If you are moving to a new area, be sure to do your research

If you are considering moving house or buying / renting a new home then you should ensure that you do your research before deciding exactly where to live. It may be that you are limited as to where you can live as you need to be close to your place of work, children’s school or family.

When property searching it can be very easy to fall in love with a property without really considering where it is and what’s close by. You firstly need to establish if you want to live in the countryside, in a city or somewhere in the middle. Living in the countryside can be great and very relaxing but there are also downsides. You may find it hard to adjust to country live it you have previously lived in a city. Simple things such as the convenience of the shops being on your door step and takeaways galore can take a while to adjust to. Often people have to relocate for jobs in which case you may want to live as close to work as possible.

When doing research think about not only the street that you will be living on but also surrounding streets, especially ones that back on to yours. Have a look at the local schools and their Ofsted reports if you have children or are planning on having them.

Replacing the internal doors in your home

When it comes to home improvements there are a number of different changes you can make that can have a huge impact. Some of the changes may be quite expensive to implement whilst others can be done on a very small budget.

One what to make a big impact is to change your internal doors. If you have plain doors that have no detailing or panelling then replacing then for ones that do can really make a room look more stylised and classier. New doors can cost upwards of £60 each but often you can pick up second hand ones for as little as £10 a door or possibly even for free!

When shopping for replacement internal doors it is important to remember that they are not all the same size. You do need to get accurate measurements and be sure to compare it to the doors that are already in place. If you get doors that are a little bit too big then you can simply plane some off the top or bottom, but if you buy doors that are too small then there is not much you can do and you will need to buy different ones.

Is your garden summer ready?

Finally it seems that summer has come to the UK although it is still quite up and down at the moment, we do seem to be having some nice weather. As we are never quite sure how long the good weather is going to last, it is important to try and get your garden ready in advance so you can make the most of it when the sun does shine. It may be that you want to build a patio are or decking and get some new furniture or maybe you want to create a play area for your children to enjoy.

It is important to think carefully about space when creating your perfect garden layout, especially if you have a relatively small garden. You need to think about where the sun is during the day, as you may want your child’s play area to be set up in the shade but your chairs to be set up in the sun. When it comes to play equipment, you are often limited by the space you have. Trampolines can be a lot of fun, but do take up a large amount of room. If you do not have room for a swing and frame then you may be able to attach a swing to a tree, this will not only save space but also keep the garden looking more natural as lots of people do not like the idea of having lots of bright plastic toys.

What should you do in preparation for selling your home?

Lots of people have been stuck in their homes for the past 12 months and you may of realised that it no longer meets your needs. If you are considering selling your home then there may be certain things that you need to do to it to get it ready to go on to the market. Some changes you do to your home may add more value to it such as installing a second bathroom or building an extension. Other changes you make to your home may not add much or any value but will make it more saleable. If you are looking for a quick sale then you will want to do as much to make it more attractive to buyers as possible without spending too much money. If you are in no rush then you may be able to invest slightly more into the home as long as you are confident you will get a health return on your investment.

You need to make a list of work that should be completed before the home goes on the market and ideally create a timescale for each project. This will give you something to work towards and make sure that all the work gets completed in time for when you want to put it up for sale.

Home improvements on a budget

If you desperately want to do some home improvements but are struggling to find the funds to do so, then below are a few simple ways in which you can make a difference without breaking the bank. Over the last 12months many of us have spent a lot more time in our homes and gardens. This may of made you notice areas of your home that you feel need improving but you may also of been hit financial and be struggling for money. If this is the case then all is not lost. There are many ways in which you can make a big difference to a room in your home without having to take out loans or spend all your savings.

Often decorating is the easiest way to make a big difference. Kitchens are often one of the main rooms in a house that people say they want to change. They get a lot of use and because you are constantly cooking and cleaning in them, they tend to get a bit grubby over time. It may be that you want to change the cupboards and the tiles around the kitchen, but this can be a big job and will often cost thousands of pounds. Lots of people chose to just replace the cupboard doors rather than the carcases too which can cut the price, but even this is still not cheap. Lots of companies now do cupboard paint, allowing you to totally transform your kitchen for less than £20 a tin. This paint comes in a variety of colours and often requires very little preparation. You can change the colour of your kitchen easily with cupboard paint at a tiny fraction of the cost for a new one. You can also change the door handles which again will give the kitchen a whole new look and feel. There are some great makeover images on the internet giving you ideas of how to paint your kitchen to give it the wow factor.

