If you don’t have the funds in the bank to cover your project, your first stop will likely be your banker. In a perfect world, that would be the only stop you make.
Since it is not a perfect world, you will want to know there are other options to finance your project. There are many lenders outside the major banks who offer programs for both new construction and improvements. In some instances, their programs offer advantages over what the major banks can offer.
You could search out those lenders and apply to them. That is time consuming and each application shows up on your credit bureau. Multiple inquiries can have a negative impact on your credit score.
The alternative is to seek out a professional mortgage agent attached to a licensed Mortgage brokerage. A brokerage forms relationships with many lenders and becomes familiar with the range of programs each offers. After meeting with you and learning your needs they can then match you up with one or more lenders who can meet your needs.
The costs for this vary. In some cases, the finders fee is paid directly from the lender. Other cases, you would have the cost added to your deal. The brokerage has to provide disclosure.
Don’t give up on your dream project just because your bank says no, explore other options.