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Can I use a credit card to pay for home improvement services?
Depending on the kinds of changes you’re looking to make to your home, you should be able to use your credit card to pay. Most approved builders and contractors will accept a credit card as a method of payment – although they may prefer payment in cash for smaller jobs.
Different payment for different jobs
If you have plans for a big-build job like an extension or loft conversion, you’re probably planning to hire a building firm to do the work rather than tackle it yourself. They will be able to put together a team to oversee your project. In these cases, you shouldn’t really have any trouble paying for their services on a credit card.
But, for smaller jobs like redecorating, you might be happy to pay by cash or through an online paying service like PayPal. It’s a good idea to agree a payment plan with the contractor when you first hire them – maybe you pay half of the quote beforehand and the other half once the work is completed. Not paying everything upfront could give you peace of mind you won’t fall victim to a rogue trader.
Get protection for big jobs
If you can, paying for a builder’s services using your credit card is a good idea. This is because you can benefit from Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. This offers protection on goods between £100 and £30,000 if you pay for them on your credit card.
If the builder goes bust or disappears before the work is complete, you should be able to reclaim the money from your credit card provider if you can’t from your builder.
Just paying for the deposit on your credit card should give you cover too, as long as the total value of the building work is between £100 and £30,000.
It’s a good idea to make sure the contractor you choose is approved or part of a professional organisation. Don’t be afraid to ask for references from other jobs they have done, as a good recommendation from a former customer may be what sways you to choose one builder over another.
Another tip is to avoid paying for the entire build upfront. You should come to an agreement on a payment plan with your builder to pay them in set amounts at different points during the project.
Be a cautious credit card user
It’s good to use your credit card for the added protection, but remember not to overstretch yourself.
It may be tempting to spend more than you intended to when it’s on plastic, but this isn’t a good idea. You should always set yourself a realistic budget for the home improvements before you think about hiring anyone, as this means you can keep an eye on costs as the project goes on.
Of course, in some cases your build might overrun or run into problems that mean you go over budget, so it’s good to have some savings set aside too.