A husband and wife sweetly smiling outside their beautiful house.

Invest in your home wisely with energy-efficient improvements!

Arrow
Arrow
PlayPause
Slider

When you think of your home as a financial asset, it makes sense to main-tain and improve it, especially with energy-efficient features. Homestart can help put your plans into action with affordable fixed-rate financing.  Take the first step by completing the profile at right; then check out the tabs below for guidance on how to make informed decisions.

Click on an icon below to learn more about a specific improvement.


roof icon
ROOFING

I have a problem with my roof. What should I do?

Most roofing projects are beyond the ability of the average homeowner, so it is important to work with an experienced professional roofer. Contact at least three different licensed professionals and compare estimates. Use our checklist in the ‘Hire a Contractor’ tab above to ensure that you make an informed decision about your roofing problem.

How am I going to pay for this?

You can finance your roof repair or replacement with a competitive, fixed rate home improvement loan from Homestart. Get started now by filling out the profile in the column to the right.

stucco
STUCCO

I have cracks in my stucco. When is it a problem?

A stucco company will help you decide if your stucco needs repaired or restored. Contact at least three different licensed
professionals and compare estimates. Use our checklist in the ‘Hire a Contractor’ tab above to ask the right questions and get the answers you need to make an informed decision about your stucco.

Should I choose synthetic or traditional stucco?

If the cracks can be repaired, you will want to use the same material currently on your home. If you need a full stucco
restoration, consider using synthetic stucco because it is more consistent in texture, color and less susceptible to cracking.

How am I going to pay for this?

You can finance your stucco project with a competitive, fixed-rate home improvement loan from Homestart. Get started now by filling out the profile in the column to the right.

hvac
HEATING/COOLING

I have a problem with my heating/cooling. What should I do?

A heating and cooling company will help you decide if your heating/cooling system needs repaired or replaced. Contact at least three different licensed professionals and compare estimates. Use our checklist to ask the right questions and get the answers you need to make an informed decision about your heating/cooling problem.

What should I look for in a new heating/cooling system?

Look for a more efficient system with lower operating cost. It will more than pay for the higher initial cost.

How am I going to pay for this?

You can finance your heating and cooling project with a competitive, fixed rate home improvement loan from Homestart. Get started now by filling out the profile in the column to the right.

window
WINDOWS

I need new windows. What do I do?

Contact at least three different licensed professionals and compare estimates. Use our checklist to ask the right questions and get the answers you need to make an informed decision about your windows.

What kind of windows should I get?

Dual paned low emissivity (low-e) windows are an affordable option to insulate your home and save energy and money. They have a thin invisible coating that reduces energy loss by 30-50%.

How am I going to pay for this?

You can finance your new windows with a competitive, fixed rate home improvement loan from Homestart. Get started now by filling out the profile in the column to the right.

water-heater
WATER HEATER

My water heater is leaking! What do I do?

If you have a leak, follow these steps to drain your system:

  • Turn off the water supply. Locate the cold water shut off valve above the water heater. Either pull down or twist the handle clockwise until it stops. If you have a large, serious leak and cannot safely reach the water heater shut off valve, turn the water off at the main water valve in front of your house.
  • Turn off the power supply. This is located at the heater or circuit breaker panel.
  • Drain water heater to prevent water damage. Attach a garden hose to the drain faucet at the bottom of the water heater. Bring the other end of the hose to a lower location like a driveway or gravel. Do not drain onto grass or other landscape. Turn on a hot water faucet in the home to allow air to enter the water heater as the water drains. Pull relief valve handle to let air enter system.
  • Call a plumber.

I have a problem with my water heater. What should I do?

Contact at least three different licensed professionals and compare estimates. You can find local plumbers in our directory and use our checklist to ask the right questions and get the answers you need to make an informed decision about your water heater.

How am I going to pay for this?

You can finance a new water heater with a competitive, fixed rate home improvement loan from Homestart. Get started now by filling out the profile in the column to the right.

solar-icon
SOLAR

I’m considering solar. How do I start?

Contact at least three licensed professionals and compare estimates. Use our checklist to ask the right questions and get the answers you need to make an informed decision about going solar.

What are the benefits?

The lower prices of today’s solar systems, paired with the low cost financing available, make going solar a smart investment for many homeowners. Solar is a fixed cost so your savings increases as utility rates rise.

How does it work?

A solar electric system uses roof or ground mounted panels to convert the sun’s light into electricity.

What size system do I need?

Solar system sizes are specific to your energy usage. A 12 month usage history from your utility company will help you determine your average monthly usage. A solar company can help you determine the size that’s right for your household.

What tax credits are available?

Federal tax credits cover 30% of solar system costs.

Is my roof strong enough?

If you are mounting panels on your roof, any roof issues should be addressed before installing solar. Your solar company should inspect or recommend a roofing contractor to test the structural integrity of your roof before installing panels.

What else do I need to consider?

Find out if you have any homeowner association covenants or historical district restrictions related to solar panel placement. Register and protect your solar rights to prevent structures being built next door that will shade your system. More information can be found from Clean Energy NM here.

How am I going to pay for this?

Homestart offers competitive, fixed-rate financing for residential solar in New Mexico. Get started now by filling out the profile in the column to the right.

landscape-icon-2
LANDSCAPING

How can I start conserving water?

Rain barrels are a great way to begin harvesting water. They are easy to install and readily available. You can leave rain barrels out during the winter as long as the spout is open and water can flow through the barrel.

Drip irrigation is a great way to maintain your landscape without wasting water. Water is applied slowly at the base of the plant. Sensors and timers can help you water your landscape when it makes sense.

How am I going to pay for this?

You can finance water saving home improvements with a competitive, fixed rate home improvement loan from Homestart. Get started now by filling out the profile in the column to the right.

Know the right questions to ask a contractor, what to look
for in an estimate, and what a warranty should cover...

What to ask before the site visit:icon roofer 2

  • Are you licensed and insured?
  • Do you offer free onsite estimates?
  • How long have you been in business?
  • Do you do the work yourself or do you employ subcontractors?
  • Do you warranty your work?
  • Do you offer a written contract?

TIP: Be sure to ask for local references from past customers that you can speak with.

What to ask after the site visit:

  • What brands of materials will be used and why?
  • How soon can you start, and when will the project be complete?

TIP: Be sure the cost of labor, materials, and any other expenses are included in a written bid.

What to ask about warranties:

  • What is your warranty on workmanship? Manufacturer’s warranty?
  • Are there any actions or exceptions that could possibly void the warranty?
  • Is it a prorated warranty or does it cover 100% for the full term?

TIP: A contractor’s warranty should cover workmanship, installation and related issues. The manufacturer’s warranty should cover materials and manufacturing defects.

Click here to download a printable version of this guide.

Homestart can help you finance energy-efficient and water-saving home improvements, routine maintenance and emergency repairs. Get started by filling out the ‘My Home Improvement Profile’ in the column at right.

Home improvements that qualify for our financing include:green home 1

  • Roof repair or replacement
  • Stucco with insulation
  • Windows and doors
  • High-efficiency furnaces
  • Energy efficient cooling systems
  • Solar electric and hot water
  • Insulation
  • Water catchment and drip irrigation systems
  • Disability modifications

Homestart typically offers home improvement financing to individuals and families with a household income under $103,050 that reside in any of the following counties: Santa Fe, Los Alamos, San Miguel, Rio Arriba, Taos, Mora, Colfax, Bernalillo, Sandoval, Torrance, and Valencia. If you’re considering a home improvement, contact us to see if you qualify for our competitive, fixed rate financing.

getstarted

My Home Improvement Profile