Tips for planning a home renovation project

July 12, 2018

Planning an extension for that extra bit of space you’ve always dreamed of? Or maybe you want to simply freshen up your home and create something different without moving house? Whatever your reason for renovating, there’s a lot to consider.

Before you start any work, take a look at our top tips that will help you through the process:

  1. Plan your budget

    It’s important to set a budget before you start any renovation project. Make sure the budget is realistic and includes a contingency for any unforeseen costs and fees along the way. Know what you want and create a checklist including prices of everything. You could include a ‘must have’ and a ‘nice to have’ list to help you prioritise and keep within budget.

  2. Decide how you will pay

    You may have some savings to cover the cost of your home renovation work but if not, you will need to consider your finance options. Depending on how much you need to borrow these can include a mortgage top-up or a personal loan. Credit always comes at a cost and you pay interest on what you borrow. It’s important to compare interest rates between the different providers. You can use our popular loan Money Tool to make sure you choose the most suitable option for your needs.

  3. Check if you are eligible for a grant

    There are grants available for home renovation work. It’s important to review the terms and conditions to check if you are eligible as this could be a substantial saving on the overall cost of the work. Grants available include;

Home Renovation Incentive Scheme: you may be able to claim tax relief on repairs, renovations or improvement work under the Home Renovation Incentive Scheme. The works must be completed before 31 December 2018 by a tax-compliant contractor and be subject to 13.5% VAT.

Energy efficiency grant: If you are upgrading your home to make it more energy efficient contact the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). The SEAI provides grants to homeowners who are upgrading their homes to make them more energy efficient. If you are claiming an SEAI grant, your supplier and installers must be SEAI approved.

  1. Get a quote not an estimate

    When getting prices for work always ask for a quote instead of an estimate. An estimate is an educated guess with no legal standing whereas a written quote is binding as long as you don’t make changes to the work. Look for as much detail as possible in the quote with a breakdown of the costs. Make sure the quote includes VAT as this can be a big chunk of the cost that can be overlooked.

  2. Review your home insurance policy

    You may need to notify your home insurance provider before you start any renovation work. They will more than likely need to know if you are staying in your home while the work is being completed or if you will be moving out. They may need to know what type of work is being done and a rough idea of completion date. After your renovation is finished, you may also need to review and update your policy as your house may be worth more. This will need to be taken into account to ensure you have the right level of cover should you ever need to make a claim.

  3. Review your mortgage

    House prices are continuing to rise and your house may now be worth more following the renovation. So now could be a good time to review the mortgage interest rate that you are paying. You may be able to get a lower rate from your existing provider or from another mortgage provider. By switching to a lower interest rate you could save a substantial amount over the lifetime of your mortgage. You can compare your options using our mortgage Money Tool.

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