Three tips to save money when renovating a home
The next year or so could be difficult for home owners: the UK has just entered a double dip recession, rising inflation still outpaces earnings increases, and household budgets are being tightened and squeezed.
For home owners, low mortgage rates have been the one positive aspect of this financial turmoil but the days of cheap repayments seem to be over: Mervyn King - head of the Bank of England - has just warned that banks may be forced to increase interest rates over the next few months, resulting in increases to ‘tracker’ mortgage repayments that are linked to lending rates. And the amounts have already been rising since the turn of the year.
Despite the financial hardship, maintaining a comfortable living space is a top priority for any home owner, but it’s important to know how to make home improvements inexpensively.
Here are three tips to get a home looking better - cheaply and reliably.
Use online aggregators to find services
Finding the cheapest prices for a holiday or financial service is now synonymous with a visit to one of the many online aggregation sites that return the best prices after searching many sites, like Money Saving Expert and Lastminute.com.
These sites are so well known that they’re becoming culturally ingrained but it’s less known that similar price aggregation services exist for niche services, including home improvement.
All Double Glazing, for example, is a service that can help you find the best prices on replacement windows, conservatories and replacement doors by looking at quotes from suppliers across the UK.
Focus on the small things that will make a difference
Grand housing projects may still be in reach of the fortunate, but for most people this form of renovations is pie-in-the-sky, especially with more pressing financial matters to think about.
That said, some relatively inexpensive changes can make a big difference, such as replacing home or conservatory windows to revitalise the appearance of a home, and everything inside too.
Revisiting the first point, aggregation services can also help to keep these home and conservatory costs down to the lowest level.
Check authenticity and reliability
One of the most financially devastating things that can happen during a home renovation is for the colloquially known cowboy builder or rogue tradesmen to arrive and cause more harm than good through shoddy workmanship; causing unforeseen chaos and expense.
Conveniently, many sites, such as Checkatrade.com have recently appeared to provide more transparency and subjectivity on the work of potential building partners. And it’s always advisable to check the history of anyone you’re going to potentially work with using these sites.
Times are financially difficult and it’s uncertain when more prosperous days will come, but keeping a comfortable home is as important as ever and our three tips should help you make the changes you need to without breaking the budget.