If you feel your living room is looking a bit dated, then a lick of paint can do wonders. Also, simply tasks such as decluttering and replacing tired old ornaments with more modern ones or artificial plants can give the room a new lease of live. If the carpet is worn out then why not hire a carpet cleaner. Not only can this give your carpets a fresh clean look, but it makes the room smell lovely and clean. When decorating you may want to stick to one or two colours and then you can add a splash of colour using furnishings such as cushions, rugs, candles and tie back. If you then decide you want to change the colour scheme, this is easy and cheap to do.

Have you got the decorating bug?

When it comes to decorating, you often find that you don’t do any for a while but then once you start you can’t stop. It is easy to get carried away with decorating and if you’re not careful you can take on too much at once. It is important to finish one job before starting the next. For example, if you are decorating your kitchen then try not to start another room until that one is finished.

If you have not done a lot of decorating before then you may need to pick which jobs you do yourself and which ones you pay someone else to do. If you need new flooring such as carpet or lino, it is often better to pay a professional to do it rather than attempt it yourself as one wrong cut could ruin the entire flooring.

Wall papering is a skill that you can learn quite quickly. Make sure that you are using the correct sort of paper and paste for the job. If your walls are quite rough and you are not going to have them replastered, then you need to use a thick wallpaper or lining paper underneath first.  Some wallpapers require paste the wall paste rather than paste the wallpaper. Be sure to check this before starting as the wrong paste may mean that the paper doesn’t stick.

Giving your children somewhere to play in your home

It can be so easy to get tied up in wanting to have a clean and tidy house that you forget to give your children a play that they can play and make a mess. Once children get to a certain age, they can help to tidy up even when they are very young. It is an important life skill for them to learn so you shouldn’t feel bad about asking them to help.

With many children at home at more than usually at the moment, it is important that they have place that they can play in without worrying about getting into trouble for getting toys out. It may be that you don’t like having a lot of toys out in the living room or that you have a younger child that needs to be kept away from certain toys that may not be safe for their age. A playroom is a great addition to any family home. Often spare rooms or conservatories are the idea place to create a playroom in. You may want to decorate the room or if using a garage, do a proper conversion if the room is likely to stay as a playroom for some time. The beauty of a playroom is that your children have somewhere to play where all the mess can be shut away if you do not have the time to deal with it at that moment. Children often learn a lot through play, so it is vital that they are allowed to do this within the home, and you may not always want them shut away in their bedrooms.

Creating the perfect home office space

With many of us having to work from home again, it may of become increasingly apparent that we need a designated space to work from. Working occasionally on your lap whilst on the sofa is ok, but if you are having to do video calls, sit for long periods or time etc then you should ideally be sat at a table or a desk. Sitting on the sofa for periods of time is not good for your posture and if you are trying to have video calls with your boss or clients, it doesn’t look as professional.

Ideally you want to use a spare room and convert it in to an office but this is not always an option for many people. If you are short on space, then finding a corner of a room in which you can set up a desk is fine. Try and position it away from the TV and any other distractions you may have in the room. Make sure you invest in a good quality chair if you are going to be sat down working most of the day and try to give yourself 10 minutes break every couple of hours to stretch your legs.

Keeping the house clean and tidy during the festive season

During the run up to Christmas, most people have a lot more things in their home. You may have a huge Christmas tree taking up half your living room and tinsel draped all over your photo frames. It can be hard to keep your house as clean as tidy as even simple jobs such as hoovering the carpets is now harder than before.

If you have children, then you will probably find that Christmas day is a bit chaotic and that you end up with boxes everywhere. It is a good idea to give each child a box where they can store their sweets and chocolates and then either a box or a sack to put their presents back in. this mean that they still have easy access to them but that when you can to clean round it is easy to move them.

No one wants to be cleaning on Christmas day so try and make things as easy as possible in the run up. Keep on top of the washing and try and get the house clean before Christmas eve.

If you are having new furniture for Christmas such as a sofa, then try and ensure it arrives well in advance so you have time to get rid of the old one as this could take up a lot of room.

What is Decking Used for in the Garden?

Grass, seating areas, verandas, patios… all are good options for the garden. But what about decking? How can it be used in the garden, is it a viable option for your home, and will it look just as good as a paved patio or a veranda? The short answer is that yes it will; decking has a smart and attractive look about it, making sure that it is aesthetically pleasing and that it is a strong choice for a whole host of homes. It is also good from a functional point of view; there are non slip options available, it is good for children, and it is suitable for pets to use as well. All of this, and it can still be a highly durable option for the home too.