What financial considerations are required with DIY?

For those considering their debt management options, DIY and home improvement projects may not be particularly high up on the list of priorities.

After all, DIY costs money when you take into account materials, tools and all the other added that go with such projects.

However, it shouldn’t be discounted completely and if you do have the capacity to afford it then it’s well worth thinking about because it can actually make you money in the long run.

Everyone will have a different financial picture but improving your home so that it commands a bigger price when it comes to being sold is one of the debt solutions considered by some while taking in a lodger is another.

Just think, with a few small improvements to your spare room, you could have an extra bit of money coming into the coffers each month thanks to a tenant, something which could be used as a financial aid alongside other debt solutions.

Although, if this is something that appeals, it’s vital to ensure you consider the legal implications too.

As a rule, there are some things to consider before carrying out any form of DIY project and these will ensure you don’t overstretch yourself and get the most value for money in the long run.

Do what you can afford

Ultimately, the best piece of advice is to be realistic in terms of what you can afford.

There’s no point trying to put in place a new conservatory or add a completely new level to your house if you can barely afford a tin of paint.

Any project that adds space will generally push up the value of your home but it could also risk putting you in financial turmoil in the short-to-medium term as well.

Colin Greenhill, director of Santander Insurance, told Moneywise late last year that many people overstretch themselves when it comes to DIY.

“We […] know from past experience that there is a tendency among DIY enthusiasts to underestimate the difficulty or length of their home improvement projects,” he said.

Do it safely

Secondly, and this should go without saying, is to make sure you are being safe when it comes to carrying out tasks around the home.

The main benefit of being able to carry out projects yourself is that it saves time and money but that shouldn’t mean you cut corners when it comes to health and safety.

Not only do you risk doing damage to yourself physically, it could also exacerbate any financial problems you may be suffering from.

If you have to take time off work, for instance, and don’t have adequate health insurance then taking the issue of safety in DIY lightly could come back to hurt you down the line.

Get the basics right

What many people often forget is that focusing solely on big projects won’t necessarily see a return on investment when basic issues are still apparent with a property.

Good broadband speed, solid insulation and generally having a home that is well maintained and in good condition are what appeals to potential buyers and these should be the first ports of call for DIYers.

So, if you don’t have the basic elements of what makes a property attractive, then attempting to carry out a major task or project may be largely futile.

Insurance and legal complications

Finally, before you get caught up in what color scheme you are going to have in your new conservatory, remember the paperwork and red tape that you may need to get past.

The government has made attempts to make DIY easier over the past year but there are still insurance issues that you should speak to your provider about, while also considering tax issues.

This could be a problem if you are planning on taking in a lodger as it may transpire that you need to pay a little bit extra in council tax.

Your insurer will also need to be aware if you have taken in a tenant on whatever sort of basis as this will undoubtedly affect your risk and failure to notify them could you leave unprotected and at risk of a financial headache.

Ticking these boxes are essential for DIY projects, with even the smallest of tasks having the potential to ease people’s financial burdens.

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