Creating an ideal home doesn’t come for free. You’re likely to need to pay for builders, decorators, potentially other specialist trades, and that’s before the money you’ll need for furnishings and fittings. We’ve asked the property advice website HomeOwners Alliance how to keep your house in order when paying for home improvements.

Before work starts
• If you’re doing anything that impacts the structure of your home, make sure you or your builder contact your local planning and building control department first. This will involve added costs and delays at a later date.
• Consider prioritising projects that add value to your home. The HomeOwners Alliance recently did some research on the projects which take only 7 days and can add up to £50k to the value of your home. Read more about how to add value to your home.

Find a tradesperson and set a budget
• Set a budget, write in detail what your project will involve and speak to local tradespeople about the job. Get at least three quotes - not estimates - and go through them for things you think might be missing. If you’re not sure about anything or think they have missed something, then mention it up front before works start and the budget is agreed. Read more about how to find a tradesman online here.

How to finance your home improvement
• You can either fund your home improvement project with cash from savings, by increasing your mortgage to release funds or by taking out a loan
• Mortgage funding will usually offer the cheapest rates, but it’s important you use this opportunity to shop around for the best mortgage deal — switching mortgages can save you money and help reduce the impact of a bigger mortgage
• If you have a smaller home improvement project you may decide instead on a secured loan, unsecured personal loan or even a credit card. However, these will generally come at higher rates than mortgages and so it’s important to think through and cost up all the options, particularly for larger projects.

For more help on financing your home improvement project visit hoa.org.uk
To speak to an expert fee-free mortgage broker about the finance options above go to hoa.org.uk/services/mortgage-service-from-london-country

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