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Should you consider converting your garage?

Created: 10/10/2018

 

The current housing market is extremely competitive, with more people searching for their dream home than ever before. When it comes to deciding what features you would love your future house to have, a garage is at the top of the list for many. However, despite this often being a major attraction for potential buyers, current homeowners can often leave the space neglected. Sometimes seen as “out of sight, out of mind”, garages can quickly become a dumping ground for any clutter that has been collected from around the house, meaning that the space isn’t being utilised to its full potential.

When it comes to converting your garage, the best thing to do is to reach out to a professional, such as a contractor or experienced London handyman services who will be able to advise you on what the best steps for you to take are. The main things that you need to consider are points such as removing the garage door, as well as if you’re going to need to install stud walls to separate the space. This is often needed as garages are a long space, so breaking it up into separate rooms allows you to work with space a little better. Of course, this is entirely dependent on what you want out of the space, however!

A garage has a plethora of uses that extend way beyond a space to house your car and, in fact, are a wonderful way of making the most of the footprint of your home. Find out more about whether a garage conversion would work for you with our helpful guide below!

 

Planning permission

One of the biggest benefits of converting a garage is that, in most cases, planning permission is not required, especially when you’re keeping the footprint of the garage the same. As long as the majority of the work that is being undertaken is done internally, informing your local planning authority isn’t necessary. With this in mind, any structural differences, such as extending the garage or converting with the intention of creating a separate house, should be disclosed to ensure that the work is lawful and has the correct permissions.

There are a few other cases in which you should consult before going ahead with converting, such as with listed buildings and new builds. In particular, new builds may have certain stipulations which require the garage to remain as parking, although this also comes with the possibility of removing this condition.

If you’re unsure as to whether you require planning permission or if you have permitted development rights, it is always best to check with your local planning authority before starting the project. This way, you won’t be subject to any fees upon completion and won’t have any hiccups if you decide to sell at a later date.

 

Parking

In some cases, finding parking in residential areas is a struggle, with permits and parking restrictions in place. This can sometimes add up or even mean that you’re unlikely to find space close to your house to park overnight. Because of this, garages are in high demand, as it means that you have a guaranteed space for your car in close proximity to your home. With this in mind, it may be worth questioning whether converting your garage is going to be beneficial for you.

Not only does a garage mean that you won’t have to worry about where to park your car after a long day driving, but it also means that your car will be protected when not in use. A car is often a huge investment, so having a garage means that it can be kept out of harm’s way, with the wear and tear minimised. Adverse weather conditions, such as rain and snow, can cause cars to prematurely rust, taking a toll on your car, whilst the sun can make your vehicle an incredibly hot space for you to be in, causing your drive to be unnecessarily uncomfortable. What’s more is that garages are secure, keeping your car out of danger from the risk of theft or vandalism, which will provide you with peace of mind.

Despite these things, you may still find that your garage often goes unused for parking. So, would it make more sense for you to convert the space to something else? If you have room in front of your garage for parking, it may not make sense for you to park your car inside every day, especially if you currently don’t’ have an adjoining door into your home.

 

Extra space

There’s several different reasons that you may need extra space in your home, from growing your family to hosting additional guests on a regular basis. A garage conversion is perfect in these cases, especially if you’ve been thinking about moving in search for these supplementary rooms. From an extra lounge for the kids to keeping their toys in a bedroom for when your friends and family come to stay, a garage conversion has heaps of potential for you to think about.

“Garage conversions is a great opportunity to increase your house value since you are adding an extra room to the house. With sometimes little investments (depending on what look you are trying to achieve) you can add a liveable space to your house without investing in building an extension,” says Anna from L’Essenziale who recommends a garage conversion if you feel as though you’re short on space.

 

COSTS

Garage conversions are perfect if you’ve been considering moving, as they’re generally cheaper than the fees that can accumulate when moving properties! This can be a great investment if you’re looking at staying in the property for the foreseeable future, as you’ll get your money out of it, which is great.

The actual conversion costs will include the labour of the people who are doing the conversion for you, as well as the structural things that you’ll need. This includes insulation, flooring, doors and windows and any electrical wiring that will have to take place. These costs can add up, so it is essential that you create a budget beforehand so that you can allow for any extra costs that may pop up along the way.

Aside from the costs of converting the garage, you’ll need to think about the resale potential in the future. “Sometimes instead of increasing the value of the property, converting your garage might actually decrease it”, says Anna. “I recommend consulting a local real estate agent before starting to do any major renovations. Plus, if you use the garage as a storage most likely you will have plenty of things that you need to keep somewhere during the renovation works. Hiring a storage space or building a small shed might be a good consideration.”

 



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Updating your home for autumn

Created: 20/09/2018

With the warm weather coming to an end and dark skies welcoming us as we wake up, it’s easy to see that autumn is upon us. Throughout the summer months, you may have found that you made some changes to your home décor, perhaps a splash of colour into your living room or opted for florals in your bedroom. However, as the temperature outside begins to drop, it’s time to create a warm, cosy environment inside.

Whether you decide to tackle the decoration by yourself, or are considering hiring a handyman service local to you, we’ve included a list below of some of the easiest ways to update your home for autumn below!

 

Colour schemes

If over the summer months you’ve injected bright, vibrant colours into your house, now is the perfect time to swap these out in favour of something more seasonal-appropriate. Think about introducing warm, earthy shades, such as those of burnt orange and emerald green, which are sure to keep your home feeling snug. These are the easiest ways to replicate the colours seen in nature outside and work fabulously when paired with a rustic, wooden collection of furniture.

