Make a Plan

Homeowners Should Prioritise Upkeep Before Upgrades

renovation garden maintenance home improvement

Winter storm damage can wreak havoc on even the most organised home owner’s monthly budget, forcing you to live with temporary repairs, dip into your savings or borrow more than you can afford to effect repairs.

But simple routine maintenance, such as cutting down rotting or precariously leaning trees, fixing loose roof tiles, cleaning out gutters and installing drainage in areas that flood easily can help prevent common winter woes.

Sometimes there isn’t sufficient storm damage to warrant an insurance claim. Even if the damage is severe enough to make a claim it may take time to process and you will still have to pay the excess.

This is why it’s sensible to take some basic precautions to try and tackle the most obvious problems, even if you do need to spend a little money to avoid having to spend a lot later.

Whether you’re into DIY or prefer to hire a home handyman to help you, it’s a good idea to budget a little each month for routine repairs.

Another tip is that if you are doing some renovations get the builder or handyman to fix any nagging repairs while they’re on site. This will generally be most cost-effective than calling someone in when the rain’s pouring into your lounge.

Besides maintenance and emergency repairs, some financial planning can give you the flexibility to make your home a more comfortable winter haven. You may decide to install an indoor fireplace, build a gamesroom or save on heating costs by insulating the roof.

An indoor fireplace is a relatively inexpensive addition and besides the warmth it provides can add a great deal of atmosphere to a room. But unless you’re a seasoned DIY expert, don’t be tempted to do it yourself or cut corners by getting a friend’s friend to do it on the cheap.

Rushed or badly built renovations can end up costing more in repairs and can detract, rather than add to the value of your house. It’s much better to pay a little more to get the work done by an expert. After all for most people their home is their most valuable asset.

If you’re planning more ambitious alterations such as a warm winter entertainment room, first consider if it will really add value to your house. Is it the sort of feature that a potential buyer would pay a bit more to have?

Before answering consider the demographics of your neighbourhood, the style of housing and the sales price of similar homes in the area. This should give you a good idea as to whether you will be able to recoup the cost of the renovations if you ever plan to sell the property.

A good rule of thumb is not to spend more than 25% of the value of your house on renovations.

If you are planning to do a renovation there’s a useful personal loan calculator which can help you work out what you can afford and what the repayments will be.

Remember although it’s tempting to upgrade your property, it’s always a good idea to do the basic maintenance first.


Pulse is a FREE financial wellness tool that allows you to check and improve your credit rating.

Find Out More
Personal Loan

A Personal Loan is a convenient way to take care of your personal and family needs and goals.

Find Out More
Consolidation Loan

Consolidating can be an effective way to manage your finances and increase your cash flow.

Find Out More

of customers use loans for consolidation


of customers use loans for renovations


of customers use loans for education

Our Sponsorships

Read more about our sponsorship with Cape Town City FC.

Read More
Job Opportunities

Thinking of working for DirectAxis? Why not explore what it means to work at DirectAxis.

Read More
Customer Care

We pride ourselves on delivering the best possible customer service. Get in touch today.

Read More
Social Investment

Find out more about our social investments we're undertaking to deliver positive change.

Read More

DirectAxis is a business unit of FirstRand Bank Limited, an Authorised Financial Services and Registered Credit Provider, NCRCP20. Direct Axis SA (Pty) Ltd, Reg no. 1995/006077/07, an authorised Financial Services Provider, FSP7249 & FSP5. 108 De Waal Road, Diep River 7800.

Legal Documents - Sitemap

Loan repayment terms range from 24 to 72 months. The maximum interest rate with regards to a DirectAxis Personal Loan is 24.50% per annum (compounded monthly). Your rate and initiation fee will be determined according to your personal risk profile.

An illustrative example of a loan at an interest rate of 24.50% per annum would be: Loan amount R50 000 plus a once-off initiation fee of R1 207.50 and a monthly admin fee of R69.00, over 72 months.

The total cost of the loan will be R 103 155.57 which is a maximum Annual Percentage Rate (APR) of 27.76%.