First, the money
Most lenders worry about providing funds for do-it-yourself projects, because they are so unpredictable. If things go wrong, and they often do, there can be a big price to pay. Lenders don’t want to finance that. They’re much happier about financing professional renovations of about $40,000 and upwards, because they know the renovation will run smoothly, be successful and will likely have a positive impact on the value of your property.
The first step is to speak to a financial advisor and a potential lender to discuss your plans and your proposed budget. They can tell you how much you can realistically borrow based upon your personal financial situation and home equity. They can even pre-approve a loan so you can begin planning in earnest.
For some people considering a large renovation, re-financing your mortgage is a sensible option so you can spread repayment over a long period at mortgage interest rates. Most advisors will tell you to set aside a percentage of your renovation funds for the “unforseen” things. You might, for instance, want to do more updates, or you might want to buy furniture and appliances for your new space. If you have a percentage of your funds in reserve, you’ll have the freedom (and the fun) of “extras”.
Once you’ve nailed down the particulars of financing, and you know how much you have to work with, it’s time to talk to your renovator, who will help you to get the best value for your budget.
And THAT’S when the fun begins.