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The pros and cons of home renovations

Renovating can be a good alternative to moving and potentially 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.

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
  • a new kitchen or bathroom
  • a garden makeover
  • fitting solar panels

Before getting started, consider the pros and cons of renovating to help you can weigh up whether it’ll be worthwhile.

Pros of renovating

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

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

You may also add value to your property, which can 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 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 playroom, a gym, or even a home cinema.

You'll need to check if you need planning permission or building regulation approval for a garden office, plus garden insurance.

Cons of renovating

It’s easy to underestimate how much time and money you need to renovate. Do as much research as possible and get to know the tradespeople who are doing the work. If you ask for recommendations from friends, family, and neighbours, you can be confident they have a good track record.

Depending on the scale of the renovation, the work might be disruptive while it's taking place, as well as costly. If you decide to borrow money for home improvements, make sure you can afford the repayments for the duration of the loan

Explore: How to manage your loan repayments 

How to pay for home improvements

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, try to save as much as possible. That way, you can reduce the amount you pay in interest.

You can use our home improvement loan calculator to estimate the monthly repayments and how much you can afford to borrow.

Think carefully before securing other debts against your home.

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