Top of main content
The pros and cons of home renovations
Renovating can be a good alternative to moving that could also add value to your home.

There are plenty of reasons to renovate – you may be outgrowing your current living space, for example, or thinking about a garden office if you’re working from home.

Or you might be interested in making your home more energy efficient, which could save you money in the long run.

You may now be able to get vouchers worth up to £5,000 for things like insulation and double glazing as part of the Government’s new Green Homes Grant scheme.

Common renovations

Renovating can be a project involving your entire home or other extensive building work, which might need planning permission, such as:

  • adding an extension
  • converting a loft, basement or garage
  • knocking through a wall to make a bigger room

It could also mean more modest home improvements such as:

  • installing new heating
  • new kitchen or bathroom
  • having a garden makeover
  • fitting solar panels

Before getting started, take a look at the pros and cons of renovating so you can weigh up whether it will be worthwhile.

Pros of renovating

If you need something like another bedroom or an improved kitchen, renovating means you can make the change without having to move.

This is good news if you love your home and the area where you live. It also means you’ll avoid things like Stamp Duty, which you might have to pay if you buy a home, and conveyancing costs.

You may also add value to your property, which may increase the price if you ever sell. While you don’t want to count on this, it can make the cost of the renovation a little bit easier to bear.

Garden offices may also be a good way of adding value to your home. They’ve grown in popularity since the start of the coronavirus pandemic as so many office workers have routinely worked from home.

A garden office can increase your square footage without extending your home. It doesn’t have to be just an office either – it could be used as a children’s playroom, a gym or even a home cinema. You'll need to check if you need planning permission and building regulation approval for a garden office.

Cons of renovating

It’s easy to underestimate how much time and money you’ll need to carry out renovations. Do as much research as possible and spend time getting to know the trades people who are doing the work. If you ask for recommendations from friends, family and neighbours, you can be sure they have a good track record.

Depending on the scale of the renovation, the work might be very disruptive while it's taking place as well as costly.

Green Homes Grant

If you live in England, you may be able to get a voucher worth up to £5,000 to make your home more energy-efficient. The new Government scheme called the Green Homes Grant applies to homeowners and residential landlords. 

It aims to help pay for home improvements such as insulation, double glazing, draught proofing and low carbon heating.

The vouchers cover two-thirds of the cost, up to a maximum of £5,000, but if you’re on certain benefits you may be eligible for a voucher covering 100% of the cost.

You have to redeem the voucher by 31 March 2021 and make sure the improvements are completed by that date.

Find out how to apply >

Paying for a renovation

While renovating your home may be cheaper than buying a new one, it can still be expensive.

If you decide to go ahead with a renovation, you may be able to pay for it by:

If you choose to borrow, it's still a good idea to save as much as possible. That way, you can reduce the amount you have to pay in interest.

You can use our home improvement loan calculator to work out how much you could borrow and what the monthly repayments might be.

 

Think carefully before securing other debts against your home.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.