Low cost design solutions

Here are some fundamentals to run a low budget face-lift:

  Plan carefully each step of the renovation process, whether it is a small or a large scale project. This way you will be able to keep your costs within the budget limits and still maintain quality.

  Get involved: The most expensive part of any renovation is the labor. The more work you can do yourself the cheaper your renovation will be. Even if you know very little about renovating, you can participate in certain stages of the work, like demolition, hauling materials, installing insulation, painting, sanding and rubbish removal, to name just a few simple tasks that can really make the bill grow. Still, high-end quality is non-negotiable.

  Smart task allocation: Hiring a decorator or an interior designer may not be inexpensive but it is far more expensive to find yourself unsatisfied with the final outcome and invest money again to new decoration. To reduce that cost you can design your accommodation interior by yourself and ask an architect/interior designer to improve it. Or hire an interior designer only for the key works and take care of the easier part of interior design yourself.

  Invest more in lighting, colors, textures, plants than in new furniture or electric appliances to reduce the cost: Install dimmer switches to allow a transition from bright, functional light to a softer more aesthetically appealing look. Add some bright colors to animate spaces and a soothing joyful atmosphere is created at tight cost. Place decorative pillows or curtains. Put plants and greenery in every room or create a layered effect with flooring.

  Enhance outdated items: Have a look at what you do and don’t have before using demolition tactics. What do you have that can be enhanced or updated to achieve your new design vision? Next remember to showcase those pieces’ uniqueness, if relevant!

  Keep your appliances unless they are worn out. Buying new ones is expensive, so try to avoid expenses of that kind if possible.

  Shape a technology strategy installing mobile technologies (e.g. keyless entry), WiFi with wider bandwidth, multiple controls, dimming of all room lights, heating, air conditioning and music systems, etc. to customize clients experience and provide a smart room system, thus meeting the emerging needs of digital travelers.

  Think long- term: For instance, buying pre-finished materials can be costly upfront, but works well if it means you save on an extensive paint or finishing job.

  Avoid extras: Once the budget is set and the work is contracted, don’t add anything. All those little extras (changing the taps, adding a partition, etc.) can increase the original budget by up to 15%.

  If needed, reflect on and redefine your design vision, style or the target markets you wish to attract through redesigning effectively your spaces, so that you can make the most of the available budget in an efficient way and keep it as short as needed. If your property needs a large scale luxury-oriented renovation to address the needs of your affluent customers yet you cannot afford the cost, then you may need to either redefine your target customers (and thus, the customer needs to be addressed) or target tourists who are travelling on the tighter budget.

40 Tips for low-cost renovations

   National and regional funding sources

1. Green refurbishment:
Energy efficient building renovations can be expensive and owners may not have the means to finance them. Financial instruments provided by EU countries and the EU itself can help. The European Union has been supporting the improvement of the energy performance of buildings for many years with a range of financial support programs

National governments also use their own budgets to support energy efficiency in buildings. Many of the existing measures have been reported to the Commission through the National Energy Efficiency Action Plans. These reports show that building-related measures represent a very high share of the reported energy savings (e.g. 58% for Italy, 63% for Ireland, 71% for Slovenia and 77% for Austria). Over three quarters of the reported measures are grants and 'soft' loan schemes, followed by tax incentives. Instruments such as energy performance contracting, the use of assigned amount units under the Kyoto Protocol and energy suppliers' obligations are also used.

Additional related material at project country level should be collected by each partner, to be included into the version of respective national languages.

2. Funding for accessible tourism accommodations

There is no EU office which receives applications and gives direct funding to owners of businesses who want to make their facilities accessible to disabled people. It may be possible that some funding is available for improving accessibility through the EU Regional Funds, which are administered separately by each EU Member State. Each country makes its own program and priorities for spending EU funds at national and regional level.

Contact, for example, the Regional Tourist Board or Regional Department / Prefecture or Municipality to learn how these funds are allocated at regional and local levels. It is possible that they have a support program addressing architectural adaptations and accessibility for small enterprises.

There is also a website where you can get more information about European support for Small and Medium sized Enterprises: http://ec.europa.eu/small-business/index_en.htm. Search for contacts in your own country!

*Source: http://www.nezeh.eu/assets/media/PDF/Information_papers_on_financial_tools32.pdf