With the stagnant housing market many home owners have been looking to improve, rather than move. Even if you have lived in your home for many years, there’s always at least one aspect that made you fall in love with it. So, if it doesn’t make sense financially to move house, why not remember what features you loved about your house in the first place and either enhance these or create something fantastic and new?
Whether you are planning a simple makeover in one or two rooms or a major facelift, here are our top tips for renovating your home. Just don’t forget to do your research first, to set a budget and to hire a skip where you can throw any debris and litter for the duration of the renovation. You also need to consider what you can do to improve the quality and saleability of your home if you do decide to pack up and move on in future. Happy decorating!
1. Redevelop the exterior
First impressions of your home can make a massive difference, both to visitors and to the way you feel about it as you walk up the driveway. Repointing the brickwork, repairing broken, clogged up guttering and repainting your front door and windowsills are easy jobs which won’t cost the earth, although you will need to hire some scaffolding to get the job done safely and thoroughly. Tackling structural problems, such as loose roof tiles or dealing with damp, before they get too bad, can also help keep your house in good working order.
2. Build an extension
Adding an extension to your home could provide you with the extra space you need without having to move. An extension could also add extra value to your home depending on the quality and size of it. You need to think about how you want to use your home. If you have a new baby to consider, why not think about adding a double-storey extension to create an extra bedroom? Or if you have a tiny kitchen why not create a downstairs extension to add a dining area? A conservatory is also a good idea if you would like an extra living room or family room. Just don’t forget to consult your local council’s planning department for approval first.
3. Convert the loft
Most loft spaces are cluttered with Christmas decorations, spare suitcases, boxes of books and family heirlooms, trinkets and memories. But the space could also be used for something much more fantastic with a bit of imagination. If the rafters and floorboards are strong enough, and the space is large enough, you could consider transforming the space into an extra bedroom, a children’s play room or an office. A skylight would also allow natural sunshine to flood into the room, creating a lovely place to play or study.
4. Update your kitchen
The kitchen is often considered the heart of every home with youngsters doing their homework on the kitchen table, family breakfasts and dinners as well as dinner parties and celebrations. Revamping your kitchen is also the easiest way to add value to your home. If you are planning a complete overhaul the secret is to choose a style which compliments the rest of your home – wooden cupboard doors and quirky accessories look good in older properties compared to contemporary, more high-tech white goods and furnishings which look good in modern homes.
You can also update your kitchen more cheaply by choosing to replace the cupboard doors, paint the walls, replace cracked tiles, flooring and worktops as well as adding a new kitchen table and soft furnishings such as dinner plates, coffee mugs and kettle and toaster accessories.
5. Revamp your bathroom
No one likes to use an outdated old bathroom with rusty taps and a powerless shower which trickles out lukewarm water! Wouldn’t it be lovely to take a luxurious bath in beautiful, minimal surroundings with fluffy robes and towels and soft lighting? Just like revamping your kitchen, a new bathroom should complement the overall style of your home. It can also be stylish as well as functional.
Unless you are a competent plumber or are an ambitious amateur then you will need to employ a professional to carry out the work for you but fitting a new bath or sink, re-grouting tiles and adding sealant isn’t as difficult as you might think. Fitting an en suite bathroom to an existing large bedroom or adjoining your kitchen will also add some value to your home and free up time and space for a busy household fighting to get their time in front of the bathroom mirror.
6. Make your home more environmentally friendly
Improving the cavity and loft insulation in your home will help make your house more eco-friendly as well as cut your energy bills. You could also consider investing in solar energy or look around the inside of your home for ways of saving energy cheaply. For example, you could swap all your light bulbs for energy saving varieties or set up a compost bin at the end of your garden.
Instead of buying new furniture you could also consider buying salvaged or vintage items and revamping them with a lick of pain or varnish. This will ensure your home is interesting and unique rather than a copy-cat of what’s available in mainstream high street stores.
If you can’t afford a new bathroom or kitchen, then arming yourself with a paintbrush and developing your creative flair is the next best thing. You could revamp your living room with some new wallpaper, although you can cut costs by combining paint and wallpaper and just having one accent wallpapered.
You could also try repainting your walls with a neutral colour and using a stencil to add a touch of character. You don’t even need to have an artistic flair as stencilling couldn’t be easier. You could use a spray paint canister instead of traditional paint and a paintbrush. Or for a less permanent way of jazzing up a children’s room why not use wall stickers instead?
If you love the idea of wallpaper but can’t afford it, then you could always try using a paint effect. For example, you could use masking tape to segment the wall before painting striking strips in your favourite colours. You could also use a sponge or brush to create a unique texture on your walls.
8. Replace old carpets
Old, pattered carpets can really date you home and although replacing them can be expensive, it’s a good investment and an easy way to make your home feel fresh and new. There’s plenty of weaves, colours and patterns to choose form but selecting something neutral and timeless will enable you to change the décor in your home much more easily in future.
9. Introduce clever storage solutions
We’re all guilty of squeezing the Hoover, ironing board and piles of boxes in the spare cupboard, hiding shoes under the bed and overloading the garage with bikes and sports equipment. But by investing in some clever storage you can make your home feel less cluttered and spacious.
If you wardrobe is bursting with your fashionable finds why not purchase a built-in wardrobe with lots of drawers and compartments to store you shoes and handbags? Or you could transform the space under your stairs into a mini book shelf and reading area. Some simple shelves can keep your books and household documents in order and colourful plastic boxes can help inspire your children to clean up their toys once they have finished playing with them.
10. Make your garden glorious
Gardens either make a great or a terrible first impression. If you front lawn is like a scene from the Secret Garden before Mary and Dickon have got their hands on it then you need to think about de-weeding your flower beds, cutting back the bushes and planting some beautiful blooms, shrubs and trees to make your surroundings look more attractive. You don’t need to spend a fortune, you just need to have some good ideas and to maintain it regularly.
It’s also a great way of extending your home and providing an extra space to enjoy family activities. If you love cycling or surfing, why not add a shed to securely store you sports equipment in? Or if you have children you could create a fun-filled play area with swings and a sand pit. Or if you love entertaining, why not add a patio and an awning so you can have barbecues and parties in summer? If you are green-fingered then why not develop a vegetable patch in your garden so you can help stock up your fridge with home-grown goodies as well as making your garden look bountiful?
There are many more things you can do to make your home look as good as new – or just to update its dated decor. For more information, how-to guides or to hire tools and equipment online, please visit our website – hss.com.