How to get affordable materials for a budget home renovation


Here’s how you can create your budget-friendly dream home with affordable materials such as cost-effective overstock and recycled scraps.

Let’s face it: We all have to tighten our belts and live within our means. In order to cope with the rising cost of living, it is necessary to reduce our daily expenses. That means most of us have to make do without certain luxuries in life, which may include home renovations. But what if there is a way to complete your dream home renovation without burning a hole in your budget?

Overstocked tiles, bricks and more


© Getty

When developers and contractors order materials such as tiles, bricks and wood for a particular project, they need to prepare for unforeseen circumstances, including accidental breakage. So it is practical to order slightly more materials than what a project requires. However, at the end of a construction project, there could be a surplus of materials on-site.

At times, building supply manufacturers and distributors will also face a similar situation. Perhaps a building development project has suddenly been cancelled, and these manufacturers and distributors will have to deal with excess stock in their inventory.

Where to buy overstocked materials

Fortunately, there are retailers that specialise in the trading of overstocked materials. They would purchase the materials from manufacturers and other sellers. These quality products, which are still in great condition, will then be made available to customers at a much more affordable price.

Online retailers of overstocked building materials are more common overseas, especially in the United States, where using overstocked building supply is hugely popular. Meanwhile in Malaysia, this affordable option has been growing in popularity for the past few years.

Read more: A guide to home renovation

Malaysians currently have access to local online retailers such as HOMA, which specialises in selling affordable overstocked tiles. Its web portal offers a wide variety of quality tiles with a price range between RM20 and RM299.99. The retailer has been known to offer even more attractive prices during its sales promotions. The products are also neatly categorised according to their manufacturer. Reputable brands such as Corsell, Kimgress, Niro, Feruni and White Horse are also featured on the website.

Another good example would be Subway Tiles Malaysia Overstock, a subway tile retailer. These timelessly exquisite rectangular tiles were inspired by America’s brand-new subway stations in the early 1900s. They provide your home with a pristine and sophisticated look.

© wabeno | 123rf

You can also order overstocked building materials from international online retailers like and The shipping costs will vary according to your location, and you will have a vast range of materials to choose from.

Besides online retailers, you can also engage a contractor who can liaise with the suppliers for their overstocked products. Or you might want to contact the suppliers yourself.  A simple Google search will provide you with a list of Malaysian building supply manufacturers and local distributors affiliated with international brands. Then you can make your enquiries over the phone, as well as via email or text messaging.

Recycled building materials

steel rebar for reinforcement concrete at construction site with

© kwangmoo | 123rf

There are many creative ways to reuse discarded building materials such as bricks, wood and tiles. Most of them can be purchased at an affordable price at your neighbourhood scrap yard. You can also attain them from your family members and friends who have recently completed their home renovations.

Recycled bricks

professional construction worker laying bricks and building barbecue in industrial site. Detail of hand adjusting bricks

© Bogdan Mircea Hoda | 123rf

Reclaimed bricks can be used to bring style and substance to a house. Their unique textures are eye-catching, and with the right application, you would be able to create a gorgeous piece of decor for your home.

With the assistance of a contractor, you can use these bricks to build a pathway in your garden. For a simpler project, you can also enhance your existing garden pathway by lining its border with these bricks.

The bricks can also be used to build a barbeque platform. All you need to purchase is some metal grill grates and fast-drying cement mix. Your contractor can complete this task at an affordable cost.

In the house, you can reuse these bricks to build walls. There are various types of bricks to choose from for your home renovation. These include the Common Burnt Clay bricks, Sand Lime bricks and Fly Ash Clay bricks.

Recycled wood

Wood is also known as timber and lumber in the renovation industry. Regardless of its name, this material has plenty of uses. Just let your imagination run free. You might very well end up with a distinctive piece of recycled masterpiece.

With a few pieces of wood, you can build a raised vegetable bed for your garden, or even put together a trellis, which is a framework of light wooden bars that are used as a support for fruit trees and creeper plants. You may want to hire a carpenter or landscape contractor for projects like this. A professional would have the technical expertise to transform your vision into reality.

Recycled tiles

@ jafar | 123rf

Renowned for its durability and interesting motifs, old tiles can be reused in your refurbishment projects. The patterns featured in a piece of tile can help create a fascinating, new look for your walls, flooring and furniture.

Smaller tile pieces can be cleaned up and reused as table coasters. Imagine your guests’ delight when you serve a few mugs of delicious hot cocoa on beautiful and personalised coasters.

So now that you have the tiles, bricks, wood and other raw materials needed for an affordable home renovation, you can finally create your dream home. For even more ways to reduce expenses, you might want to consider furniture upcycling, which was featured in our previous article: Imran Zainal’s tips on upcycling old furniture into new works of art.

This article was originally published as Upcycled furniture: Affordable ways to enhance your home at

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