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How to Home Improvements

As the weather begins to warm up you may be considering tackling some home improvement projects around the house. Those upgrades can be costly, especially big overhauls like kitchen remodels. One way to help finance your renovation dream is with a HELOC. Continue reading for important home improvement tips and how you can afford them.

Have a Plan

Renovations rarely go exactly to plan, but that doesn’t mean you should just wing it. Last-minute changes are both stressful and expensive, so get the non-negotiable details hammered out first. At minimum, this means knowing the results you want to see, and how much time and money it will take to achieve them.

Add Value When Possible

If you’re not sure where to start with home improvements, it can be helpful to prioritize projects that increase your home’s value. Updated kitchens and bathrooms are usually a safe bet, as are any renovations that increase square footage, like finished basements and decks. But buyer preferences vary from market to market, so be sure to focus on what’s popular and valuable where you live.

Tackle Quick, Time Sensitive Projects First

Some home improvements are more urgent than others. If a project will save you money immediately or prevent devastating damage in the future, bump it to the top of the priority list. Especially for quick, easy fixes, like sealing drafts and replacing filters.

Find Your DIY Threshold

Even if you’re an experienced DIY-er, not all home improvement projects are suitable for amateurs. Before starting a project, gauge yourself: How much work are you willing to put in? Is that effort worth the money you’ll save? Be honest with yourself. If you have no idea what you’re getting into, don’t over commit yourself. Remember, just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

Find the perfect contractor

For those projects that you can’t do yourself find yourself, an experienced contractor will be able to help. Acquiring a handyman or contractor you trust can be harder than it sounds and with high stakes. It’s important to vet potential contractor carefully using these criteria:

  • Word of mouth: Ask friends, family, and neighbors for recommendations, especially if they have industry connections.
  • Check for complaints: Look up your state’s consumer protection office and your local building inspection office.
  • Learn what licenses and permits are required in your area for contractors, electricians, plumbers, and painters.
  • Get proof of insurance: Ask contractors to provide you with their insurance details so you can verify it with the provider.
  • Ask for references, then actually check them out.
  • Meet with every potential candidate so you get a feel for their style.
  • Get quotes and track them with a spreadsheet or other list.

Understand your financing options

Unfortunately, most home improvements do not pay for themselves. If you can’t afford to fully finance the project in cash, you should know the different ways you can finance your home improvement. Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs) can help finance major renovations and repairs.

A HELOC is a home loan that allows you to tap into your home equity and access cash at a relatively low interest rate, that is secured by your home. HELOCs are revolving lines of credit that function similarly to credit cards and allow you to repeatedly take out money up to your total line of credit during your draw period (usually 10 years), which is the period of time when you can make withdrawals from your HELOC.

For a limited time, Credit Union of Denver is offering special interest rates good for 12 months on HELOC applications received through June 30, 2023. To speak to a Credit Union of Denver Loan Specialist, give us a call 303.202.5659 | 800.280.0234 or email us at

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Sources and enhanced by Credit Union of Denver

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