How to DIY on a budget

5 ideas for minimising decorating costs down

Although the idea of decorating your whole house from top to bottom by grabbing the yellow pages and calling someone in is a good one, we are not all in the position to afford it.

Instead of worrying about the costs and putting DIY projects off around the home, follow these easy cost effective ways to spruce up your home and manage small maintenance jobs without breaking the bank.

Painting Party

A few years ago when we moved into our flat the décor wasn’t great. Actually it was awful! We weren’t in a position to hire a decorator or even afford to buy the paint ourselves.

Instead we came up with a genius plan of throwing a painting party. We invited a load of friends and family around and asked them (if they had any) to bring any paint they might have left over from their own decorating.

We supplied the pizzas, drinks (all bought cheaply from Iceland) and in return they helped us decorate our flat on the cheap. Although you might end up with some mismatch colours, we managed to decorate most of the flat, had fun with friends and didn’t have to spend out a fortune on DIY supplies.


Don’t think you need to buy everything brand new. Although it’d be nice to have new stuff to fill your home, you can pick up some great finds at next to no price. Have a look at Freecycle where people give away all sorts of things for free.

Why not even look at upcycling your own furniture and possessions. Upcycling is when you take something that has perhaps seen better days and turn it into something useful. Some examples could be a suitcase that you upcycle to make a table or an old door into a corner shelf! For even more upcycle ideas check out these amazing ideas over on Pinterest.

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How to guides

Not everyone can be a jack of all trades! But, you could learn a few trades of your own with just a laptop.

Instead of paying for a professional head over to YouTube and find out how to do the jobs yourself. There are loads of guides uploaded by trades people and companies that can teach you in a step by step way. Rather than reading in, seeing someone else do the job and having the option to pause it and rewind it.

You could learn how to re-pressurise your boiler or how to fix a leaky tap; both of which are easy jobs when you know how.

Don’t overdo it

There are some jobs that you can’t do yourself and you really will need to call in the professionals, particularly when you need work done with gas or electrics.

Before getting anyone in, get a few quotes from different providers so you can see who gives the best overall value. Also make sure you get any recommendations from neighbours, friends or family to make sure the person you hire is reputable.

You may also be able to reduce the costs of a professional by doing part of the job yourselves. Carpet fitters for example can charge a small fortune for fitting the underlay and it’s something you could do yourself.


Instead of buying all the kit you need for a DIY job, ask others you know to see if they have some of the tools you need to complete the job. Also consider hiring the equipment which will save you money in the long run.

If you think you’ll need to use the tools lots of time, buying them outright will be a good idea…but not for just one use.

It’s always worth comparing the prices in different shops as you may find the local independent DIY stores can get you a better price than some of the larger industrial estate stores. Shop around and make sure you get yourself a bargain.

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Ricky Willis / @SkintDad

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