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Jamie Gibbs

7 DIY tips to give your home a facelift


Making improvements to your home could give it a second wind and increase its value. Here are our top seven tips.

builder in front of house

If you're thinking of doing making some DIY upgrades to your home, here are some helpful dos and don'ts to consider.

1. Don't go in half-cocked

A handyman's toolbelt

It's good that you've got the get-up-and-go to do some hard graft, but do your homework before you jump in “drill first”.

Sarah Beeny, property expert and founder of online estate agent Tepilo, says that house renovations can be lucrative when done properly and to a budget.

“But hasty decisions on extensions, furnishings, fixtures or fittings, will just result in financial turmoil,” she says.

If you don't know what you're doing, get professional advice beforehand. The last thing you want is to end up in our next collection of DIY fails.

2. Create extra space. If you can't, fake extra space

Transform your home with mirrors

As a general rule, creating extra space is a winner.

Adding an extra bedroom is the kind of thing that would delight a potential buyer, and making proper use of your attic can give you the chance to build the office you've always wanted.

Although adding and expanding rooms tends to generate the biggest return on your investment, it’s also one of the most expensive and difficult renovations to make.

If you can't make new space, create an illusion of space by giving your walls a once-over with light coloured paint and strategically hang a few mirrors.

It wouldn't hurt to have a good de-clutter while you're at it and, with surprisingly little effort, you can fake more space than you actually have.

3. It's all about storage

Storage boxes on a shelf

British houses are among the smallest in western Europe, so finding places to keep your clutter is a must.

Fix shelves above door lintels to take advantage of unused space. Also, add extra rails to fitted wardrobes to keep your clothes organised.

Just search for "storage hacks" on Pinterest and you'll find loads of inspiration for these kinds of projects.

A word of warning: if you try any of these Pinterest hacks yourself, the results may be different to what you expect. 

4. Rip up your carpet

Cute dog laid on a hardwood flood

If you live in an older house, you may have the original floorboards buried beneath your carpet.

If so, remove the carpet, then sand and polish the floorboards for a quick touch of class and elegance.

Throw down a rug or two to keep heat in, especially along entryways - just because your home looks classy doesn't mean you have to have cold feet.

5. Freshen up the bathroom

A modern bathroom

Re-tiling can be a great way of changing the look and feel of your bathroom, though it might be expensive if you've a lot of space to cover.

A quick way to freshen things up is to scrub the grout between the tiles. You'll be surprised at how much of a difference it makes.

You can make your own grout cleaner with one part bleach and three parts bicarbonate of soda. Scrub the mixture into the grout with a toothbrush and you've got a shiny new set of tiles.

6. Little improvements can have great rewards

Family Kitchen

If you're constrained by time or money, you don't need to go all out to spruce up your home. Here are some small renovations you can make:

  • Instead of completely renovating your kitchen, you can change or repaint the cupboard doors.

  • Give your side tables and old units a new look using decoupage.

  • Never underestimate the power of throw pillows and rugs - they can completely change the look of furniture.

7. Dodge the gaudy additions

Deer heads on wall

Sometimes, less is more.

Turning unused space into an office or extra bedroom is a plus for potential buyers, but creating a home gym might put some people off.

You'd also do well to avoid décor turn-offs like mounted animal heads, artex ceilings and animal print furniture.

You might think they're stylish, but research shows most people wouldn't agree with you.

Don't forget that if any work you do increases the value of the building or your belongings, you should get in touch with your home insurance company to make sure you're covered.


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