What do you want to do with idle spaces or outdated features nesting in your home? You may want a more spacious kitchen, an additional bathroom, or a new water fountain in your garden to make it feel more relaxing.
Before anything else, how much are you willing to spend for the things you are planning to do? Do you have enough resources so that everything needed in the renovation can be purchased without hesitation? If you’re on a budget, there are many things you can do to get the improvement you need without fear of busting your budget.
Less Invasive & Less Expensive Approach
You can save on electricity by bringing in natural light. It doesn’t mean you’re smashing through the wall to construct a new window in the hallway. To capture the light, you can install a light tube that you can slip through the roof rafters into the hallway. This light tube is much cheaper than putting in another window.
Look for Recyclable Materials
This is very applicable if your renovation or DIY project; most builders refuse to work using second hand or salvaged materials because they don’t want to be liable for any insurance claims. If you’re doing it yourself, hit the recycle shops around your area and look for the things you need. A little repaint on a door, lighting fixture, outdoor bench, or table can add wonders to your home improvement.
Consider Efficiency by Customizing
You can maximize use of your kitchen without moving the walls. Renovate and change by replacing shelves occupying larges spaces with pull-out drawers. There should be racks than can support serious weight, like groceries or canned goods.
Knock It Down Yourself
Demolition may not be very expensive as reconstruction, but that’s the time when you can save hundreds as long as you do it carefully. It is easy to demolish a wall but the interior is another thing. It is dangerous because you might hit live electric wires around or pressured water pipes. Taking those things into consideration and with utmost care, you can save half of what you would pay for demolition.
Home improvement involves an undeniable fact that every little move adds up to cost; you may not notice that improving your home is already draining your resources. Always focus on saving here and there, because you’re talking about your hard-earned money! Get your dream without getting bankrupt. Plan the design, materials and the job.
Plan Before You DIY
So you have a bought a pad and it’s ripe for renovation and your raring to go! STOP, THINK, PLAN.
Perhaps you are in a new relationship, just married or you have bought your next property to improve and sell on. You want to get stuck in and get the work started, but so many renovators start ripping up carpets, knocking down walls or buying expensive fixture and fittings that they don’t need. Look before you leap! You have to plan your project as in the long term this will save you time, money and effort!
For the purposes of this DIY article we will assume that our example renovation project is a total upgrade job, we are going to rip out the old and start with an empty shell and a flat bare garden.
Now, this may seem a bit nuts but we recommend that you make a list of the fixture and fittings that you will require for the project. Why? If you need say kitchen appliances, indoor tables and chairs, occasional furniture, sofas, mirrors, carpets and rugs, lighting, patio furniture, bathroom appliances and fittings, beds, linen, garden sheds, BBQ, patio slabs or decking, plants and shrubs, fencing etc., order in advance.
It pays to order ahead, not only to take advantage of the discounts available for buying products out of season but also when you need that kitchen appliance, it has or it is just about to arrive.
It is advisable to design you kitchen first, but your kitchen must of course include a sink, a cooker, perhaps a hob, fridge freezer, dish washer, storage units and table/chairs (if you can fit them in). We have scoured the internet for the best deals, this DIY store has great deals for kitchen appliances, if you buy a kitchen from them. Also there are great deals for kitchen furniture from these guys.
Dining and Occasional Furniture
From dining tables and chairs to a hall chair and a console table, oak furniture is all the range. Remember that pine was everywhere, now it’s solid oak! Why? Well the big furniture retailers started shipping oak from the USA and Europe to China to take advantage of cheap labor, then the finished furniture was sent back – this Chinese furniture is at least half the price of oak products that are being made locally. Check out the two largest players here, Oak Furniture Land and Oak Furniture Solutions.
Sofas or Settee
We think with a sofa you should make a statement, it will really help to sell the house if you are a property developer. Even if you are going to live in the house don’t buy a bad quality settee, obviously get a good price but make sure the sofa is properly sprung and the cover material is of high quality – then it will last. Here are 2 of the best that we have located for you, sofa.com and loaf.com.
If you place a mirror in the house carefully you can create amazing lighting effects. Also why not cover a whole wall with a mirror in a small room to give the impression of space – a great optical effect that works! Get cheap mirrors here and for bespoke mirrors click here.
Carpets & Rugs
Go for bland colors with carpets, this becomes your plain canvas which furniture, etc will enhance. The statements are made with other pieces, not the carpet. Rugs of course can make a great statement. Don’t carpet the house in dark colors, the rooms will look smaller and rather depressing, remember dark colors absorb light, and you want to reflect light! Go for medium quality that look and feels luxuriant but is not too expensive., great carpets deals can be found here. For that ‘rug statement’ we we would go to IKEA, great design at great prices!
Obviously we use light to see in the dark – what a revelation! But there is a trick that a lot of developers and home owners miss, lighting can be effectively used to create atmosphere. You can use light to produce ambiance. For example, LED spotlights or down lighters are now very popular. So say you are lighting a bedroom, don’t put six 100w spotlights in the ceiling so people think they are in an airport! Put 2 x 40w lights above the bed space and 1 x 40w light by the door entrance – you now have ambiance.
Make an outdoor statement! We say that it’s best to buy stylish garden furniture that doesn’t need excess care, and we are of the opinion that there a really only 3 types of backyard furniture that you should consider.
Wooden Furniture – now the general consensus is that wood crack in the winter and you have to keep oiling it , to protect it but also to keep the color. What a load of baloney! Cheap wood that has not been dried properly does quickly deteriorate, so you gotta buy decent wood. The best teak does last, it can be jet washed to get the color back, it will last outside, but it’s expensive. For the best, check out these guys at Gloster.
Again it’s all about quality! Cheap flat rattan can be thin, it will crack in the sun pretty quickly and/or lose colour and fade. We would buy round rattan, the thicker the better.
Metal in The Backyard
If it’s metal you want for outside, it’s gotta be aluminium! It’s not going to rust and there is no maintenance. Don’t buy iron furniture, it’s so heavy and of course it will definitely rust. For small sets we would go to John Lewis and for more substantial aluminium sets these guys seem to have the best offers.
Our next article will be advice on the following: baths, showers, toilets, beds, sheds, outdoor cooking, driveways and patios, trees and garden plants.
Good luck with your property project!