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Ways to pay for DIY this bank holiday

If you're thinking about improving your home during the May bank holiday weekends, there are several ways to borrow to spread the costs. But which one is best for you?

how to pay for DIY and home improvements

Whether you’re rolling up your sleeves and doing a bit of DIY or getting the builders in, taking advantage of the long weekends to spruce the home or garden is a great British tradition.

However, the cost of home improvements can add up and paying for them upfront in one hit can be a bit of challenge. Borrowing could help spread the cost, but with lots of different ways to borrow, make sure you choose the best way for you to pay.

Credit cards

If you’ve got a knack for DIY and don’t need to hire any contractors (who will likely want paying in cash), you could use a credit card to purchase your building materials and carry out the home improvements yourself.

A 0% purchase credit could help spread the cost of your home improvements. You could buy all the materials on the credit card and repay the cost over the course of the 0% period (which can be as long as 27 months), effectively allowing you to borrow for free.

Read our guide on credit cards to find out more.

Alternatively, if you can afford the costs of your home improvements upfront, it could be worth buying everything on a credit card that gives you airline or retail reward points so you can get something back for your spending.

Read our guide on reward cards to find out more.

Money transfer credit card

If you need cash to pay for your building work you could consider using a 0% money transfer credit card.

Money transfer cards allow you transfer credit from your card to your current account, which you can withdraw as cash.

They can also help you spread the cost over a few years, as the 0% period allows you dodge paying interest on your borrowing for up to 40 months.

The only upfront cost is transfer fee which will typically be around 2-4% of the total amount of money transferred.

Read our guide on money transfer credit cards to find out more.

Personal loan

Borrowing with a personal loan will give you cash, which could be more useful if you want to hire building contractors.

You can borrow up to £40,000 and take up to ten years to repay the loan. However, the monthly repayments are set at a fixed amount and you must pay these for the duration of the term.

Read our guide on loans for home improvements to find out more.

Secured loan

If your home improvements are going to be a bit bigger and cost tens of thousands, and you want to borrow a large amount and repay over a longer period you could consider a secured loan.

A secured loan is similar to a personal loan with fixed repayment terms, but the loan is secured against your house rather than offered against your credit score, because of this ‘security’ lenders will offer bigger loans with longer repayment terms.

The downside of this, is in the worst case scenario of  a default your lender has a claim on your home.

Read our guide on secured loans to find out more.


If you want to make a large improvements to your home, costing tens of thousands of pounds you could consider remortgaging to ‘release’ some of the equity in your home as cash.

If the value of your home has significantly risen, or you’ve repaid a big chunk of your mortgage, you could get a larger new mortgage than you need to repay your existing mortgage.

This could potentially give you a large sum of cash. Though be aware this will obviously cost you more over the lifetime of your mortgage. But if you think you

Read our guide on how to use equity in your home for borrowing to find out more.

Want to add value to your home?

If you’d like to be strategic with your DIY read our guide on home improvements that add value to your home to see how much an extensions, loft conversions, kitchen refits and more will cost you and how much value they could add to your home.