• June 8, 2022
  • Posted by General Electric Credit Union
  • 2 read

To DIY or Not to DIY: How to Decide and Protect Your Budget

You just finished watching an episode of a home improvement show. And now, you feel emboldened to pick up a sledgehammer and knock down a few walls. Pump the breaks! While demo, renovations, and home maintenance may look easy, it’s important to gauge whether you’re the right person for the job. Not taking the time to consider this may result in expensive mistakes that throw your budget off track. 

Deciding between DIY and hiring a professional 

Some projects should be left to the experts. While hiring a professional may be expensive, it’s likely much less than the cost of fixing a failed DIY job. When in doubt, be honest with yourself about whether you’re the appropriate man (or woman!) for a home improvement or maintenance job.  

Another factor to consider is time and how that may impact the overall budget of a project. Some projects become more expensive when their timeline is extended. For example, a kitchen renovation may require you to eat out more due to inaccessible appliances. A week of eating out is much more affordable than three or even four. Consider whether you have the time to commit to a project and how an extended timeline may have unforeseen effects on your budget. 

Borrowing to put home improvements in reach 

If the cost of hiring a professional doesn’t fit perfectly into your budget, borrowing the funds to cover the cost is a great option to consider. Instead of making a big upfront payment from a checking account that severely restricts your budget, you can borrow the funds to make payments more manageable. 

A personal loan gives you access to a lump sum of money. You pay back the loan, including interest, over a predetermined amount of time. A home equity line of credit (HELOC), on the other hand, is a revolving line of credit that gives you the option to borrow up to your credit limit several times instead of receiving a one-time sum. Plus, you’re borrowing against the equity in your home and may have access to more favorable loan rates and terms as a result. 

At General Electric Credit Union (GECU), we help homeowners like you open doors to opportunity every day. Whether you want to complete renovations to prepare your home for the market or to enjoy it for years to come, we have options you’ll love, including:  

  • Personal loans. Enjoy fixed rates, no application or processing fee, and no pre-payment penalty when you take out a GECU personal loan. Track and strategize your loan payoff using Money Management, an online budgeting tool available to Online Banking and mobile app users. 
  • Home equity lines of credit (HELOC). Tap into your home’s equity and invest the funds back into it by completing renovations that increase its value. Use our home equity calculators to determine the amount of equity you hold in your property. 
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