something from a finishing perspective that you would like, whether it be a picnic area, or play area for the kids of something that would be really great to have saved and all part of the same budget.

Everybody tries to save big in a few places, why not try and save small in a lot of places, you will be far more likely to succeed.

Do the legwork

Sometimes, saving money is as simple as being willing to look for a bargain. When ordering building materials or looking for tradespeople, resist the urge to settle for the first offer that comes your way.

Keep looking until you have a range of prices to choose from even if the variance is just 1%. If you practise this principle throughout the course of your build, you stand to save a substantial amount of money.

Give yourself several bid options

As a rule, you should be wary of bid offers that are suspiciously lower than the average because if it looks too good to be true, it usually is. However, within the context of the 1% principle, it is possible to score a bargain by looking around and comparing several bid options.

A number of builders charge premiums based on nothing more than their size and reputation. It may be possible to get a quote from a smaller builder that is several hundred Euros cheaper, at the same level of workmanship.

Order in advance

In many cases, people are able to get materials at lower prices when they order weeks or months in advance. If you wait until you need the materials or items before ordering, you’ll often find that you will end up paying a sizeable that means that you will essentially spend €60 on absolutely nothing.

If you order 3 weeks in advance on the other hand, you basically have €60 to spend on a small night out. When you apply this 1% principle across ordering materials and booking tradespeople for an entire building project, you could very well end up saving thousands.

A little DIY never hurt anyone

A lot of people find that they can save sizeable amounts of money by simply doing many things themselves, whether it’s putting down a hardwood floor or installing ceramic tiles or even putting in the paint job or wallpaper.

With a bit of practise and determination, most people can do these things by themselves without any noticeable dropoff in quality as compared to having a tradesperson do it. What is more, it’s often great exercise too!

Get hold of every discount you can

Whether it’s buying materials from a friend who gives you a bargain, or using a building contractor who is a relative, or collecting gift cards and discount deals from stores, these things all add up.

To put it in perspective, if the total cost of materials for your house is €50,000 and you manage to knock just 1% off this amount using bargains that means that you have successfully freed up €500 to spend on other things! That’s pretty neat.

If you would like any more info please give us a call or call to our brand new showroom based in Briarhill, Galway.

Building a new home? You need this!

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Often times people begin to build their house using a notepad, at best, as the budget monitoring tool. There are so many different bits and pieces that impact on the budgets and its really easy to loose track of a few smaller things, all which end up adding up to €000’s come the end of the build.

It isn’t the big stuff either, as many discover when they embark on their home building project. Generally, the price advertised as the starting point will not vary dramatically from what you will pay if you select base options for everything. The problem is, that will never happen. It is extremely unlikely that you will be happy to go with the default options for your cabinets, flooring, counter-tops, doors, electrical outlets and attic storage, amongst others.

Nobody really wants to spend €110,000 on a building project only to end up with a house that looks like it came out of a bargain catalogue. Everyone who goes through the trouble of building a house definitely wants to express their tastes and personality in its aesthetics, and if the price of doing so is a few extra Euros, well so what?

The trouble is that builders know this too, and so they make sure to offer only the most basic, often bordering on unattractive design options with the basic price package. If you want a fancy screen door instead of a slab of wood separating two rooms, or you want tiles laid in a pattern instead of a thin brown carpet, you have to pay extra. As the house takes shape, such decisions have to be made several times, and before you know it, you have a few €000 of unplanned expenses burning a hole in your finances.

To help you avoid this, we have developed a detail spread sheet that will help you to become a budget tracking ninja over the next few months of your build. This spread sheet not only helps you keep track of your spending, but also ensures that at every point during your build, you know exactly where your money is going and you can keep your builder accountable.

Click here to download the budget tracker for Free.

Don’t say we never did anything nice for you.

Show them you are the Jones’s!

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We all like to show off a bit every now and again and it’s just a really nice feeling to invite your friends and/or family around to have a nice meal and maybe even a glass of wine or two!

