Planning for home improvements

Planning for home improvements
Thinking about a new kitchen or adding an extension to your property in 2019? If so, you can’t start planning soon enough.

It usually takes at least four months for a quality builder to become available according to research by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), and often longer for bigger projects.

“When looking to appoint a builder, alarm bells should ring if they say they can start next week,” says Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB. “Experienced and professional building firms are booked up far in advance and it’s always worth waiting for these firms if you want a stress-free experience and a quality finish.”

How long home improvements take

The FMB says that once the average four-month notice period is factored in, homeowners typically have to wait a total of seven months for an extension to be completed.

A loft extension can take six and a half months to finish, whilst it may take five months in total to complete a new kitchen or bathroom.

Painting the entire interior of a property can also take as long as five months, with the removal of an internal wall to create an open plan kitchen and dining room taking just under five months in total.

Berry said: “To bring this to life, if homeowners want a new extension fully completed in time for Christmas 2019, they should be contacting builders for quotes by May at the very latest. If you want your new kitchen installed by the start of the summer, you should be getting in touch with builders now.”

Funding home improvements

Home improvements don’t come cheap, so it’s important to think carefully how you’ll pay for any work before you appoint builders.

Many people raise funds for home improvements by remortgaging. If you’re considering doing this, you’ll need to weigh up whether it’ll be more cost-effective to raise additional money on top of your existing mortgage, or switch to a different lender.

Both of these options can take time so you should get the ball rolling quickly if you want to complete home improvements in the next few months. In some cases lenders may ask you to provide professional estimates for the work to be done.

If you’re planning to move to a different lender, you must check whether there are any early repayment charges to pay if you switch away from your current deal, as these could add substantially to your overall costs.

If you’re unsure which option is going to suit you best, seek professional advice. A broker can talk you through the best deals and ensure you keep costs to a minimum.

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