It's spring – a brilliant time for home improvements. But if like most people you're watching how you spend your money, you won't want to splash out. Follow our 8 great money-saving tips to spruce up your house on a budget.
It’s spring – a brilliant time for home improvements. But if like most people you’re watching how you spend your money, you won’t want to splash out. Follow our 8 great money-saving tips to spruce up your house on a budget.
1.Replacing cupboard doors and new handles is one of the cheapest ways to update your kitchen. All you need to do is measure up accurately and order the new doors, hinges and handles. Check websites like kitchendoorsanddrawers.co.uk and budgetkitchendoors.co.uk for the cheapest options or try DIY stores like Wickes and B&Q.
Top tip: Worktops are more expensive to replace, but you can buy special worktop paints to give them new life. It’s important to thoroughly clean the surface before you do so, otherwise you’ll get a grainy finish.
After the kitchen, bathrooms are usually next on the list of rooms to update and again can also be made over on a small budget. One of the first things you can do is re-grout. Yellow-ish grout can make even the most expensive tiles look shabby.
If your bathroom suite and tiles are fine but you never got round to updating the flooring, that will make all the difference. Warehouses often sell great-looking tiles at low prices. You could also replace shower curtains with a glass shower screen. Easier to clean and less prone to mildew and mould, they also give a cleaner, sleeker look.
Top tip: Bathroom clutter can make a perfectly lovely bathroom look messy and small. Buy stainless steel shower caddies that you mount onto the tiles and invest in a tall boy cabinet or similar to hide away all the products that you don’t use every day. It’s amazing what a difference it can make.
Some rooms just look plain tired – especially if you once had an obsession with a particular, now unsightly, colour! Apart from a few essentials (paintbrushes, roller and the paint itself), a new coat of paint is one of the cheapest ways to revamp a room.
For a modern look, pick a neutral shade and add colour with paintings, photographs and plants. Neutral doesn’t have to mean magnolia – there are lots of off-white shades which look really good. Wallpaper is more expensive but you could pick a dramatic pattern for a feature wall.
Top tip: If you don’t have the time or don’t need to paint the whole room, see if the skirting boards and woodwork around doors could do with some tarting up instead. It will still make a big difference.
Some items are beyond repair and revamp so a replacement is inevitable. A lot of people talk down cheap, flat-packed furniture, but it’s is a great way to revamp a bedroom, dining room or lounge and items usually last a lot longer than some people would have you believe. Plus, you can buy contemporary, even designer-looking, sofas, dining tables, chairs, beds and shelving at quarter of the price. Argos and IKEA are a good place to start, but don’t dismiss charity shops and second-hand stores.
Top tip: If the flatpack item does seem flimsy, instead of using the cheaper glues which often come with the pack, buy a tube of better-quality wood glue. You can even use this to secure some of the screws.
Flooring isn’t cheap if you’re doing the whole house, but if one room needs a bit of a boost, changing the carpet, having it tiled or even buying a new rug can be a relatively cheap way to give the room a lift. Alternatively, if the carpets shows signs of wear and tear in areas that you walk over a lot, buy an inexpensive rug from the market or places like IKEA and Wilkinson.
Top tip: If replacing the floor isn’t an option, think about having the carpet professionally cleaned instead. It can make a massive difference to the whole house.
It’s not just the cheapest way to spruce up your home on a budget – you could also make a little money too. Clearing surplus items, from ornaments you never look at to piles of unread magazines, will instantly make your house seem roomier.
Top tip: Put up shelving in under-used areas (like corners and alcoves) in order to gain valuable floor space. Under-bed storage boxes are another way to store items.
The tiniest of changes can make a big difference, whether it’s a new lampshade or light fitting in the lounge, changing the taps in the kitchen or bathroom or putting up a painting.
Soft furnishings are a really easy way to spruce up a home – stores like Wilkinson, IKEA and supermarket homeware departments sell great-value curtains, bedding and cushions to add colour and freshness to rooms. Paintings and photographs can also lift a room.
Top tip: A mirror is one of the best ways to instantly add space and light to a room. The best place to hang one is where it reflects a window so you ‘bring the outside in’ otherwise hang it on either side of the entrance so it reflects the length of the room.
Be honest – you’ve probably got a long list of repairs and odd jobs which you keep putting off each weekend… Whether it’s cleaning the oven and behind the cooker or washing your windows, curtains and nets, it’s a simple and cheap way to freshen up your home.
Shifting furniture and cleaning every nook and cranny over a good, old-fashioned spring clean works wonders – especially when you stand back and admire gleaming window sills and remember that they are actually white…
Top tip: If you have wooden furniture that’s lost its lustre, have a go at sanding it down to bring back the sheen before priming and painting it.