There are a number of different ways in which you can begin to incorporate these shades into your home, whether you choose to commit to painting an entire wall or opt for colour pops with a neutral background. Working to a colour scheme will allow you to pair what you already own with a few items bought especially for autumn, meaning that this task doesn’t have to be too time-consuming!

Navy is set to be a huge trend this autumn. particularly with interiors. This versatile colour can either form part of the perfect backdrop or can be a great addition to a room, whether that’s with pillows or pieces of furniture. Similarly, Dulex has announced their colour of the year to be spiced honey, a luxurious, warm shade that can upgrade any room for the coming months ahead.

The most important thing to consider when it comes to selecting your colour palette is ensuring that you get the balance right; if you begin painting your walls in a deep terracotta, accessorising with neutral, light browns and creams will prevent the room from looking too dark whilst adding dimension.

 

Textures

When it comes to updating your home to reflect the seasons, one of the easiest ways to do this is by adding layers and different textures. As it gets colder outside, you may find yourself reaching for the thermostat to increase the temperature inside. However, comforting blankets and luxe throws are perfect alternatives – and they allow you to save money on your heating bill! Chunky knits and textured linens are great for transforming your space in an inexpensive way and come in a range of different colours and styles.

Layer up different textures to really see the effects of this style. Leather upholstery on sofas and armchairs can be paired wonderfully with wooden feature walls and brick fireplaces. How much you commit to this trend depends on your personal style, but the ease of switching out fabrics and materials with the changing of the seasons is what makes this a real winner.

 

Lighting

With the changing of the clocks comes darker mornings and early nights, so you’ll more than likely find your home using more artificial lighting than in the summer. One of the ways in which you can make changes to your home this autumn is by investing in some new lighting. Whether you grab your favourite scented candles and create centrepieces for tables, decorate your stairs with some glistening fairy lights or look for new lamps to light up the darkest of corners, your lighting can make a huge difference when it comes to the ambience in your home. Transform a corner of your living room with a floor lamp illuminating the area above your favourite chair or look for an industrial style light in a shade of copper for something a little bit different.

 

 

Furniture

After the hot summer that we’ve recently experienced, it is more than likely that you’ll have spent the last couple of months sitting outdoors having invested in some gorgeous outdoor furniture. However, now it is time to head back indoors, you should have some comfy pieces that you’re more than happy to curl up in. In order to make your home as warm as possible, opt for fabrics and materials such as velvet, wood and knit, as these fill a room a little bit better.



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8 tips for making your home feel more expensive

Created: 08/08/2018

Whether you’ve bought our own home or are renting, for most of us, having a home that looks like something straight out of a show home brochure would be a dream. So how can you give your home those extra touches of splendour without breaking the bank? Before you call for local handyman services, we have 8 easy tips you can follow.

1. Add a frame around your television

Luxury is all in the details. Adding a small frame around your TV is a great for sprucing it up and helping it blend in with the rest of your décor.

Courtney from Tuft & Trim loves this particular look: “I know I had a hard time trying to imagine what could make our huge TV blend in with my living room and not stick out like a sore thumb. After MONTHS of looking around for ideas, I finally found a solution that I loved.

“Whether you find an old frame at a thrift store, or make one yourself, it’s a great solution to making your TV wall more attractive.”

 

2. Upscale knobs and handles

Knobs and handles so easily overlooked, but this is a simple trick that will accent your home and furniture with minimal effort.

Head down to practically any hardware shop and you’re sure to find some luxury knobs and handles to replace your old ones and give your living room, kitchen and bedroom a quick and easy revamp.

 

3. Paint your vinyl flooring

Did you know you can paint over vinyl flooring? Tasha from Designer Trapped says it’s the perfect way to give your bathroom or utility room a fun and fresh update.

"I had seen the laundry room makeover by Kelly at A View Along the Way and fell in love with it.  She had painted her vinyl floors and they turned out beautifully, so I gave it a shot.

“My painted vinyl floors are gorgeous and have been held up beautifully for over 4 years now! No chipping or peeling. I'm amazed!

“Each step takes no more than 10 to 20 minutes. I found painting my floor moved FAR more quickly than painting walls. I think all of the steps combined took me less than 2 hours (excluding drying time).”

Want to give it a try? View Tasha’s step-by-step guide here.

 

4. Add more greenery

“Fresh flowers are the best thing you can add to a room to give it an instant lift,” says The Spruce.

“They breathe life and add a great burst of colour. If you want your home to look more expensive, splurge on a large bouquet in strong, deep colours. This doesn't mean you need to have a giant, over-the-top display in every room, but make sure any arrangements you display are not sparse. A big, bountiful bouquet of flowers on a coffee table or mantle adds instant class.”

 

5. Paint appliances with liquid stainless steel paint

No need to trade your appliances in for a sleeker stainless steel version – paint them instead!

“Stainless steel appliances can make a kitchen look sleek and modern,” says SFGATE “But they can also be the finishing touch that brings you over-budget on your kitchen remodel. Faux painting your appliances to look like stainless steel allows you to have the same high-end look without the price tag.”

See SFGATE’s tips for getting your appliances looking silky smooth here.

 

6. Use the rule of 3

When it comes to your décor, have things grouped in multiples of threes. This trick is widely used by interior designers as it supposedly draws more attention to the items in question.

“The guideline of threes say that things arranged in odd numbers are more appealing, memorable, and effective than even-numbered groupings,” says Apartment Therapy.

“Apparently, it's just how our lovely brains work. For one, three is the smallest number that can be used to form a distinguishable pattern in our heads. Also, when you see an odd number of things, your eye is forced to move around more, which makes for a more interesting visual experience.”

