/ Lifestyle

Make your home improvement project a reality

With rising housing prices and hefty fees and taxes, more and more Canadians are turning to home renovations to upgrade their house instead of buying a new home.1

Here are five tips to help you plan and budget for your next home improvement project:

1. Prioritize your home improvement list

If you’re the average person, then there are probably multiple renovations on your list. Here are 3 quick tips to help you prioritize your list, and choose which home improvement project to work on:

  • Consider any structural damages in your house: while fixing your roof isn’t as exciting as a new kitchen, a leaking roof could lead to more expensive problems or damage in the future
  • Make your house more energy efficient: want to get the most out of your investment? Try upgrading to new windows and doors that better insulate your house – you’ll thank yourself later when you get your next utility bill. Plus, it’s an attractive selling feature!
  • Start small: short on money or time? A fresh coat of paint, or a freshly landscaped garden (check out our budget-saving gardening tips) can do wonders while you continue to save for more expensive home improvements

2. Get inspired with a visual inspiration board

Couple planning a home renovation

Creating a visual inspiration board is a fun way to get your creative juices flowing. You can draw inspiration from Pinterest, HGTV or even cut out images from magazines and newspapers. Save any clippings, ideas or drawings in a binder.

Prefer the digital route? Create a home renovation board on Pinterest. Not only will this help you visualize your design, it will also be a great tool to keep you focused and motivated throughout the renovation.

Bonus: Pinterest and other online blogs are filled with DIY décor ideas that can help you save money and come in under budget.

Home improvements can increase the comfort of your house, make it more energy-efficient and boost curb appeal."

 3. Now, it’s time to make your home improvement plan

Just like any decision you make in life, you should always go into a home improvement project with a detailed plan in place. Your renovation plan should include a budget for the project, a list of materials, and a timeline. Not sure where to start?  A professional contractor can help you determine the scope of your project and finalize a plan.

4. Finalize your budget and apply for a home improvement loan (if needed)

Now that you have a plan in place, it’s time to finalize your budget (and keep track of it). A quick internet search can help you find free budgeting templates so you can keep track of your home improvement expenses (or check out our favourite budgeting apps in this article).

Did you put aside enough money to cover the home improvement? If not, you may want to consider applying for a home improvement loan. If that’s the case, why not put your home equity to work? At Fairstone, homeowners can secure their loan to take advantage of our lowest interest rates.

Tip: Don’t forget to budget for unplanned renovation expenses. Try to set aside at least 10% of your renovation budget for unexpected expenses.

5. Time for finishing touches? Consider furniture financing.

Is furniture or appliances a part of your renovation plan? A lot of stores offer promotions when it comes to furniture financing. Most commonly, stores will offer interest-free deferral periods. Financing allows you to keep money in your bank account longer, and can help you budget a large purchase over the course of several months. Another option? You can also use a home renovation loan towards furniture and appliance purchases.

Interested in a home improvement loan (or home renovation loan)?

Fairstone offers home improvement loans up to $35,000 making it an affordable and manageable way to cover renovations, home repairs, the cost of materials and more. Plus, homeowners have access to a broader range of borrowing options since they can secure their loan with the value of their home. Get started with a free online loan quote to find out how much money you could qualify for, and what your payments might be. No-obligation, and no impact to your credit score.


Want to know more about secured personal loans? Check out these resources:

This article is for informational purposes only. For personalized financial advice, you should contact a qualified financial advisor.

In Ontario, Fairstone is licensed as mortgage brokerage 10821.

1 Marr, Garry. "Canadians spending more on fixing homes than buying new ones as renovations top $68 billion." Financial Post. July 14 2015. Web. 31 Mar. 2016.

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