Financing Your Home Improvements*

Making home improvements is a fantastic thing. It’s a way to increase the value of your home. To fall in love with it again and to add more of your own style and décor to your house. It can give you a chance to repurpose a room, or even to create a brand-new room. You can make your home bigger, more open, cosier, brighter, darker and generally more functional. We buy homes as a box, then we take our time, over the years that follow to make changes to create the home of our dreams. Very few of us manage to buy a house that’s absolutely perfect for us and our families, without changes, modernisations, improvements, cosmetic work or expansions needed.  

But, even if you did, it wouldn’t last. In the UK the average DIY job costs around £4000. With many of us spending much more than this on things like loft conversions or insulation installations. But, it never lasts. We don’t decorate a room and then stick with it for the next 50 years. Our tastes change, trends come and go, our needs also change, what was once a playroom could one day find more use as a home office. In fact, studies have shown that during the course of our lifetimes, we redecorate 36 times, and spend an average of £36000.

Some of these changes are cheap and easy. A lick of paint and a few new accessories can go a long way to changing the atmosphere of your home, without costing the earth. But, this isn’t always the case. If you want to expand, transform a room or completely redecorate your house, it can be costly. So, let’s take a look at some ways to cut costs, make your money go further, and some ideas of how you could finance the work.

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Plan

A mistake that many of us make is going into the work without a plan. We know that we want to make some changes, but we’re not clear on what they are. Or, we know that we want a new kitchen, but we’ve got no clear plan of how we’re going to cope while the work is carried out. Some people even go into a full renovation, moving out of their home, with no idea how long they are going to be gone, or how much it’s going to cost them to live somewhere else during this time.

Failing to plan can mean that you spend a lot more than you need to, that work runs over, and that you can’t budget adequately, because you just don’t know how much things are going to cost. Sit down and make a detailed plan. Think about the changes that you want to make, meet with a contractor if necessary, and plan and schedule together.

Budget

Then, you can make a budget. Trying to find financing, without having a budget can mean that you borrow too much or too little. You might even struggle to get a loan if you can’t show where the money is going. So, take a look at that plan, and start assigning money. This is when you need to look around for the best deals to help you save.

When making your budget, don’t forget the little things like supplies, nights in hotels, and loss of income if you are taking time off work.

Get it Right

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Another massive mistake that people make when working on their homes is getting things wrong. The hire the wrong people, they try to save money by doing things themselves, and they buy cheap supplies and tools. Then, things go wrong. They are out of their homes for much longer than they need to be, they have to start again, or pay someone to fix their mistakes, they have to replace what they’ve bought, and suddenly a small job can become a much bigger job. You can find yourself spending thousands more than you initially expected to.

So, make sure you get it right in the first place. You can save money and cut costs, but don’t do it at the expense of quality.

Borrow

Unfortunately, most of us don’t have the kind of money that we need to take on big repairs or renovations just lying around in the bank. While some jobs can wait while you save money. Others can’t. Sometimes, work needs doing as soon as possible, and it would be dangerous to wait. In these cases, borrowing money can be your only option. Loans and credit cards should both be considered. If you need a lot of money, a loan can be a better option, as you can usually borrow more at a lower interest rate.

On the other hand, if you only need to borrow a small amount, a credit card can be a better option with more flexibility. If you’ve got bad credit or a lower income, this isn’t always easy, so look at credit cards for bad credit no deposit to give yourself more options.

Save

If the work doesn’t need doing straight away, take your time and save up. Save a little each week in a high-interest savings account. Or, if the work can be done a bit at a time, spread it out as much as you can. Buy a few supplies one week, and more the next. This can be more stressful, as your home won’t look as you want it to for a longer period. It can also work out more expensive in the long run. But, it can mean that you can avoid borrowing and get things done when you can afford it.

Ask for Help

If you are in a tough situation, and your home is unsafe, cold or otherwise unsuitable to live in, your family might be keen to help you out. But, you need to ask. They might not be able to lend you the money, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t help with the work or give you a place to stay while it’s being carried out so that you don’t need to spend money on a hotel.

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