Five Ways to Save Money on Home Improvement Jobs | DIY work
Focus on the small tasks
The material costs for large do-it-yourself jobs such as roof conversions and conversions are increasing rapidly. Prices are constantly changing, but figures from the Office for National Statistics show they are, on average, 26% higher than a year ago. During this period, for example, the cost of bar steel has increased by approximately 58%.
However, you don’t have to expand your attic or replace your kitchen to remodel your home. You can focus on smaller jobs, such as For example, replacing doors, handles and faucets, and painting cabinets and wooden tables for a new look. There are many money-saving bloggers and upcycling influencers like @crack_the_shutters, @joannecondon and Shoestring Cottage that could provide inspiration.
Joanne Condon, Furniture Crush author and upcycling expert, says: “As the new trend of working from home collides with the rising cost of living, we need to consider how we can make better use of our homes without spending on our wealth.
“We also have to think of multifunctional uses when we think of items we already have in our homes. For example, old drawers can be turned into mini herb gardens, plant pots, pet beds and wall shelves. You can turn a closet into a pantry or a bookshelf by putting it on a shelf.”
Buy ex-display or used
If you want to take on big tasks, you can purchase former model kitchens and bathrooms for a fraction of the new price. The Used Kitchen Company has a wide range of former exhibition kitchens and bathrooms. For example, a kitchen listed had a suggested retail price of £21,000 but sold for £7,900.
Here you can also sell your old units and furniture on the site or try eBay and Facebook Marketplace. Browse these sites to find used bathroom fixtures and save on items like new faucets and shower heads.
Lisa Webb, consumer rights expert at consumer organization which?, says: “Buying a used kitchen is an environmentally friendly way to cut costs.
“However, it is important to check all dimensions before buying and make an appointment to see the kitchen for yourself, inside and out.
“Be aware that buying from a private seller gives you less protection than buying from a professional – the goods must be as described but without defects.
“Check the kitchen carefully for any flaws and – if you find a fault and decide to buy – see if the repair is cheap because you don’t want to pay more expecting all major faults to be fixed.”
Plan your projects carefully
Get at least three quotes to compare the cost of professional work and ask for the total price including all fixtures and fittings. Also, confirm the time frame and cost for the entire project in writing so there are no nasty surprises.
Project costs depend on several factors, including where you live, the amount of work, and the size of your home. MyBuilder.com lists guide prices for standard projects like loft conversions and double glazing.
Noble Francis, director of economics at the Construction Products Association, says: “Plan and purchase the materials needed for the job in advance to avoid delays and cost increases. The more materials you or the builder buy from the dealer in one day during the project, the higher the costs.”
If you’re buying multiple pieces of new furniture and fixtures, take the time to shop around and negotiate a package that includes everything you need to install the pieces.
Choose the right funding for your work
How you finance home improvement depends on the cost of the project. If you paint your house, you may be able to fund the cost from savings. Alternatively, some or all of the charges may be charged to a 0% interest credit card for purchases provided you can obtain a large enough credit limit.
For example, Sainsbury’s Bank, M&S Bank and Barclaycard currently offer new applicants up to 24 months of interest-free purchases.
Andrew Hagger of finance website MoneyComms.co.uk explains: “You’ll also benefit from Section 75 protection on any purchases over £100 and under £30,000. So if you have errors or disputes that you can’t resolve, you can ask your credit card provider to step in.”
If you need to borrow up to £25,000, consider unsecured personal loans. Interest rates on the Best Buy loans remain low at 3.1% to 3.5%, provided you have good credit. Unlike mortgages, you pay no setup fees. For example, if you borrowed £20,000 from Tesco Bank over five years at an interest rate of 3.2%, you would have to pay back £360.74 a month. In total you would pay back £21,644.
If you’re borrowing more than £25,000, the cheapest option for many people is probably debt restructuring. When you get to the end of your current home loan agreement, you can refinance your debt to free up some equity and get into a fixed rate agreement before interest rates start to rise again.
Check energy efficiency grants
With energy costs soaring, you may be thinking about insulating your home in the run-up to the winter months. You could do this for free if you are with a major utility, receive certain benefits and have an annual income of £16,190 or less.
Under the Energy Company Obligation program, some people can receive free or heavily subsidized attic and wall insulation if they take advantage of special benefits. A full list of qualifying achievements can be found here. You can check if you qualify using the Simple Energy Advice calculator in England or Wales, or contact Home Energy Scotland.
Once you have verified that you are eligible, you will need to contact your supplier to organize a survey. You either get the insulation installed free of charge or you receive a subsidy to cover some or all of the costs.
The full list of suppliers who have joined the program can be found on Ofgem’s website.