 

7. Experiment with dark wood and velvet

To really give your home a sleek and luxurious feel, dark wood furnishings and velvet are sure to give your home that added touch of grandeur.

Houzz also suggests using dark wood in your bathroom: “Lots of modern bathrooms stick to a completely white and grey palette. However, dark-wood elements in a scheme ensure a surprisingly luxurious look. Here, a contemporary vanity unit adds a deep tone that lifts the space beyond the everyday into proper boutique territory.”

Houzz also suggests being brave with velvet: “Even if your sofa was second-hand or in the sale, if it’s in velvet, it will add an expensive sheen to the room. Choose jewel-bright colours, such as pink, green or blue, to really add some look-at-me glamour.

“If a vintage velvet sofa is out of your price range, try a pouf or single armchair, or add timeless velvet touches with cushion covers or a slinky, shimmery throw.”

 

8. Make a statement with rugs and lights

Upgrade your rug and ceiling lamps to something loud yet elegant.

Houzz says: “A stylish geometric rug doesn’t have to cost a fortune, but it can be the piece that pulls your room together and makes your interiors scheme feel finished. Arrange key furniture pieces around it for maximum impact, as they’ve done here with the sofa, pouf and coffee table. Don’t forget to add a line of plumped up cushions, which is an easy trick that never fails to make living rooms seem more expensive and chic.”

When it comes to lights, Glamour suggests going big: “You'll get the most bang for your buck with a dramatic piece, whether that's a chandelier, a floor lamp, or a grouping of pendants. The tendency is to put a small fixture in a small room, but the opposite is true.

“Hanging an oversize chandelier or pendant lower than expected might feel risky, but it creates an impactful look that by virtue of its boldness feels rich.”



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Tricks for making a room look bigger

Created: 25/07/2018

Having trouble making the most of a small room in your home? We’ve put together some useful tricks to help your room feel less cramped, and give the illusion of spaciousness and depth that expert handyman services would advise.

 

Mirrors

Any interior designer will tell you that using mirrors are one of the most effective ways to trick the eye into thinking a room is bigger than it actually is, but there’s more than one way to utilise this clever trick.

“Use a focal point and angle your mirrors toward it to give the illusion of depth,” says Freshome. “Mirrors also reflect both natural and artificial light to make a room brighter during the day and night. They bounce light deep into the room, making it appear larger.

“Placing a mirror near a window to reflect the outdoors is especially effective. Mirrors on the walls and glass table tops will give your room a more open feel. You can also use mirrored cabinet doors to make spaces feel larger.”

 

 

Walls & Floors

A common misconception about small spaces is that they shouldn’t be teeming with busy patterns. But when used in a particular way, they can give a small room some much-needed depth.

Rugs with stripes or patterns with small repeats work wonders for elongating a room according to Expert Home Tips, particularly when they’re placed under furniture. If your space is exceptionally small, Freshome warns that rugs might not be the way to go. “Keep the floor as clear as possible. This is one of the most important ways to maintain a sense of spaciousness. Take out large rugs to create the illusion of more floor space.”

Another great little trick suggested by Buzzfeed is to use a bold paint or patterned wallpaper on your ceiling, while keeping your walls and floors light in colour. The bold contrast draws the eyes upwards, and gives the illusion of height.

 

 

Decor

Although it seems counterproductive, your décor doesn’t have to be plain. Style Caster suggests hanging big, dramatic art pieces. “Big pieces of art can add a heck of a lot of drama to a small space, and make the room seem bigger in the process.”

When it comes to ornaments, Timely News recommends following ‘the cantaloupe rule’. The rule suggests that small, decorative pieces actually makes a room feel more crowded, so instead you should opt for pieces that are no smaller than the size of a cantaloupe (or about the size of a melon).

Style Caster also recommends a floor-to-ceiling bookcase, again because it gives the illusion of height. And rather than over-cluttering the shelves, leave some open spaces to make it seem roomier.

 

 

Furniture

There are definitely some big dos and don’ts when it comes to the placement of your furniture. Furniture should be pushed right up against the wall to maximise space, right? Not quite.

According to Buzzfeed, “Pushing furniture up against the wall makes everything look and feel cramped. Even just few inches in between the wall and your bigger items can make the space look more open.”

This may also seem like a big no-no, but placing your furniture at an angle actually makes a room feel more spacious, according to Freshome. “The longest straight line in any room is the diagonal. When you place your furniture at an angle, it leads the eye along the longer distance rather than the shorter wall. As a bonus, you often get some additional storage space behind the piece in the corner.”

The trick with furniture is to make the most of the space it sits in, which is why Freshome also suggests using furniture with visible legs. “Choose a sofa and chairs with open arms and exposed legs. This allows light to filter under the furniture, making the room appear airier.”

And while we’re on the subject of airiness, clear furniture definitely gets the green light. Whether that’s clear chairs, glass coffee tables or even a clear shower curtain, Style Caster says that see-through furniture tricks the eye into seeing more space, as well as helping to bounce more light around the room.

 

 

Light

Lighting not only creates ambience, it also accounts for how spacious a room feels. The Everygirl recommends skipping dark-inducing drapes and instead leaving your windows totally uncovered. “This will trick your eyes into thinking that your pad’s got depth — and reveal the natural landscape outside. If your room requires some privacy, try gauzy sheer white drapes for an airy feel that will keep prying eyes out.”

Buzzfeed also recommends ditching the overhead lights. “Harsh top-down lighting pools all the light in one space. Instead, use a few smaller lamps to spread the light around and draw the eye around the room.”

 

 

Colour Schemes

When it comes to choosing a colour scheme for your floor and walls, it seems the general consensus is to stick to light colours that help reflect the light rather than absorb it like dark hues do. Woman’s Day recommends sticking to cream, beige, light greyish-blue and lavender to keep your space feeling bright and roomy.

