The Big A to Z of Home Improvement Ideas and Advice
It is important for all home owners to maintain their properties and carry out home improvement tasks.
This will ensure they have somewhere safe to live as well as protecting one of their most expensive assets.
With this in mind we have put together a guide of home improvement ideas for you to follow.
But before you get started here are a few suggestions you should have in place before you start maintaining your property;
- Set up a maintenance account. From your monthly pay check take out a set amount each month to put towards any emergency repairs like buying a new boiler and to go towards any home improvement jobs you want to carry out. Make sure you continue to keep up these payments to ensure you always have some funds to put towards the next emergency or project.
- Have the right connections. It’s wise to have a trusted builder, plumber, electrician and handy man in your phone book. When you are in need of a plumber to sort out a burst pipe, time is of an essence you won’t want or have the time to be checking out their work and reputation at this late stage. Instead ask friends and family now for recommendations and log these numbers in your phone ready to use in the future.
- Be prepared. Have the right tools in your shed/garage. It’s important to have the basic hand tools and power tools on site to be able to fix the simple jobs that occur around the house.
Projects and Ideas You May Like To Consider;
A – Atmosphere/Ambiance.
This is a great place to start; it’s important to when improving your home to consider the ambiance and the atmosphere of each room you tackle. This means taking into consideration the purpose of the room, the size and who is going to use it.
B – Bi Fold Doors.
Bi-folding doors are a very much sort after and a very worth well feature to add to your property. The doors allow you to bring the outside in and have a seamless connection to the garden. Available in a variety of materials, but the aluminium versions are by far the best you can buy.
C – Carpets
Carpets are still a popular choice when it comes to flooring especially in bedrooms, sitting rooms, halls, stairs & landings. Buying good quality carpets will enhance your room providing a hardwearing, soft and practical covering. When replacing your existing carpets consider the foot fall in that area and buy a carpet style that will best match that room. Twist carpets are stylish and practical, loop pile carpets are classic and durable and patterned carpets are bold, fun and also good at hiding marks!
D – Door Canopy.
Adding a door canopy is a quick and easy project you can do in half a day with the help of another person. GRP canopies are cost effective, maintenance free and suit all property types.
Adds instant curb appeal and doesn’t cost a fortune.
E – Extensions.
Are a larger and more complex home improvement project, and depending on factors such as planning permission, building regulations, budget and space available, these will all factor into what type and size of extension you can add to your property. A good place to start is with an architect who will help you in the process of extending your property.
F – Fascia’s.
Many home owners forget the fascia’s and soffits when it comes to home improvement jobs, but they shouldn’t! Don’t let your property down with tired, broken and ill-fitting roofline products. They are actually there to protect your property from the harsh winter weather to the dry summer months. Update your roofline products with PVCu fittings to give a clean, sharp maintenance free look.
G – Garages.
Not all properties have the luxury of a garage, but for those who do then make the most of this valuable space.
Garage conversions can be a great way to add additional living space to your property especially if you do not have enough land to extend at the side or back of the house.
H – Hallways
The first room of your home can often be forgotten about and used mainly as a walk way to enter other rooms and as a dumping ground for bags, coats and shoes. However the hallway of your home should be more than that, it’s the first glimpse a visitor gets of what style of home you live in, so take time to make the most of this space. Make your entrance a wonderful place to greet your guests, use clever storage, mirrors, create light, use pale and light colours and de-clutter.
I – Insulation.
Insulation is another area that can go unattended, out of sight out of mind springs to mind. But you would be foolish not to check on your homes installation. A major bonus for a well-insulated home is the reduction in your homes energy bills; check your loft insulation today to make sure it meets the government guidelines.
J – Jacuzzi.
A Jacuzzi/hot tub is a better solution than adding a pool, as they are cheaper to run and maintain and also take up less space, therefore making them easier to install. Can be installed in your bathroom to create a spa style bath room or alternatively can be fitted in the garden for a full wellness outdoor experience. Buyers tip; Look out for the Jacuzzi® logo on the product to prove whether the hot tub is a true Jacuzzi® hot tub, there are plenty of imitations on the market so if you are looking for the real deal do your homework!
K – Kitchen Redesign
Today’s potential buyers are looking for expensive and luxury kitchens.
So to keep up with the trend, you need to have a suitable budget to redesign your kitchen and this may also mean, extending out or knocking through to make a larger more open plan kitchen/living space.
L – Loft Conversation
Not suitable for all properties but for those with the space and budget this is an excellent way to add an additional room within your home.
Loft conversations have been around for over 30 years and are still a popular way to add a light and airy room in your home.
Planning permission is not normally required. However, permission is required where you extend or alter the roof space and it exceeds specified limits and conditions.