With technology and design pushing its way forward at a faster rate than ever, it’s actually now quiet affordable to be able to have a really elegant, swanky looking “Heart of the home” on a realistic budget…

You don't have to spend an arm and a leg to achieve the look you're looking for. In fact with just an open mind and a few hundred Euros, it is possible to transform your home into the deluxe twin you always wished it was.

You can’t go wrong with paint…or wallpaper

A fresh coat of paint, or a new wallpaper can convert a disused, cold attic into a warm family space, or an old dark living room into a bright space beaming with light. It’s nothing short of amazing the things you can achieve with a few hundred quid in paint or rolls, and when you are done, the neighbours won’t stop coming over.

Cushions and sofas look better with throws and pillows

Regardless of how old or uncomfortable your furniture is, the use of a few brightly colored and strategically placed comfort pillows can completely alter the dynamic and make your sofa look like the most attractive chill space in Ireland. Add a couple of well-designed throws to this strategy, and what you have is a successful attempt at conning the sensory abilities of the neighbours. All for less than €100.

It’s all in the windows…

Like paint, lighting is everything in terms of manipulating people’s senses to see a particular picture that may or may not actually be there. Generally you can’t go wrong with enhanced use of natural lighting, and the windows themselves can be an added source of décor. For an evening dinner, you can go for a heavy ornamental look with the curtains, and for an afternoon hangout you can choose a light, airy set that permits light and ventilation through easily. It really is all about the lighting.

And speaking of lighting…

Your light fittings and colours are themselves an inexpensive but extremely impactful way of enhancing your décor. You could decide to ditch the conventional yellows and whites and try something bold like red light in some parts of the house. Installing dimmer switches is also another way to play around with the intensity of your lighting, which allows you to play with shadows and colours.

Don’t skimp on the decorations and accessories

Counter top crystals. Table-top figurines. Shelf gnomes. The little things really do count for a lot in the end. At their most basic level, these cheap but beautiful (if not functional) trinkets allow you to give the room character. Your guests will always have something to look at and engage, which creates the temporary illusion of being inside an impressive residence.

Add €40K to your home value! Really??

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I mean this is serious. Let me explain.

Let’s say you’re living in a house and it could do with a bit of a refresh, whether it’s a new floor or bathroom suit or carpet etc, you get the picture. Why not consider these 3 things!

We spent time doing research and interviewing a number of estate agents about what tricks we could do to make our house more appealing to buyers (if we decided to sell) or to simply just increase the value of our home. The feedback was very clear, if you want to increase the value of your home, there are 3 things which should be the priority as these are the first things the estate agent will look for…

Clean your house

As obvious as this might sound, this is actually one of the biggest ways of tacking a few thousand onto the value of your home. A visit from an Industrial cleaning service, which generally costs under €1000 can yield an increase in your house price of up to €5000, based purely off the perception of a neat, well-maintained house. A pleasantly maintained bathroom and kitchen in particular can only help your case.

Increase your kerb appeal

Kerb appeal is basically what the buyer or assessor sees upon pulling up to your house that makes them assign a subjective value to it. Don’t forget that inasmuch as real estate likes to portray itself as an exact science, It is actually anything but that. Something as simple as planting a tree in your backyard or having a well-maintained front lawn can add thousands of Euros to the list price of your house, as these can be advertised as features of the house. Every estate agent wants to advertise a house that has a “recent paint job and is surrounded by greenery”. More importantly, that’s what buyers want to see as well.

Upgrade your bathroom

Spend a couple of thousand quid on a new bathroom, and you could potentially be adding up to €10,000 on the value of your house. It’s not hard to see why. The impression that buyers and agents have about a house Is heavily Influenced by the bathroom because that is often taken to be the canary in the coalmine. If the bathroom looks mouldy and poorly maintained, chances are that’s what they’ll think of the entire house. If however, they walk into a gleaming room sparkling with fancy porcelain and smelling of lavender that instantly ratchets up its desirability and price.