If you are planning to renovate your home, follow these tips from Ann Leydon of Upstairs Downstairs, courtesy of St Anthony's & Claddagh Credit Union.
1. Apply for a home renovation loan from St Anthony's Credit Union.
2. Set a budget for building and keep some funds for contingency plans just in case any unexpected problems arise.
3. If you keep your renovation at or below 40 square metres you can avoid having to go through planning and incurring extra costs and delays. Forty square metres is a lot of extra space.
4. Always get at least three quotes and remember, sometimes the cheapest is not always the best, keep in mind the quality of the products.
5. Shop where the contractors shop, sometimes products can be a lot cheaper than DIY chain stores.
6. If a kitchen is part of your renovation, check with the kitchen designers as to when they are selling their display kitchens, you may find a designer kitchen that suits your space without too many changes.
7. If you are going for a flat pack kitchen bear in mind that you will have to pay a fitter to build your units.
8. Mix modestly priced items with one or two expensive items — the cheaper may be undetectable.
9. If you are applying for the Home Renovation Scheme, make sure your builder is registered.
10. Above all stick to your plan, don't chop and change, as changes can increase the cost of your renovation.
Testimonial from Barry, a member of St Anthony's & Claddagh Credit Union: "I was very impressed with the efficiency with which they (the credit union ) processed my application. I had loan approval with in 24 hours and the vision I had for my new home became a reality way sooner than I had ever have anticipated."
To avail of a home improvement/property renovation loan, freephone 1800 285626 or log into www.sacu.ie