The Four Stages of Home Renovation Planning

Do you have big dreams for ways to improve your home?

If you do, you may be exhibiting one of the classic stages of homeowner renovation planning.

That's right, just as in the more famous case of 'denial', there are several clearly defined phases through which most people pass on their way to making home improvements.

Stage one - what if?

Perhaps you'd like to knock down a wall here or there, put a deck and a pool in the backyard, or build an extension to give your family a bit more living - and breathing - space.

Even those of us who wouldn't claim to have a creative bone in our bodies can find our imagination running wild with "what-if" scenarios when presented with such an inviting canvas as our own home.

What if we remodelled the entrance? What if we had an extra bathroom? What if we insulated the floor before next winter?

This is the first stage of homeowner renovation plotting.

Stage two - just think!

Soon the language can change, as one member of the household becomes less of an ideas generator and more of a proactive advocate.

This is when "what if" morphs into "just think"!

Here are some examples:

- Just think how much more room we'd have if we moved the kitchen to the other end of the house!
- Just think of the extra sunlight we'd be able to bask in by opening up the north side of the house!
- Just think how great everyone's lives would be if I could have my own man-cave!

Stage three - but how?

Now that everyone is 'just thinking' about how much better life would be if those great renovation ideas you've been kicking around were to come to fruition, you're ready for the next step.

This is the bit where many of your sentences will start coming appended with the searching philosophical statement - but how can we afford it?

You may have allowed yourself to float away on flights of home improvement fancy, but there is nothing like trying to figure out how to make them a reality to bring you back to earth with a thump!

Dreams really are for free. Unfortunately, building materials aren't and neither is expert labour hire.

Minor changes may require nothing more than a bit of elbow grease and some DIY ingenuity, but if you have your eyes on a bigger project you'll likely need to get the wallet out.

Unless you have a nest egg saved up that you are happy to dip into to get your plans into action, you'll likely need to explore other avenues.

Stage four - phone a friend!

If you make it to this stage, congratulations, because you've realised that accessing your home equity may be the answer to your renovation funding dilemma.

By using the principal you've already paid off in your home loan as security, you may be able to secure a competitive home loan to cover the costs of your renovation project, ensuring you have the funds you need, at the time you need, to see it through to completion.

So how can you know if this is possible to you? Why not ask an expert?

It's a great idea to sit down with your mortgage broker and talk over what you hope to achieve and ways they can help you achieve it.

They'll be able to tell you what your options are and search for competitive home loan products to suit your situation.

Before you know it you could be underway on that project you've been dreaming about for so long!