Improve Your Home
Improving your home could mean a major project. Or it could mean something as simple and as low cost as decorating a room or buying some plant pots for the patio.
Regardless of what you need to achieve we almost certainly have a loan that will suit you.
Using our broking service means you can explore all your options before you commit. And there’s plenty of information to help you.
Find Your Best Loan Options:
- Numerous alternative loans
- Both unsecured and secured loan options
- Borrow a few £00s to many £000s
- Tailor loan to your needs
- Bad credit ratings catered for
Which Home Improvement Loans to consider
Wherever possible we’d say stick to an unsecured loan to achieve what you want. You don’t risk losing the very thing you are seeking to improve! Unsecured loans are available all the way up to £25,000 and so all but the largest home improvement projects can be catered for.
If you have credit problems then these loans are still available although you may have to be prepared to pay a higher APR% or provide a guarantor.
Large home improvement projects will have to be funded another way. If you haven’t already saved what you need then you could remortgage but a reasonable alternative is a secured loan or so-called homeowner loan. These can be more flexible so they are worth considering.
Home Improvement Projects
The most frequent home improvement projects relate to the redecoration of an existing room. Funding issues tend to arise when the project becomes more challenging – gutting a bathroom or kitchen perhaps, or replacing your home’s windows. These projects are likely to cost £000s especially when you need to involve skilled labour. A personal loan may fit the bill for this type of work.But there are larger scale projects that will require something “stronger” like a secured loan or a remortgage:
- One-storey extension – £600 to £1300 per sq metre (project £7,000 to £35,000+)
- Two-storey extension – £800 to £2000 per sq metre (project £15,000 to £50,000+)
- Conservatory – £6,000 to £35,000+
- Loft Conversion – £750 to £2000 per sq meter (project £20,000 to £50,000+)
- Garden building – £1,000 to £20,000+
(note: these rough guide costs will vary depending on the region you live in and the specification of the work)
You can see that many projects will require higher levels of expenditure perfectly in keeping with what is potentially available via a secured homeowner loan. The average homeowner loan we see applied for is £28,000 and very often the money is for home improvement purposes.
If you’re uncertain which type of credit might suit you or you have a money problem then one of guides may help you. We summarise each type of loan and their pros and cons, and address issues regarding debt and credit ratings.
Got a Question about Home Improvements?
If you own your home then at the very least you should keep it in good condition to sustain its value. Additionally you may find that you can make improvements to your home that increase your property’s value much more than the work will cost.
You’ll have to make time to plan and oragnise the work but as the tax man doesn’t tax you on your principle residence you will pocket all the surplus value later on! If you haven’t got the funds to hand to unlock this hidden value in your property then that’s where a home improvement loan could help. Don’t forget to factor in the cost of the finance when looking at the potentially profitability of a project.
Ask yourself what aspects buyers value most when looking for a new property. This will help you decide whether the project you have in mind is likely to be popular with a potential buyer (even if you don’t sell your property until years later). After all there is no point spending money on things that others won’t attach a value to.
Space is one of the things most prized by buyers – so it isn’t surprising that adding space to your house could be the most lucrative thing to do. Some ideas about how to do this:
- Extensions – but be careful not to “overdevelop” your site. Gauge what value you could add by looking at other properties in your area. Side extensions could be cheaper although they may not add as much space.
- Loft conversions.
- Conservatory – don’t skimp on the quality too much but these can be a relatively cheap way of adding space, as well as bringing the “outside in”. And more often than not they do not need planning permission.
- Internal changes – combining smaller rooms to open up the house can help to increase perceived space.
- Gardens – your “outside room”. Spending money on making these more “usable” could be money well spent. And be cautious about eating into your garden too much when developing an extension.
Other projects to consider would be:
- Kitchens and bathrooms – are they sufficiently up to date? But don’t get carried away and overspend.
- Double glazing, central heating & insulation
- Painting & decorating
The options available to you will depend to some extent on the amount of money you think you need. Personal loans are capped at around £15,000 to £25,000 with the larger amounts only available to people with the best credit histories. If you need a larger sum, want to repay over a term longer than 7-10 years or have a less than perfect credit history then a secured homeowner loan could be an option worth considering as an alternative to a remortgage.
It’s really important that you:
- Define a realistc budget – and only spend on elements that really make a difference
- Stick to your budget – all the more easy if your budget is realistic.
Setting a Budget
From the top down work out the value that your project would add to your property. Verify this by looking at similar work done on other local properties. Consider getting one or more estate agents to value your property “as is” and ask them what value they think would be added by doing the work you’re thinking of. This increase in value is the absolute maximum you could justify spending – it covers your costs but does not let you profit from the work.
Now, draw up a specification for the work you want doing – be as precise as you can be on an item by item basis. Hopefully this will be much less than your top down estimate. If you’re going to involve builders then your bottom up specification is going to form part of the tender document you’ll be issuing to multiple builders. Tendering is another way to keep a pressure on the budget. If you commit to a builder get a contract drawn up and make it fixed price. This sum should include a 10-15% contingency to cover unexpected work.
Sticking to your Budget
Avoid changing the specification. And because you have a detailed specification your builder can’t easily increase their profit by skimping on your work. A fixed price contract with a built-in contingency means the builder should have little need to come back to you for extras. Track expenditure over time relative you what you were expecting.
It is perfectly possible to keep within budget if you’ve followed these rules.
Reliability is important. It is always tempting to go for the cheapest price. But if you’ve done a tender or got competitive quotes then you’ll know if someone is under charging. Be wary of such quotes. It is probably more important to look for a builder, tradesman or supplier who is reliable and has a good reputation. Ask your friends and heighbours who they would recommend. For smaller home improvement tasks you can also consider services as Checkatrade or Rated People.