Expert Home Tips also suggests varying the shades of your selected hue, particularly with furniture. “When it comes to your furniture, soft furnishings, fittings, ornaments, curtains and carpets - pick different shades, hints and tones of a single hue. This colour scheme is easy on the eyes, so you'll be able to take in the whole room without being interrupted by other colours.”

Colour co-ordination with your belongings can also trick the eyes into making a room seem more sizeable than it actually is. According to Buzzfeed, “Anything that makes a group of smaller items look intentionally arranged will make it feel more streamlined. This works for books or anything else that is visible in your home.”



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6 tips for finding the time and motivation for DIY

Created: 22/06/2018

Who doesn’t love a bit of home DIY? It’s low cost, gives you a sense of pride and all that hard work can be a great full-body workout! But the thought of doing DIY after the longest week ever at work? When you have kids? When you just want to lounge in front of the TV after ignoring all your other responsibilities? It seems impossible, but it doesn’t have to be. Even if you find your home DIY projects require someone with a bit more experience, there are handyman services in London and across the UK that can help with anything from electricals, to plumbing, to carpentry.

 

6 tips for finding the time and motivation for DIY

 

1. Think of the money you’ll save

This one goes without saying, but if the thought of saving money doesn’t make you want to jump out of bed at 8am on a Sunday morning, we don’t know what will! The best part of DIY has surely got to be the money saving aspect, right?

“After purchasing our first home we quickly realised that we didn’t have the budget to pay for all of the home improvements that needed doing”, says Little House on the Corner blogger, Christine. “So we decided that we’d do as much of the work as possible ourselves. It was a steep learning curve but now, 7 years later, we love DIY and purposely look for projects that we can undertake.”

According to Money Bulldog, just by painting a room you could save £100-£400 and installing a kitchen splashback could save you £200-£1000. Work out how much money you’ll be saving from each project and let that be your motivation to find the time to get stuck into some DIY!

 

2. Start small

One of the biggest things that puts a person off DIY is the sheer size of a project. The thought of a project taking weeks or even months is a little bit daunting, so it’s always worth starting small and undertaking a task that can be completed in just a few hours and broken up into little stages. That way, you’ll be more inclined to give up half an hour of your time here and there to complete the project.

Why not start by re-tiling that one wall of your bathroom you’ve said you’ll do for the last four months? What about re-carpeting the spare bedroom? These are all things that can be done slowly and are not particularly time sensitive.

“We also try to tackle just one project at a time.” Says Christine. “That way, we can (try to) contain the mess to just one area of our home.”

 

paiting and decorating

[Photo credit: Nick Youngson, Alpha Stock Images]

 

3. Get the family involved

As a parent, it can feel like you have barely anytime for yourself let alone the DIY project you promised you’d get done! So why not make it a family affair and get the kids involved?

From helping you choose between colours and materials to helping out with a bit of painting, getting your children involved with your home DIY project allows you to spend fun, quality time together while completing the job at hand – it’s a win-win!

Getting involved in DIY also teaches children some great principles, such as reusing and upcycling old items before buying something new, as well as proving how a little bit of hard work can create something amazing they can feel proud of.

 

4. Do your research

Roeshel, DIY Show Off blogger, recommends doing a bit of prepping before jumping straight into a DIY project: “There are so many educational resources and step by step tutorials to assist with a DIY plan of action. Take advantage someone else sharing their experience to make yours a win!” There’s tons of DIY YouTube tutorials out there, and even dedicated websites such as Instructables to ensure you stay safe and get it right.

She also recommends planning when you’re going to do DIY in advance. “I actually add tasks to my calendar and make checklists. Then check off tasks as they're completed.” This will give you a great sense of accomplishment as you start checking off more and more little tasks.

It’s also worth scheduling in some time for yourself, whether that’s going to the gym, spending time with your family or just curling up with a book. That way you have a day off to look forward to that won’t leave you feeling guilty, and your DIY project won’t feel like an overwhelming burden.

 

 

diy planning

 

5. Set a realistic time frame and completion date

Perhaps you have family coming to stay or you want to have your project completed before Christmas, whatever it is, having a date in mind to work towards is great for motivation. Just make sure the timeframe you’ve set is feasible for the task at hand.

The BBC recommends incorporating extra time to allow for things you may not have initially considered: “Don't underestimate how long things can take. Just preparing a room for redecorating - clearing the furniture, taking everything off the walls, washing down surfaces, patching up any damage, covering up the carpet or stripping it and so on - could take a day at least.

You'll feel much better if you set yourself a realistic timetable and are able to keep to it as you go along. Everyone hates a job that drags on and on when you thought you could be done in a day.”

Kerry, who runs her own DIY and renovation blog, also recommends slipping in some DIY whenever you can: "If I’m super busy I’ll try to just fit in 20 minutes here and there, if I can. Because even 20 minutes a day can really help. But generally it’s about prioritising and making the most of the time you do have."

 

6. Go easy on yourself

"Above all else, go easy on yourself.” Says Roeshel. She also recommends creating a low-pressure atmosphere and a positive mindset, and work as time will allow. Kerry also agrees with this, saying you don't want your DIY project to feel like a burden: "Be sure to give yourself a break from it all once in a while! Sometimes I get on a roll of getting a ton of stuff done - which is great and makes me want to keep it up. But eventually you just burn out. Make sure to give yourself time away from the DIY and then it wont become such a chore!"

Of course life will get in the way – other responsibilities may take precedence over your DIY project, but it’s important to remember that you can always carry on with it tomorrow (or, you know, the day after).

