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Hit a brick wall with your home improvements?

May 24, 2019

Decorating Couple

We look at latest research which reveals the 3 biggest obstacles homeowners face and what you can do to avoid them.

A study by our partners, the consumer advice website HomeOwners Alliance, has highlighted the main obstacles facing consumers when it comes to undertaking building work on their home.

According to their Homeowners Survey 2019, polling more than 2,000 UK adults online, 8 in 10 homeowners reported issues stopping them from renovating.

Finding a reliable builder
The biggest obstacle by far – faced by 42% of homeowners – was finding a reliable builder. Here at you can find tradespeople’s contact information straight away. Enter your postcode and search for the trades person you want and results are free and instant on your screen.

Checkatrade runs strict background checks on tradespeople before they can become members. With 4.4million reviews of their members work to date, finding someone trustworthy shouldn’t be an issue.

For further tips on how to find the best tradesman for the job, check out How to find the best tradesperson for joyour b

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Funding your home improvement
The second biggest barrier experienced by 29% of homeowners was difficulty financing the cost of improvements. When you’ve managed to get quotes from a few tradespeople, how do you know the quotes are reasonable?

First place to start is with the Checkatrade cost guides published throughout 2019. They cover some of the most sought after projects to help you set the right budget for your home improvement. But how do you raise the funds needed?

You can either fund your home improvement project with cash, from savings, by increasing your mortgage to release funds, or by taking out a home improvement loan

Re-mortgage funding will usually offer the cheapest rates, but use this opportunity to shop around for the best deal — switching mortgages can save you money and help reduce the impact of extending the mortgage to finance the home improvement. For more advice on how to fund your home improvement, read the HomeOwners Alliance guide on How can I finance my home improvement project?

Planning Permission Problems
It’s probably no surprise to many of you that the next biggest obstacle to carrying out home improvements was problems with planning permission.

Just last month, The Times reported that tens of thousands of families looking to extend their homes have been let down by councils who are overwhelmed with applications. By law, councils should make a decision on a planning application within eight weeks but official figures show that while some councils meet this target, others are forcing three quarters of applicants to wait longer. On average, 1 in 5 applications is delayed, the newspaper claimed.

Increasingly then it is no wonder that homeowners are turning to planning consultants to help them get it right first time. They can help work out local planning restrictions and preferences so you can tailor your project accordingly. You can find a local planning consultant through the homeowners alliance website, as well as advice on what to do if your planning application is refused.

HomeOwners Alliance is a property advice website with a wealth of free expert advice on every step of the home buying, selling and owning journey. They also campaign to get homeowners a better deal, on everything from cutting VAT on home improvements to the current cladding scandal.

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