Making improvements to the house is usually on everyone’s list in some way, shape or form.
After the coronavirus pandemic, a lot of people are turning to DIY for different reasons. Some want to save a little money and do the work themselves, but others are more concerned about keeping strangers out of their homes. Depending on where you live, this might actually be a legal requirement. Lockdowns are moving onto a regional basis so if this is the case DIY may be your only recourse aside from an emergency situation. Improving the home is always great. Not just for yourself, but for whoever lives there with you. There are also hundreds of different things you can do to your home to improve it. You might know exactly what you need and want to do, or you might be open to suggestions and thoughts from forums or DIY sites online. Either way, it can all be done for cheaper than you expect. Sometimes you can’t get around having to pay for quality, especially if you really want it to look good. Remember, your house is likely quite unique. All the advice you read and consider using, remember to apply it to your own situation as best you can. What works for some won’t for others. Especially when you take differences in experience into account.
Do Your Research
One of the best ways to save money on any project is to property research what you want. Know what things cost and how you’re going to tackle the job. If you know, then you’ll know if you’re overpaying for certain materials, and you’ll know which materials aren’t fit for purpose. It helps to know exactly what you want before you get to the last minute, otherwise you can end up asking yourself questions like “What should I choose? Shutters vs Blinds” when this should have been addressed at the start of your project so that it could have all run a bit more smoothly. You need to look at colour schemes, timeframes, fixtures and fittings etc. all in advance. Doing so may be challenging if you’ve got a full time job or other commitments, but you need to realise that it will help you and the project run a whole lot smoother. This is the same with any DIY project, from the kids room to the garden.
Set A Budget and Stick To It
Any project needs a budget, otherwise it can quite easily spiral out of control. To combat this, you need to plan ahead, the same when you’re doing your research. Find out how much things cost. Look ahead. Pick out the materials you want and add everything up properly. Then you know how much you’ll need and can either start saving towards it, or pay for it right away if you can. Once you’ve engaged in buying what’s needed, try to stick to budget. There’s usually a few things you’ll forget about or need, so you should plan for a few eventualities like these in the budget. If you don’t stick to it, things can go south quite quickly. You’ll end up caught out and spending a lot more. If you’ve saved up and done your research, everything is a lot easier and smoother than getting halfway through a project and realising there’s something large you’ve forgotten about and need to address. Get an excel spreadsheet drawn up, and put in what you want. The more fancy the design, the longer you might need to save. Of course, there are all kinds of buy now pay later deals running at the moment especially on expensive ticket items, just be careful and don’t take them all out at once.
Stay Safe In What You Do
DIY can be taken a little too far at times. Especially if you’re really trying to save money. Try to remember that certain things shouldnt be done by people at home. This primarily includes tinkering with the electrics or plumbing. Always call out a professional if you want to make any major changes, especially if you think it might be an emergency. For a start, you could end up making things a lot worse meaning you’ll need to pay even more to fix it when you do eventually pay someone. But for the main, you could end up hurting yourself or rigging something up in such a way that it could hurt someone else. Unless you have the training or qualification, keep DIY to the things that are fairly easy. This also applies to using certain types of power tool, and to trying to lift or move incredibly heavy objects. It might cost you more money, but at least consider calling people out and try to assess the safety of the situation before blindly jumping in and trying to improve things you don’t know too much about.
Inspiration Is Free
You don’t need people to plan things for you. Not unless you’re having a major change to your home like an extension or new kitchen etc. In most cases, there is inspiration everywhere. You can look around hardware stores at their mock ups of certain rooms if you wanted to see something in person. Have a look at your friends’ homes and see what they’re doing. Something you might like may have been implemented. This isn’t about copying, just supplementing. Websites like Pinterest are great at helping you out here too, so if you’re really struggling have a look online. There are dozens of forums to have a look at.
Use Non Branded
Sometimes non branded items are just as good as their branded counterparts. In fact, some are made in exactly the same factory. This includes tools like saws and hammers. Paint is another factor. You might want a special, nice paint for the living room or entrance hall, but for upstairs trade paint will suffice. In the kids room you might want a washable kind of paint to protect the walls. Be careful when picking your brushes through, sometimes the cheaper ones shed bristles which end up on the wall in some way or another and it can be really infuriating. Aside from this, always consider branded goods because you can save a lot of money.
In a similar vein, you’ll want to shop around as much as you can. This means being able to view different items you need for DIY in different places. Don’t just rush out to your nearest hardware store. Have a look around. Check online too and see if you can get any voucher codes to bring down the cost of the items, especially if you’re buying everything in bulk. If you’ve planned everything out and don’t need to leave things to the last minute, you can end up saving a lot of money this way. Just take your time and work things out so that they’re in your favour.
If there’s something a little technical needing doing, or something you’re not confident of doing yourself, ask your friends and family first. There might be someone who can help who has had experience of doing it before. This might be something simple like putting pictures on the wall, or it might be something a little harder like putting tiles up in the bathroom. Either way, it’ll be cheaper than asking a tradesman to do it and you’ll learn how to do it in the process. Next time you can do it yourself.
Free Items Can Be Found
If you’re really needing something on a low budget make sure you look in places like Gumtree or Facebook marketplace because a lot of the time people are looking to offload items at ridiculously cheap prices or even sometimes for free. This is usually for things like dining tables or coffee tables. They come in varying condition but sometimes you can touch them up and they’ll look great. The same for paving stones and ornaments. Keep an eye out and you could end up with a really good saving.
It’s become a bit of a craze. Upcycling means taking something you already have and making it a bit nicer. This could be sanding down then varnishing a wooden table. Maybe painting your sideboard a different colour entirely to fit in with your new paint. Again, there are tonnes of examples online, upcycling saves you a lot of money because instead of buying something new you’re just buying paint or materials to make it a little better. Always a worthy consideration if you want a change on a budget.
Change Of Scenery
This costs nothing. Just rearrange your room. Change the focal point if you can. Move the sofa from one wall to another and the same for the TV. Same with your bedroom. It’s an incredibly basic change but one that can make an impact. Just make sure you’ve got the plug sockets or powerpoints in the right place beforehand so that your electricals all work properly when the changes have been made otherwise you may end up having to move things back or buying an extension lead.
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