Tin of paint and a roller next to a purple wall

Guide to home improvement loans

Are you keen for extra space for a growing family, or desperate for a different kitchen - but can't afford to up sticks and move house?

Maybe it's time to look at making home improvements and upgrading your current living environment to suit your needs? - whether it's adding an extension, or simply giving the bathroom a makeover and making it more practical.

The benefits of home improvements

Making the changes you want could not only make you happier, but also possibly raise the value of your home when you come to sell.

For example, a good extension or loft conversion that increases the floor-space in your home will tend to increase the value too - but whether this will add more than the cost of the works depends on what the market is like when you come to sell.

Or you may opt for improvements such as central heating or double-glazing as general upgrades on your property. Meanwhile, decorating the home can be done reasonably cheaply but still make it a more appealing home for you, and future buyers.

How to fund improvements

The money to make these changes has to come from somewhere, and few of us have substantial savings to dip into to fund these - and anyway, wiping out what savings you do have may not be the wisest route. You could choose to put off making improvements until you've the money to spare, which is an option and will require a disciplined approach and patience.

However, if you urgently need that extra space or can't wait, there are loan providers that offer unsecured personal loans that can be put towards home improvements. Of course, this comes with interest payments, so make sure you can afford the loan before taking one on.

Make sure you can afford the loan before taking one on

Finding a good tradesman

Once you've decided how you're going to fund the improvements, you'll need to get quotes for the job. So make sure you get at least three to compare and pick the best tradesman for the job.

Ask for quotes rather than estimates, so you're not shocked by the final bill. Also consider the quality of their work, so do some research and check reviews from past customers on sites like www.checkatrade.com.

If available, ask for a list of references and photos of previous jobs if this isn't online, and it's even worth asking previous customers about the quality of their work to make sure a dream makeover doesn't turn into a home disaster.

Best types of loan

A home improvement loan is typically an unsecured personal loan, so it is not secured against an asset you have such as your property, and is generally taken over the short-term - so repaid between one and five years. While some homeowners consider tapping into their property's equity to fund home improvements, taking out a home improvement loan doesn't require a borrower to go down this route.

Moneysupermarket is a credit broker – this means we’ll show you products offered by lenders. We never take a fee from customers for this broking service. Instead we are usually paid a fee by the lenders – though the size of that payment doesn’t affect how we show products to customers.


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