Budget Home Makeovers are Possible: Here’s How!

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If you are planning a property makeover and have a limited or bad credit budget, you may be wondering if the project is possible. It can feel like an uphill battle trying to secure finance and you may encounter a range of financial issues as you get to grips with your dream renovation.

The great news is there are many ways you can keep your makeover budget to a minimum and only borrow money where necessary. In an ideal world, you would not need to borrow money to complete renovation work but there are many scenarios where a makeover is a necessity.

Let’s discover how to design and plan your property makeover on a bad credit budget.

Cost-Cutting Makeover Techniques

Before you undertake a makeover, there are three main questions you should consider:

  • Do you need to renovate?
  • How much money have you got in the bank to fund work yourself?
  • Will you need to borrow money?

Let’s examine these questions a little more, as they can have far-reaching consequences if you rush to answer without giving them proper consideration.

Some renovations are an absolute necessity such as the installation of mobility fixtures in a property or if the home is falling into disrepair. In these instances, you should prioritise a makeover.

Other renovation work is not necessary and is normally undertaken due to preference such as décor, kitchen and bathroom refits, and other cosmetic improvements. If your makeover is along these lines you need to be careful when answering the next two questions as if you have limited funds, or need to borrow extensively with bad credit, it is better to avoid renovations.

Whether you plan on borrowing the full amount needed for your renovation, you should always ensure you have a spare pot of money for unexpected expenses and repaying your loans at times of financial difficulty. You should not undertake a makeover unless it is necessary without some savings to protect you in the worst-case scenario.

Borrowing money for renovations is common, but it is not always the best option. For example, if you have savings to cover the costs, you should use those before borrowing as your savings interest rate will rarely be higher than your borrowing rate.

1. Plan Your Makeover

The next step on your property makeover journey is to plan. Planning is an exciting time for a project as you get your ideas on paper and work out exactly what your goals are.

In planning, you should also be factoring in everything highlighted below. It can be easy to get carried away with renovation plans and it is little wonder most makeovers in the UK come in vastly over budget when completed.

2. Budget Your Makeover

Failing to create an itemised budget for your makeover can have disastrous consequences. First, you may not be able to complete the project and there are homes up and down the country with unfinished makeover projects, some sitting for years awaiting completion.

Second, if you push through to completion, you will run the risk of financial hardship, especially if you deplete the savings discussed earlier and have unbudgeted additional borrowing.

Ensure you budget accurately across all aspects of your makeover, from materials to labour.

3. Dedicate Time to Finding Savings

Once you have your overall budget, you should go through each item and find out where you can save money while maintaining a similar level of quality. For example, many renovation materials have a cheaper alternative and even if they do not, you may be able to source them from a cheaper supplier. The same goes for any labour you might need, there are now entire websites dedicated to finding highly rated affordable workpeople.

4. Do it Yourself – Wherever Possible

Labour costs normally equate to around 50% of your total makeover spend. If there is a single area you can reduce costs significantly, it is by reducing the amount of skilled labour you rely on. For example, you may find there are jobs during your makeover you can do yourself or areas of DIY you have an interest in and want to learn how to do.

Labour costs are a necessity in some cases, especially if you are not confident enough or need skilled labour such as electricians. In other areas, you may find you can complete the work yourself.

5. Types of Finance Available for Renovation

Many people turn to financing for renovations and there are whole financial marketplaces that cater to makeover work.

1. Mortgages and Remortgaging

If you own the property you are renovating, you can always approach your mortgage lender and ask to borrow more. If you have no mortgage, you can always mortgage the property to raise funds.

It is best to use a free mortgage broker to find you the best product as you will save money and receive financial advice along the way. If you have bad credit, there are several specialist lenders who will still provide a mortgage.

2. Second Mortgages and Secured Loans

Second mortgages can also be arranged by a whole of market mortgage broker. Once again, if you have bad credit, there are a handful of lenders who will provide finance to you. Second mortgages and secured loans are typically more expensive than a traditional mortgage product, so you should try to obtain a remortgage in the first instance.

3. Unsecured Finance

For ongoing makeover costs, there are a range of unsecured loans and credit cards you can use to balance your renovation books.

For those with good credit scores, most banks will allow you to borrow up to £25,000 on an unsecured loan. For borrowers with fair or bad credit histories, you may find your ability to borrow large amounts of money is limited. Most bad credit lenders limit the amount you can borrow to reduce their exposure to risk.

6. What About Bad Credit?

Using a mortgage broker allows you to compare the mortgage market and find the best product. Using a bad credit comparison website allows you to do the same with unsecured finance.

By comparing products you will find the best loan terms, the lowest interest rate available, and be pre-approved for any finance you need before submitting an application.

5 Practical Ways to Makeover Your Home on a Budget

  1. Fresh Paint: Consider giving your walls a fresh coat of paint. It’s one of the most budget-friendly ways to transform a room. Opt for neutral colors like white or beige, as they create a versatile backdrop for different decor styles. To succeed with this tip, prep your walls properly by cleaning and patching any holes before painting. Also, invest in quality paint and brushes for a smoother finish.
  2. DIY Furniture Updates: Instead of buying new furniture, try refurbishing your existing pieces. Sand and paint wooden furniture for a modern look. Reupholstering old sofas and chairs with affordable fabric can give them a new life. Success tip: Take your time and research DIY tutorials online for step-by-step guidance.
  3. Swap and Rearrange: Swap out decor items from one room to another. It’s a cost-free way to change the look and feel of your home. Rearrange your furniture to create a fresh layout. To succeed, plan the new arrangement on paper first, considering traffic flow and focal points.
  4. Thrift Store Finds: Explore thrift stores and flea markets for budget-friendly decor pieces. You can find unique items like vintage mirrors, frames, or vases at a fraction of the cost of new ones. Success tip: Have an idea of what you’re looking for and be patient, as thrifting may take some time to find the perfect pieces.
  5. DIY Artwork: Create your own artwork to adorn your walls. You don’t need to be a professional artist; simple abstract paintings, framed fabric, or even framed pages from old books can add character to your home. Success tip: Experiment with different mediums and styles until you find something you love.

Remember, a successful budget makeover is about creativity, patience, and resourcefulness. Don’t rush the process, and enjoy the journey of transforming your home on a budget.

Jen Stanbrook
Jen Stanbrook

Jen is an interiors writer and blogger and has an insatiable love of home style and decor

Find me on: Web

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