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Budgeting for home improvements

Created: 29/05/2018

Half a million homeowners exceed their budget when redecorating, according to recent figures by Direct Line Home Insurance

Paint swatches

The statistics showed that 1 in 4 homeowners have faced debt as a result of redecorating in the past five years. The research also revealed ambitious Brits are underestimating the cost of renovations by an estimated £3.4 billion every year, roughly £7,427 more than anticipated per household.

When choosing to redecorate or improve your home, seeking help from your local handyman services is advisable. As well as getting helpful tips and expertise during the process, you can rest assured that the job will be done well, without any hassle. However it’s also important to budget correctly for your home improvements.

According Direct Line’s survey, the most popular room in a property to renovate within 12 months of buying a new home is the kitchen, with a third of respondents stating this is a priority. The living room and bedrooms are the most likely priorities for redecorating, followed by the hallway and dining room.

Preparing for renovations


If you are considering giving your home a little TLC, you’re in good company. The jobs homeowners are most likely to take on themselves are stripping wallpaper, re-tiling and painting. According to Direct Line, one in 20 bold homeowners either has carried out or is planning to carry out a loft conversion, simply to save money.

Dan Simson of Direct Line told The Mirror: “Making your mark on a new property is all part of the exciting journey to make a house your home. Whether it is your first home, you’re upsizing to accommodate a growing family or you’re downsizing once the kids have flown the nest, there is likely to be work you want to do to make it your own.

“Many home renovation shows have given people a false impression of the real cost of remodelling a property, so before you bite off more than you can chew, it’s important to research and price the work accurately, building contingency costs in to the new budget, to ensure your home improvements come in on time and meet your expectations.

“Many homebuyers understandably want to do renovations themselves to save money, but they should be aware that jobs aren’t always as simple as they may seem and some even require specific certification or Buildings Regulations approval, such as rewiring or a loft conversion. Before embarking on a major new project, always ensure you make your insurer aware so they can make sure your home is adequately covered.”

How to budget

Budgeting for home improvements

Be realistic about what you can and can’t do – It can be easy to get carried away when it comes to DIY, but being realistic about what you can and can’t achieve without the help of professionals is crucial to a successful renovation.

Speak to your local handyman ahead of any work taking place - Whether you need help with electrical work, painting, tiling, flooring, plumbing or general maintenance, get a quote from your local handyman services in advance to help you keep track of how much you’re spending.

Create a wish list for the finished space – Think about what you want to get out of renovating your home or a room in your house. Once you have in mind exactly what you’re looking for, it’s much easier to work backwards and see how much it’ll cost. If you don’t have a set idea, that’s when things can spiral out of control.

Make a spreadsheet – Keeping track of your spending is one of the most efficient ways to budget for your renovations. Create a list of the items/jobs you need done, who is helping you, the labour and material costs, when the money is due etc. This way, you’ll always have a document to refer to if additional jobs do need to be completed.

Put some money aside, just in case – It’s not always impulse purchases or snap decisions that result in additional costs when redecorating or renovating your home. Sometimes, additional costs are unavoidable. Keep some money aside just in case.

Before starting any renovation work, let your insurer know that building will be taking place at your property - This will make sure that you are covered, in the event that anything does go wrong. For example, tell your insurer if the builder will have a key to your home, if your home will be left unoccupied, or if there will be scaffolding in place for any period of time.

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