 

If you would like help with anything from electricals, to plumbing, to carpentry, contact us today.



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Budgeting for home improvements

Created: 29/05/2018

Half a million homeowners exceed their budget when redecorating, according to recent figures by Direct Line Home Insurance

Paint swatches

The statistics showed that 1 in 4 homeowners have faced debt as a result of redecorating in the past five years. The research also revealed ambitious Brits are underestimating the cost of renovations by an estimated £3.4 billion every year, roughly £7,427 more than anticipated per household.

When choosing to redecorate or improve your home, seeking help from your local handyman services is advisable. As well as getting helpful tips and expertise during the process, you can rest assured that the job will be done well, without any hassle. However it’s also important to budget correctly for your home improvements.

According Direct Line’s survey, the most popular room in a property to renovate within 12 months of buying a new home is the kitchen, with a third of respondents stating this is a priority. The living room and bedrooms are the most likely priorities for redecorating, followed by the hallway and dining room.

Preparing for renovations

DIY

If you are considering giving your home a little TLC, you’re in good company. The jobs homeowners are most likely to take on themselves are stripping wallpaper, re-tiling and painting. According to Direct Line, one in 20 bold homeowners either has carried out or is planning to carry out a loft conversion, simply to save money.

Dan Simson of Direct Line told The Mirror: “Making your mark on a new property is all part of the exciting journey to make a house your home. Whether it is your first home, you’re upsizing to accommodate a growing family or you’re downsizing once the kids have flown the nest, there is likely to be work you want to do to make it your own.

“Many home renovation shows have given people a false impression of the real cost of remodelling a property, so before you bite off more than you can chew, it’s important to research and price the work accurately, building contingency costs in to the new budget, to ensure your home improvements come in on time and meet your expectations.

“Many homebuyers understandably want to do renovations themselves to save money, but they should be aware that jobs aren’t always as simple as they may seem and some even require specific certification or Buildings Regulations approval, such as rewiring or a loft conversion. Before embarking on a major new project, always ensure you make your insurer aware so they can make sure your home is adequately covered.”

How to budget

Budgeting for home improvements

Be realistic about what you can and can’t do – It can be easy to get carried away when it comes to DIY, but being realistic about what you can and can’t achieve without the help of professionals is crucial to a successful renovation.

Speak to your local handyman ahead of any work taking place - Whether you need help with electrical work, painting, tiling, flooring, plumbing or general maintenance, get a quote from your local handyman services in advance to help you keep track of how much you’re spending.

Create a wish list for the finished space – Think about what you want to get out of renovating your home or a room in your house. Once you have in mind exactly what you’re looking for, it’s much easier to work backwards and see how much it’ll cost. If you don’t have a set idea, that’s when things can spiral out of control.

Make a spreadsheet – Keeping track of your spending is one of the most efficient ways to budget for your renovations. Create a list of the items/jobs you need done, who is helping you, the labour and material costs, when the money is due etc. This way, you’ll always have a document to refer to if additional jobs do need to be completed.

Put some money aside, just in case – It’s not always impulse purchases or snap decisions that result in additional costs when redecorating or renovating your home. Sometimes, additional costs are unavoidable. Keep some money aside just in case.

Before starting any renovation work, let your insurer know that building will be taking place at your property - This will make sure that you are covered, in the event that anything does go wrong. For example, tell your insurer if the builder will have a key to your home, if your home will be left unoccupied, or if there will be scaffolding in place for any period of time.



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When it comes to DIY, are you clumsy, obsessive or reluctant?

Created: 27/04/2018

Brits spent roughly £290 million calling in local handyman services last year to help finish botched jobs in their homes, according to a report by Harris

Painting your home

The decorating company revealed that while 58% of the population has valiantly taken on DIY projects in the past year, less than half were pleased with the final result, and 6%, approximately one million households, called in a professional to do the work.

In response to the fascinating research into Britain’s DIY habits, Harris created a profile of the various personality types of DIYers. “When we carried out our research we found that home improvers fell into one of seven categories – reluctant, obsessive, impulsive, clumsy, planner, overwhelmed and flaky,” Harris Brushes spokesperson Sonuia Sanghera told House Beautiful. “And we think people will be able to identify at least one of these in their circle of family and friends.”

DIY projects

If you’ve ever attempted a DIY project at home, you may find these categories all too familiar:

Reluctant

The reluctant DIYer is said to have a stock of old paint brushes and other materials gathering dust in their home, and they’ll attempt to redecorate with limited, or even unsuitable, tools.

Obsessive

The obsessive DIYer works with the ethos that if a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing well. They have ample tools for each job, perhaps too many, and are quick to offer advice to friends and family attempting their own projects.

Impulsive

The impulsive handyperson may decide to spontaneously repaint their bathroom, with little preparation. While their intentions are good, the impulsive DIYer is likely to need the assistance of their local handyman services to finish the job.

Clumsy

Unlike the reluctant DIYer, clumsy handypersons are full of enthusiasm and ready to get to the task at hand. Unfortunately, they lack the skills to get things done. Much like the impulsive crowd, they may need to call in assistance.

Planner

Planners often put their heart and soul into preparing for a job, although they may lose track of time along the way. A job which should have taken an afternoon can quickly drag on into the following week.

Overwhelmed

Taking on a large painting job, or general home maintenance, can be an overwhelming task. For DIYers who quickly feel out of their depth, calling your local handyman is an excellent solution.

Flaky

Flaky DIYers aren’t immediately thrown by the potential hurdles they face when fixing up their homes. Initially full of enthusiasm, the flaky handypersons quickly lose interest and may even leave tasks unfinished.

