Home Renovations- How You Can Save Money

Today is international “National Splurge Day” and to celebrate I am going to share with you a recent splurge I had.

It’s a biggy!

What is National Splurge Day

National Splurge Day is an American thing. I haven’t heard of it before, and I don’t think any other kiwis have either annually on June 18th. It’s a day that is a fun, feel-good holiday. With the idea that you go and do something special for yourself.

Indulge yourself in some luxury or pleasure. Take some time to get out of the rat race and stress of your life to treat yourself. Maybe splurge on a fancy espresso coffee or some chocolates for yourself.

Take the day off to go do some hiking. It is winter though, so take a jacket. Or you could go all the way and splurge and book yourself a holiday.

Whatever you decide to indulgence in, make sure to include some friends and family too. National Splurge Day is about celebrating you and doing something you may not usually take the time or money to do.

My recent splurge

My recent splurge is a pretty big one for me. I decided to do some minor renovations to our home. I say renovations, but in reality, it was never finished in the first place. I could either pay a man quite handsomely or I could give it a go myself.

I Attempted To Plaster

Ok, so this isn’t such a good example of a splurge, rather it has been something I have been wanting to finish for a long time. The roof in our garage had never been finished. The previous owner had finished putting up the plasterboard, or drywall if you are in the USA, and never finished it off.

Since it was only the garage, the finish doesn’t matter that much. A perfect opportunity for me to learn how to plaster. A skill that could come in handy later on.

The Expenses

To do this bit of home renovation I need a few bits and pieces I don’t own.

Plastering Trowel$12.50
Plastering Hawk$28.49
Sanding Pole$21.96
Ladder$189.00
Plastering Tape$8.98
Powdered Plaster$29.50
Total$290.43

Straight away, you might say that it would be worth getting someone in to do the job. $290.43 should easily cover the cost of a tradesman. However, if you look at the list, the only consumable is the plastering tab and powder plaster.

The rest of the items, especially the ladder, will come in use over my lifetime. I seem to have this idea that buying tools is an investment.

Buy decent tools

I would recommend buying decent tools. If you are going to buy tools, buy something decent. I have had previous experience with buying cement trowels and went for the cheapest they offered. Turns out they are made of cheap steel that rusts in a day.

If you buy the slightly more expensive ones, they come in various grades of stainless steel. You don’t need to go to the top of the range, go mid-range.  Then the tool can be used multiple times in your life, covering the extra cost of the initial purchase price. And it’s better for the environment.

Avoid buying single-use, cheap tools.

Watch YouTube

To learn how to plaster I watched a series of YouTube clips. The guy made it look so easy. Just wiping the plaster onto the walls. No mess, nothing on the floor. This was going to be a breeze.

Get set, go

When it comes around to it, I made a few mistakes. Remember, failure is not the opposite of success, its part of it.

The first mistake I made was to mix the plaster powder with cold water. It wouldn’t mix well and left clumps of dry powder. This meant that when I applied it to the gaps it would smear big trenches in the finished surface.

For my second coat of plaster, I got rid of all the clumps, but I may have made it too runny. This turned out to be both a blessing and a curse. The extra runniness made it go on smooth and leave a good finish. But it also means that I made a mess of my floor by accidentally dropping some plaster every now and then.

If I was to ever do more plastering, I would just buy the pre-mixed plaster. Although it is more expensive I think it would eliminate all the hassle with mixing and clean up.

Learning to do it yourself can be valuable, both in terms of the money you will save, and the skill that you will gain.

National Splurge Day

So on national splurge day, I am taking the day off. To go to the hardware store and buy a paint roller and some primer. I will start to sand the plaster so everything is flush. And then start priming for the final coat of paint.

This might not seem like an indulgence or a splurge, but for me it is. I like taking the time to work on a project. The time it takes to prep and more time to do a job right. And once finished, I can stand back and admire the work I have done, for as long as I live in my home.

That to me is worth all the effort in doing something for yourself, never mind the saving that is to be had.

So what are you doing on National Splurge Day?

Oh, by the way, I have tried to use fewer stock photos, so the featured photo is of my actual house.

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