If your house has been damaged by snow, rain or wind, your first step should be toward the telephone. Check with your insurance agent to ascertain what portion, if any, of the loss is covered by your homeowner's policy.

But if the loss isn't covered, or if you want to do more extensive remodeling than replacing a loss, there are several ways to finance home improvements.

And don't forget that because the federal government declared parts of the country disaster areas after the destructive winter, your losses not covered by insurance may be declared as income tax deductions.

Some methods of financing home improvements include.

Having the contractor arrange the financing or borrowing from a loan company. This could be expensive.

Asking a bank for a personal loan.

Refinancing your mortgage. This also could be expensive. Most banks and savings and loan associations would require you to take out the new mortgage at the current rate. For example, say you need $5,000 for remodeling. If your current mortgage rate is 7 percent and you have a mortgage balance of $20,000, you would have to take out a new mortgage of $25,000u at 10 percent or more. You also would also have to pay closing costs on the new mortgage.

If your mortgage holder is willing to strike a compromise between the two interest rates-few lenders are so inclined in today's market-you would be required to pay off the new amount in the term of the original morgage. Your monthly payments might be too high for your budget.

Applying for a Federal Housing Administration Title 1 Loan.