If you’re planning to fix up your home, whether fixing the roof or simply refreshing your house with a makeover, it’s wise to consult your local handyman first for professional advice.

 



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How to feng shui your home

Created: 26/03/2018

Creating a positive and welcoming atmosphere in your home is key to living a good life. Your home should be your sanctuary, a safe place in which you can unwind after a stressful day at work and create lifelong memories. Many believe in using feng shui to transform their home into a place of comfort and security.

Indoor plants

What is feng shui?

Feng shui is an ancient art and science dating back some 3,000 years in China. Translated literally, 'feng' means 'wind' and 'shui' means 'water'. Both of these are associated with good health in Chinese culture, so good feng shui essentially promotes good fortune, while bad feng shui does the opposite. The concept of feng shui revolves around 'chi', or energy, and is concerned with the placement of the objects within your home, helping you to achieve harmony between yourself and your surroundings.

It's said that the Chinese believe strongly that energy flows everywhere, including through nature, homes and people. Sha, is known as a negative energy, and yun, a positive energy. Although it might sound somewhat complicated, the practice of feng shui is more straightforward. In this article, we'll look at how to feng shui your home.

How to feng shui your home

How to feng shui your home

Draw in positive energy

Creating and welcoming a positive energy in your home starts with the front door. The doorway is considered the entrance point for all energy, so it's advised that you make this space as bright and welcoming as possible. Add plants or flowers if you have space, welcome mats and let plenty of light in.

Arrange your furniture in an 'empowering position'

In terms of feng shui, placing a piece of furniture in an 'empowering position' means you can see the entrance to the room from where you are sitting, but you're not directly aligned with it. According to experts, the areas of your home where you spend the most time relaxing with a book or in front of the TV should have furniture placed in an empowering position. Otherwise, you may feel uncomfortable if you can't see who is coming and going from the room, and feel weakened.

Make any necessary repairs

 

Plastering your home

This may seem like an obvious tip, but making any necessary repairs in your home will help to avoid negative energy. Whether there's a patch of persistent mould, chipped paint on the wall or any other damage to your furnishings. If you need any help getting this part of the feng shui process done, it may be worth enlisting help from local handyman services.

De-clutter to de-stress

Many people hold on to furnishings for sentimental reasons. Whether it's a decorative throw left behind by a loved one, or a gift, it's important to be honest about how you feel having these items on display in your home. By clearing your home of any features you're not 100% happy with, you will create a broadly more positive space and regain control of your living environment.

Be aware of any irritating movements or sounds

A dripping tap or draughty window can cause you great discomfort at home. You may not attribute your irritability to these unsettling sounds, but once you've eliminated them, you should feel much more relaxed. Hiring a local handyman to come around means you don’t need to take on any of the labour yourself.

Bring the outside in

There are many benefits associated with bringing more greenery into your home. In terms of feng shui, adding some of the five elements into your house (wood, fire, earth, metal and water) helps you to stay connected to nature and in turn, relax. Bring in plants or flowers, incorporate metal and wood furnishings, and light candles for ambience.

Rethink your colour scheme

In many cases, the colour scheme in your home could be getting you down. While we often pay attention to the furniture and furnishings we add to our houses, we don't often give the same consideration to our colour schemes.

While many elements of feng shui can be added with a little DIY, some aspects may need the help of an expert. Contact your local handyman services for assistance with any repairs to make your home a positive and happy place.

 



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Valspar’s top colour tips for a home makeover

Created: 09/02/2018

Valspar - Carolina Blue

Our previous article suggested a few tips for choosing the right kind of paint for decorating your home, both internally and externally. However cheap or expensive the brand of paint used, however, you will still be left underwhelmed with your makeover efforts if you do not select a colour which suits your living space.

This month, we have spoken with Kasia Wiktorowicz from Valspar – a paint manufacturer with over 200 years of experience – to get some expert advice on how to settle on the perfect colour for your next redecorating project:

“Choosing paint can sometimes be a daunting task. When faced with rows of paint tins it’s easy to forget that, when in place, a colour can be responsible for evoking real emotion. We know that people can be afraid of introducing colour into their homes for many reasons, so Valspar wants to help give people colour confidence, and demonstrate to them that a home full of colour can be fun, vibrant and dynamic.

- "Colour can really help you make the most of the available space, so think about the size of the room you're painting. Light colours will always uplift a small room and make it appear bigger. In larger rooms you can use dark colours to make the room feel cosier or create a more dramatic effect.

- "Consider the natural light that you have available. Lighting can transform the colour on your walls. Valspar has light boxes on its chip rack in B&Q stores, giving you the chance to test out how your paint choices will look under different illuminations.

- "Think about the quality of the paint you're using. Valspar's premium paints feature a super scrub formula and undergo vigorous scrub testing, so paint won't fade. This is particularly useful for lighter colours that may show up marks if it's an area of high traffic and for any south facing rooms as the sun can fade colours over time.

"But most of all, remember to be confident, know what works best for you and go for it.

Decorating techniques people can use for a professional finish

Paintbrush

“For that professional final look, Valspar offers a large range of finishes including matt, gloss, silk and mid-sheen. All our finishes deliver a high quality, professional look, but with any finish you should consider the type of room you’re decorating and which one would suit the space best - and of course make sure you’re working with the correct paint for that room. Our Kitchen and Bathroom paint contains a mould resistant formula for rooms exposed to moisture and comes in a silk finish which works perfectly to reflect the sheen of bathroom fixtures.

“In terms of design, it’s important to always think about the way in which you can approach particular rooms with different decorating techniques. For instance, a child’s bedroom is the perfect place to get creative; you can use stencils to make playful scenes on the walls. Think about your child’s interests and try something a little personal for them.

