Got a pension question? Our help is impartial and free to use. Get in touch online or over the phone on 0800 011 3797

How to pay for home improvements

Follow the steps below to make sure you get your house in order when paying for home improvements.

Set a budget and compare tradespeople

Why?

This will help prevent the cost of your renovations from spiralling out of control by avoiding the ‘extras’ you hadn’t planned for.

How?

List all the things you want done – and ask for written quotes rather than estimates.

  • a quotation is an agreed fixed price 
  • an estimate is approximate price that could change.

Make sure you get at least three quotes and compare them in detail and try to find reviews from previous customers.

When you choose a tradesperson, make sure you get a written costed agreement. If they tell you they need to do work after the job has started, ask for a written estimate and another costed work schedule. Do this before agreeing to spend any more.

Decide on the best way to pay for your improvements

Why?

Taking the time to work out the full cost of any borrowing is a good way to make sure you can really afford it.

How?

If you’re able to, try and pay for as much as you can using savings, interest charges can add up quickly. It’s important to keep enough in savings to cover any unexpected costs.

Pros and cons

Pros
  • You won’t have to worry about monthly loan repayments, or the terms and conditions of your finance agreement.

  • Being rejected for a credit card or loan could negatively affect your credit report. Using your savings means there’s no chance of that happening.

Cons
  • You might find your plans are limited by a smaller budget, and you might be tempted to compromise on the quality of your build.

  • You’ll need a substantial amount of money available straight away.

arrow icon

Choose the right type of finance

Why?

If you do need to borrow money for your home improvements it’s important to not take out debt that you can’t afford to pay back. And don’t forget that any application for a loan or credit card may have a negative effect on your credit score.

How?

Here are some tips
arrow icon

Energy efficiency grants

Green Deal: energy saving for your home

The Green Deal helps you make energy-saving improvements to your home and to find the best way to pay for them. There are loans available through this scheme, but you will need to pass eligibility checks to qualify for them and they will need to be repaid. Loans aren’t available in Northern Ireland.

The improvements that could save you the most energy will depend on the type of home you have, but typical examples include: 

  • insulation, such as solid wall, cavity wall or loft insulation 
  • heating 
  • draught-proofing 
  • double glazing 
  • renewable energy generation, such as solar panels or heat pumps.
arrow icon

It’s worth noting if you check your Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) it should give you ways to improve your home efficiently and show how much difference it should make.

arrow icon
arrow icon

What help is available in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?

Scotland

The Warmer Homes Scheme can cover the costs of energy-saving improvements such as draught proofing or loft insulation.

To qualify, you must have owned or privately rented your home for at least a year – and you must be receiving certain benefits.

arrow icon

If you don’t qualify for the Warmer Homes Scheme, you might be able to apply for an interest-free loan instead to pay for the improvements.

arrow icon

Some local councils in Scotland also run their own schemes.

arrow icon

Wales

The Nest scheme offers free advice on ways you can make your home more energy efficient. If you qualify, you can also apply for free boilers or insulation.

arrow icon

Northern Ireland

If your boiler is inefficient and more than 15 years old, you might be able to get a grant of up to £1,000 to replace it. This is if your household income is less than £40,000 a year.

arrow icon

Do you own your home or rent it from a private landlord, and have a total household income of less than £20,000? Then you might be able to get grants of up to £7,500 to make improvements such as insulation, heating and window glazing.

arrow icon

Watch out for Green Homes Grant scams

If you get a phone call, email or text message out of the blue that claims you qualify for the Green Homes Grant, it might be a scam.

Don’t reply – and if it’s a phone call hang up immediately. Take the time to check the individual or company is genuine.

If you’re worried, you can call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or go to the Action Fraud website for advice.

With your permission, they’ll share anonymous details of the scam with the police.

arrow icon
arrow icon
arrow icon
Was this information useful?
Thank you for your feedback.
We’re always trying to improve our website and services, and your feedback helps us understand how we’re doing.
Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free, impartial help for all your money and pension choices. Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

Continue to website
Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free, impartial help for all your money and pension choices. Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

Continue to website
Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free, impartial help for all your money and pension choices. Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

Continue to website
Talk to us live for…
Talk to us live for…
Talk to us live for pensions guidance using
Talk to us live for money guidance using…
Hours
  • Mon – Fri:9.00am – 5.00pm
  • Sat, Sun and bank holidays:Closed

Calls from the UK are free. We’re committed to providing you with a quality service, so calls may be recorded or monitored for training purposes and to help us develop our services.

Talk to us live for money guidance using the telephone
Hours
  • Mon – Fri:8.00am – 6.00pm
  • Sat, Sun and bank holidays:Closed

Calls from the UK are free. We’re committed to providing you with a quality service, so calls may be recorded or monitored for training purposes and to help us develop our services.

Talk to us live for pensions guidance using web chat
Hours
  • Mon – Fri:9.00am – 6.00pm
  • Sat, Sun and bank holidays:Closed
Talk to us live for money guidance using webchat
Hours
  • Mon – Fri:8.00am – 6.00pm
  • Sat:8.00am – 3.00pm
  • Sun and bank holidays:Closed
Talk to us for pensions guidance using our web form

We aim to respond within 5 working days

Talk to us for money guidance using our web form

We aim to respond within 2 working days

Talk to us live for money guidance using WhatsApp

Download app: WhatsApp

For help sorting out your debts or credit questions. For everything else please contact us via Webchat or telephone.