Have you got ‘grand designs’ on your home? We’re here to help!

Plan your home improvements now to get the work completed over the summer months. Do you need additional space to accommodate your growing family? Maybe you’d like to update your home with a new modern kitchen with all the latest gadgetry. We don’t all have a huge budget, but even a few small changes can make a difference to your living space. Whether you add an extension, refurbish your existing rooms or simply look at storage solutions to make your space more practical, we’ve got plenty of home improvement ideas for the year ahead.

The best ways to add value to your home?

“How much will an extension cost
me?”

A general rule of thumb is to allow £150 per sq. ft. of development, and remember you aren't just thinking about the extension, but the existing space inside, too.

If you opt for less expensive fixtures and fittings, you could squeeze this down to £100, but equally, if you go for higher quality this could rise to £200 per sq. ft.

Bear in mind that, on top of the build budget, there will be architect, engineer and builders' fees, VAT, building control and planning costs too. Don't forget to allow a contingency fund of 10 per cent for unforeseen circumstances.

Got the skills to look after your
investment? Take our DIY quiz

DIY experts say most people should be able to tackle these five basic home maintenance tasks:

  • Painting
  • Door problems such as squeaking hinges
  • Repairs to leaky taps and valves
  • Caulking
  • Unblocking a toilet

So how do you measure up? Take our fun, quickfire quiz and find out if you’re up to the job...

QUESTION 01

Your toilet isn’t flushing properly. What should you check first?

QUESTION 02

What is a floating shelf?

QUESTION 03

What would be useful for bleeding a radiator?

QUESTION 04

What should you do before drilling into a wall?

QUESTION 05

What should you paint first in a room?

QUESTION 06

How can you stop a door from squeaking?

QUESTION 07

What should you do before replacing an electrical socket?

QUESTION 08

What is a krone tool used for?

QUESTION 09

What do you need to build a supporting wall?

QUESTION 10

What does a plasterer use to carry his plaster?

“How can I fund my home
improvements?”

Home improvement loans

A home improvement loan is an unsecured, personal loan that is used to cover home improvement costs such as decorating, home extension or maintenance. A home improvement loan is considered to be the most suitable type of borrowing for these purchases as it is usually a fixed rate; short-term borrowing that does not put your home at risk.

Second charge mortgage

A second charge mortgage for home improvements is usually taken out for larger amounts of credit, which can then be repaid over a longer repayment term. The loan is secured against your property itself, which can then be repossessed by the lender should repayments not be made.

Re-mortgage

Some decide to fund their home improvements by releasing equity from their home. This is done by switching the mortgage to a higher amount of borrowing, and then using this capital to invest back into the house.

When the right loan for you has been found and accepted, you can then look for tradesmen to help you with the job.