Couple painting wall

“In other rooms, such as a study or lounge, consider a bespoke design. Horizontal stripes will instantly elongate any small space and are a great way to make a small room appear larger. Use painter’s tape to get that perfect straight edge.

“Think about accent walls and try playing with similar tones of the same colour. A tonal scheme that combines shades of one colour makes any space visually ‘easy on the eye’ as there are no contrasting colours fighting for your attention and it creates a sense of serenity and calm. 

“A good idea is to make a mood board before you start and consider how your chosen wall colours for your walls will impact on your furnishings. Looking at a room in this way, and having a clear direction, will help your idea really come together and deliver that professional, considered finish.

Valspar Premium Blend v700 Walls & Ceilings is available in 2.5L, RRP £25.20 from B&Q stores nationwide.

Bathroom

Valspar - Bathroom

Use your colours to create a relaxing haven in your bathroom

“To create a relaxing environment, people often reach for calming colours such as greys and browns; however, when it comes to bathrooms it is best to avoid darker shades.  Many bathrooms lack natural light so work best with lighter hues or brighter shades.

“Colour inspiration can be taken from anywhere and Valspar’s unique colour matching technology enables you to scan and match any colour exactly. Be it the blue sky from a holiday photograph or the rich, soft hue of your favourite nail varnish, whatever shade makes you feel calm and relaxed, simply bring a sample to B&Q and that exact colour can be replicated in your bathroom to create your own personal haven.

Create Your Comfort Zone

“We're constantly battling being busy in all aspects of life and more and more we’re seeking respite from stress with products, tools and services that balance our fast-paced lifestyles. Our bathrooms are often the ideal place in the home to escape and unwind, so we expect to see more muted mid-tones that counterbalance busy living replicated when it comes to our bathroom colour schemes, with soft, calm, balancing and restorative shades growing in popularity.

Comfort Zone Palette

Valspar - Feline Frolic R116C                    Valspar - Cool Agave R257F                    

Valspar - Au Contraire R60C                    Valspar - Comfy Cozy R199D                    

Valspar - Cremini Mushroom R87C                    Valspar - Whisper Softly W36E

Valspar v500 Kitchen and Bathroom Paint is available in 2.5L, RRP £27 from B&Q stores nationwide.

Injecting colour into outdoor space

Valspar - Zen R254C

“When it comes to decorating, outdoor spaces are often overlooked but with the right shades, they can become an extension of the home. A garden can be the perfect place to let your imagination run wild and be brave with colour. For inspiration, you could use the plants in your garden; the colour of your bricks and pathway; even the shade of your garden door, fence or window frames. Perhaps you will want to coordinate with these, or enhance them by choosing a complementary shade.

Valspar - Seize the Day R217D

“When choosing exterior paint colours, it’s important to think about the natural colours that are already present. Plainer gardens can really benefit from a bold splash of colour, whilst those full of flowers might suit more subtle shades, providing a more neutral backdrop against which they can stand out.

Valspar - Cabana Glow R143D

“Valspar has over 160 new beautiful and durable shades to its Garden and Decking Colours range to brighten up exterior spaces. ‘Zen’ is the perfect shade for those opting for peace and tranquillity, whereas those looking for something brighter can opt for colours such as ‘Seize the Day’ or ‘Cabana Glow.’ Whether you want to create a specific colour scheme, or simply enhance the natural beauty of your garden, Valspar has a shade to suit.

“Weather-proof and with UV protection, Valspar Garden and Decking Colours give a long lasting finish that won’t crack or peel over time. With a six year colour protection guarantee, you have more time to sit back and enjoy your outdoor space.”

Valspar Garden and Decking colours have a Mid-Sheen finish and are available in 2.5L & 5L, RRP £22 - £39.98 from B&Q stores nationwide.

Paintbrushes

Don’t forget that, whatever your final paint colour choice – and whichever part of your home you are planning to rejuvenate – it is always best to rely on the expertise of our South London handyman services to complete what is always a tricky task. However high quality your paint is, we can guarantee that it won’t look as nice on the carpet as it does on your walls!

Image Credits: Valspar, Melanie Tata, NeONBRAND, William Felker



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Choosing the right paint for your home makeover

Created: 05/02/2018

Graham & Brown - 'Penelope', £32 per 2.5L Durable Matt / £36 per 2.5L Resistance

‘Penelope’ paint (Graham & Brown, £32 per 2.5L Durable Matt / £36 per 2.5L Resistance)

With the New Year upon us, the urge to rejuvenate our homes and give our living space a fresh look is definitely growing. Whilst significant structural work can take several weeks or even months to complete – not to mention requiring a significant cash investment – more cosmetic changes such as repainting one or more rooms is a relatively quick process which can nevertheless make all the difference to how your home looks and how you feel about it.

We have spoken to some of the UK’s most prestigious paint manufacturers to get their views on what products to use if you have decided that your house needs refreshing but are not yet sure how to proceed. With their help, you can be sure that your home’s new look will be one you want to keep for many years to come.

Oricalcum linseed paint

Oricalcum - Paint tins

The first company we spoke to was Oricalcum, who are specialist manufacturers of linseed paint, which is regarded as one of the most durable, weatherproof and cost-effective products out there. Michiel Brouns, founder of Oricalcum, shared some of the great reasons why DIY enthusiasts – particularly those who want to revamp their property’s exterior – should consider investing in a tin or two:

Long lasting

“Linseed paint is steeped in history; traditionally used to colour and protect Swedish houses. Original coats of linseed paint still survive on these houses, which are well over 500 years old”.

