By Amanda Coffey | September 20, 2017
We all have that list of things that we would love to do to our house – an extension, a brand new kitchen, or more space in the attic. But before you launch into your home improvements, check our top 5 tips to get that dream finish that you’re looking for without blowing all your money!
- MAKE A PLAN AND STICK TO IT
Have a clear idea of what you want and set your budget before you contact a builder or tradesperson. Pick up a pile of Selfbuild & Improve (Ireland) magazines, collect photos, use photo-sharing apps like Pinterest or Instagram, to show the tradesperson exactly what you want.
- GET A WRITTEN QUOTE, NOT AN ESTIMATE
An estimate is an informed guess as to how much a job will cost but has no legal standing. The cost could rise as the work goes on. A written quote is binding so long as you don’t make changes to the job’s requirements, that should be your final cost.
Get three quotes and don’t just go wit
h the cheapest — personalities, experience, and reputation count for a lot.
Make sure you build in a contingency fund. 15% is a healthy amount to set as your contingency to cover for unforeseen costs.
- SOURCE BEYOND THE HIGHSTREET
Take the time to think outside of highstreet bespoke. Second hand, showroom samples, and salvage years can give you that unique touch, and have the potential to get even greater quality and value.
Shop where contractors do, opt for the local builder’s merchant and trades’ outlets tucked away in industrial estates and if you have a favourite brand, contact their showroom directly about ex sample pieces or end of line items.
- CHECK OUT THE HOME RENOVATION INCENTIVE SCHEME
The HRI scheme continues, but is not suited or necessary to every home improvement so you need to do your homework.
The Scheme is intended to return back some of the 13.5% tax paid up to maximum spend. The works apply to your primary residence only unless you are a qualifying landlord. You can only claim for services such as plastering and painting, if the work is carried out by a contractor eligible for the scheme.
Check out http://www.citizensinformation.ie for more information.
- IF THINGS GO WRONG?
Hopefully you won’t need this one, but if things go wrong, there are a few things you should do. Your first step should be talking to your tradesperson, to explain why you aren’t happy and try to agree a solution. If they aren’t willing to work with you to resolve your issues, then you might have to take legal action. This is where your written quote and contract will become invaluable. So, now it’s time to get that plan in motion. Whatever your home improvement plans, we can help! With loans up to €75,000, and terms up to 10 years (or 20 years for our secured loan!), we can get you started on getting that home you’ve always dreamed of. For more information click here or call into any of our 4 branches.