M – Maintenance
This just about covers everything from fixing little jobs around the house to giving your home a good clean. Don’t be tempted to put off the little jobs, what might start out as a small problem could turn into a big problem if the situation is left to get worse. Cleaning shouldn’t be under estimated either and this goes for the exterior of your property keep your windows, drains, guttering etc. in good order.
N – New Bathroom
A new bathroom has to be high on your agenda if your bathroom is the same colour as an avocado, some things come back around and are on trend again, however the 1970s bathroom is not!
Just like a new kitchen, buy the best you can and fit high quality fittings and units. Whether you have a large or small bathroom you will want to make the most of this space and get the most out of your budget.
Consider how you want to use this room so for example; do you prefer a bath or a shower, is it going to be used at the same time as someone else – would double sinks be an advantage?, is it somewhere you want to relax or is storage more of a propriety? Finding out the answers to questions like this will help you plan and redesign this space.
O – Orangeries
Now available for just about any type of property, and no longer just for the rich and famous. Orangeries are becoming more and more popular with home owners who want to extend their properties. This type of extension tends to need planning permission and is a more expensive option than a conservatory, but the homeowner will see a higher return on his investment and a more solid looking extension.
P – Patios
Laying a patio either directly outside the front/back of your property provides a safe, level and good looking area for either entertaining or displaying containers.Most home owners should be able to carry out this task themselves if they are fairly fit and have a degree of common sense and some DIY skills.
Few tips to remember:
- Always dry lay the patio first to ensure you have checked the measurements
- Create a good solid foundation & check the depths
- Start laying the patio from the corner and work outwards
- Check the levels and fall frequently to make sure you stay on track.
Q – Qualified Trades People.
Always use a qualified tradesman when it comes to renovating or tackling specialised jobs around your house. The safety of you and your family must always come first this is not the time for cutting corners. Use online websites to find local qualified trades people in your area giving you total peace of mind when you hand over the job.
R – Roofing
Not the most exciting or glamorous home improvement task, but never the less a very important one.
Having a sturdy, stable roof over your head is an essential element to feeling safe and secure in your home. If you had a hole in the floor where you could see it daily you would get this repaired straight away the same should go for your roof as well.
Make seasonal checks via the attic and from the exterior of your property for wear and tear and can damage caused by the elements.
S – Skylights
A must for any room that is crying out for a bit more light! New modern skylights are easy to install, cost effective and don’t have the problems older versions used to incur.
T – Tiling
Updating your tiles in your bathrooms and kitchen is a cost effective solution if you are on a budget and can really transform the look of the room. And if money is really tight then cleaning and re-grouting can also freshen up the look of your tiles. Look for mould resistant grout and also leave a window open slightly to allow fresh air into the room which will help reduce the risk of the mould returning.
U – Undercoat
As tempting as it might seem to just add the top coat, you need to take a step back and prepare the area you are going to paint with the under coat. Using a primer allows the top coat to adhere much better than it would without it. A primer can be used on many surfaces including wood, plaster, plastic and metal.
V – Varnish
Varnishing protects either bare wood or painted surfaces and should be applied onto a clean, prepared, dry surface. If you have wooden windows and doors you should pay special attention to these surfaces to protect the wood from rotting. Varnish is clear in colour and therefore it is used to protect the surface you are applying it to not to change its colour.
W – Windows
New double glazed windows will certainly help you reduce energy bills as well as look pleasing. Nothing quite changes the look of property the same way as new windows.
When replacing your windows consider the style of your property and budget before you choose the material and design of the new windows.
If you live in a conservation area then you will need approval before fitting new windows and it is unlikely that you will be able to fit uPVC frames, please check with your local planning council before starting work on your property.
X – Xystus
Any idea what a xystus is? Xystus was the Greek architectural term for the covered portico of the gymnasium, in which the exercises took place during the winter or in rainy weather. So how about building your very own home gymnasium! Home gyms are becoming very popular and if you spread the cost over a year it can be cheaper than gym memberships and of course it’s open all year round and you never have to wait to use the equipment.
Ground floor rooms are the most practical and convenient to convert into a gymnasium, so garages, summer houses, conservatories, never used dining rooms etc. are ideal to convert.
Y – Yale Locks
Security is something that you should take very seriously not only for your house but for your out buildings like summer houses, sheds, workshops and garages. Make sure that all openings such as windows, doors and gates have as much protection as possible. You may find that your insurance company will even reward you, with a lower policy if you have better security in place.
Z – Zoopla
And finally Zoopla – use Zoopla for inspiration there are thousands and thousands of houses at your fingertips to browse and get ideas from. Consider uploading your new found ideas to Pinterest to create a story board for each room in your house/garden.
Now that’s quite a list of ideas and advice and of course unless you have unlimited funds you won’t be able to tackle all of these in one go. Instead inspect your home and assess your budget, then prioritise what needs doing first, before starting on any home improvement projects. Also consider what jobs you are able to carry out yourself and what should be left to the professionals.