You might think that this time of year is a no-go for home improvements and be tempted to wait till spring, but there are actually a number of simple projects you can take on which will transform your home. Kevin Westhead, from Oxford Decorating Ltd explains: “At this time of year we tend to do a lot of interior work and decoration. There are a lot of simple decorating or maintenance tasks you can do to boost your property.”
According to the Halifax Home Improvement Survey, simple redecorating was the most popular kind of home improvement carried out. Even better, the survey found that painting or decorating your home can, on average, add over £2,000 to the value of your home – handy if you are planning on moving in the future.
So here are some simple home improvements ideas:
Energy efficient home improvements – reducing energy usage in the home will save you money and help the environment. “The best way to increase your homes energy efficiency is to insulate,” says Alex Hunt from Bright Green Homes. Replacing an old inefficient boiler will also decrease your energy consumption, cutting your fuel bills by up to a third, reports the Energy Saving Trust (EST). Draught proofing is one of the simplest home improvements you can make, as Alan Onslow, from the Draught Proofing Advisory Association (DPAA) points out: “The more insulated a house is, the quicker heat will escape through gaps around doors, windows and letterboxes.” Replacing old windows with new double glazed ones can also reduce energy loss.
Painting and decorating – simple redecorating can literally transform a tired looking home. A new coat of paint in a different shade can rejuvenate a room, choosing the right shade can really add warmth or open up a closed space. Paint isn’t just for walls: “painting your front door can really boost the look of your home,” says Kevin Westhead of Oxford Decorators. Painting window frames, skirting boards and even furniture can really tie a room together and create a clean, new look. Plastering and wallpapering are also good decorating improvements to make.
Gardening – tidying your garden can make a big difference to your home, even if it’s not yet spring, making sure the garden isn’t overgrown and you have nice attractive hanging baskets or pot plants by your front door are easy things to achieve. Get rid of dead shrubs or plant sand trim back trees, hire a tree surgeon if necessary.
Revamp windows and doors
Home security – according to the Halifax survey, adding home security measures provides the second best value for money to your home. Preventing your home from break ins with intruder alarms and CCTV becoming more popular ways to secure residential properties. Alvin Lewis, from CSG Fire and Security in Bournemouth says: “Now the price of CCTV cameras has really come down, a lot more residential properties are installing them.” Burglar alarms are cheap and simple to install but also act as a major deterrent and secure your property. Ensuring you have a working fire alarm to protect your home from the devastating effects of a blaze is also essential. You could even install an intercom system to provide extra security: “With video intercoms you never have to answer the door to a stranger,” says Karen Scott of Videoquest in Middlesex. Secure doors and windows will also improve security.
Cleaning and maintenance – “small things like tidying up your home, the driveway and painting the outside of your home can really make a difference,” Kevin points out “These things are important to maintain your home and protect it as well,” he adds. So be sure to carry out external and internal maintenance like repainting, staining, checking for broken roof tiles and clearing your gutter. Reducing the amount of clutter in your home will do wonders, creating space you didn’t even know you had, recycle old stuff and store in the loft anything you don’t want to chuck out.