Planning for Your Home Improvement Loan & Project

The best way to complete your home improvement project is to plan ahead. Do your research before you get started, and turn that overwhelming construction project into a well-planned home makeover. Here are some tips to get your loan and project started on the right foot.

  • What types of improvements can I make using a home improvement loan?

    • Remodel a room – turn an empty bedroom into a home office or a basement into a comfortable living space.
    • Update your home's features – make your home more energy efficient with a new roof or windows.
    • Make your home more functional – update and modernize your kitchen or bathrooms.
    • Personalize your home to fit your lifestyle – create an outdoor space for cooking and entertaining.
    • How do I create a budget?

      • Use one of our helpful budget calculators to get started.
      • Consider how much you can put towards your project.
      • Estimate what your project will cost.
      • Determine how much you may need to borrow outside of the costs you are able to cover on your own.
      • Remember, although your home improvement loan may help cover the cost of your project, it's an added expense above and beyond your current monthly mortgage payment. Make sure the new loan payment amounts fits comfortably into your budget.
      • Do it yourself or use a contractor?

        • Do it yourself
          • If you have the experience, you might be able to save a little by doing the job yourself, DIY style. But if you are not skilled with wiring, plumbing, or for those more detailed jobs, you may want to consider hiring a professional.
          • Buy materials that look good, are easy to maintain, and will last a long time. The best materials are not necessarily always the most expensive ones.
        • Use a contractor
          • Choose a contractor with a well-known reputation – honesty and good workmanship are key qualities. The contractor with the lowest price may not always be the best person for the job. 
          • Select a contractor with proven expertise and the necessary licenses and insurance for your project. Consult your local Chamber of Commerce, the Better Business Bureau and other reference sources.
        • How do I know my home improvement project is worth it?

          • For some homeowners, it is important that they recover a percentage of renovation or home improvement costs when they sell their home – a number of factors will determine what you can recover. As a rule of thumb, ensure that your home's basic systems are in working order. Homebuyers are afraid of ongoing maintenance, so to position your home for prime marketability in the future, keep your roof maintained before completely remodeling your kitchen.
          • Other homeowners perform projects for personal value to enjoy their living space. Only you can determine if your home project is worth it.

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          Call 800-241-1749 to get connected with a First Midwest home loan expert, or complete your application online right now.
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