Stops rot

“Linseed paint not only acts as a protective film over its surface, it cleverly transforms a two-way transfer of humidity to stop moisture from becoming trapped under the surface of the paint, therefore combatting rot and decay”.

Cost-effective

“One tin of linseed paint will cover anything from 15-22m² per litre. In comparison, that’s one litre of linseed paint to 2.5 litres of conventional paint. And because it doesn’t require multiple coats, linseed paint works out even cheaper.”

Eco-friendly

“Basically, [linseed paint is] flax seeds pressed to make raw linseed oil which is then boiled. The only material added is natural powdered pigments to produce a varied colour palette”.

Oricalcum - Painted wood

And much more…

On top of this, there are many further reasons why you should consider purchasing Oricalcum if you are looking for a paint which will truly stand the test of time.

- As mentioned above, linseed paint does not require multiple coats, meaning that – as well as saving money – using it will also save you a great deal of time on your next redecorating project.

- Oricalcum is also extremely versatile. Whether you want to paint a garden fence, an iron gate or a kitchen cupboard, this ‘one-size-fits-all’ product will do the job efficiently and effectively, inside and out.

- Importantly, the lack of unnatural solvents, binders and emulsifiers in Oricalcum means that you will not have to put up with the overpowering smell which usually accompanies re-painting your home.

- If the sun is shining, your coat of linseed paint will dry in less than 24 hours outside. If your paintwork is internal, a well-directed UV light will speed up the process even further.

- Obviously, probably the main reason we decorate is to get our home looking more attractive. Fortunately, Oricalcum also understands the importance of making their products visually appealing, which is why their linseed paint boasts an impressive range of rich, deep colours – many of which are not often available as exterior paint. Furthermore, the experts at Oricalcum are able to custom-create any shade of paint you desire if you have seen a less durable example of a colour you like elsewhere.

- Another enviable property of Oricalcum is its ability to combat the mould growth which often damages the texture and appearance of new paint. The zinc white oxide which is in every tin of Oricalcum ensures that no additional anti-mould product needs to be added following the initial application.

Website: www.linseedpaint.com

Telephone: 01423 500694

Farrow & Ball

Farrow & Ball - Pitch Blue and Calke Green

‘Pitch blue’ and ‘Calke green’ paint (Farrow & Ball, various prices)

Of course, there are plenty of other options out there for those wishing to stay on top of the very latest seasonal decorating trends and tailor their makeovers accordingly.

Surely the best place for the style-conscious consumer to go remains Farrow & Ball, the Dorset-based paint and wallpaper experts, who, since 1946, have been creating colours and patterns which are as popular and accessible as they are bold and distinctive. 

Farrow & Ball - 13113 Tented Stripe

‘Tented stripe ST 13113’ wallpaper (Farrow & Ball, £64 per roll)

As is the case every season, Farrow & Ball have plenty of fresh ideas on how to ensure your home is looking its best in spring 2018. Interestingly, their latest palette advice encourages using a combination of two distinct but complementary colours – Pitch Blue and Calke Green – within your living space. Joa Studholme, Farrow & Ball’s international colour consultant, has more detailed guidance:

“The slightly more sober Calke Green can be used on the bottom half of walls and across the trim, while vital Pitch Blue is brushed onto upper walls – and even the ceiling – for an intense yet perfectly balanced combination that should not be taken too seriously, to create rooms that are filled with fun and optimism – a room that will make you smile”.

Farrow & Ball - BP 5606 and Pitch Blue skirting

‘Helleborus BP 5606’ wallpaper (Farrow & Ball, £115 per roll)

As well as being available as paints, Farrow & Ball’s two recommended colours for the upcoming season are also incorporated into some fantastic new wallpaper designs. Pitch Blue features in Tented Stripe ST 13113 (which was actually based on the Duke of Wellington’s campaign tent), whilst Calke Green can be found in the botanical-inspired Helleborus BP 5606.

If this has awoken your inner design guru, be sure to follow Farrow & Ball’s Facebook and Twitter accounts so that you never miss out on the latest developments in paint and wallpaper fashion again!

Website: www.farrow-ball.com

Telephone: 01202 876141

Graham & Brown

Finally, we spoke with another cutting-edge wallpaper and paint specialist, Graham & Brown, to get their thoughts on which colours you should look out for if you are hoping to redecorate in 2018.

Enjoy the images of Graham & Brown’s Colour and Wallpaper of the Year below:

Graham & Brown - 'Penelope', £32 per 2.5L Durable Matt / £36 per 2.5L Resistance

‘Penelope’ paint (Graham & Brown, £32 per 2.5L Durable Matt / £36 per 2.5L Resistance)

Graham & Brown - 'Pierre', £40 per roll

‘Pierre’ wallpaper (Graham & Brown, £40 per roll)

Graham & Brown - 'Pierre', £40 per roll

‘Pierre’ wallpaper (Graham & Brown, £40 per roll)

Here’s what Paula Taylor, Colour and Trend Expert at Graham & Brown, had to say about why the above palette should be considered as part of your next home improvement project: “This comforting, blush colour palette works to create a warm spring feeling in your home. Chic and neutral, it can standalone or work perfectly when combined with the flowering pink magnolias seen in the Pierre wallpaper”.

Website: www.grahambrown.com

Telephone: 0808 168 3295

Painting wall

And there you have it! From outside to inside, from bold to subtle and from decorative to durable, you can see that there are plenty of first-rate options out there for those hoping to add some vitality to their home this year.

We hope you have been inspired by the suggestions above. Don’t forget that you can always call on the services of a handyman to apply the paint for you if you are not the most confident at completing this tricky job without making a mess!

Image Credit: D Coetzee



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