Noticing these signs? You probably need new windows

Noticing these signs? You probably need new windows

Are you thinking about updating your windows, but not sure if it’s really necessary?

In some cases, you may be able to hold onto old windows. However, if you’re experiencing serious issues with their structure or efficiency, it’s a time to update to a new model because its most likely costing you money!

Photo Credit: Katy Silberger

We’ve noticed a dramatic increase in people replacing windows recently and we would like to let you know of our free service. If you want window quotes from installers based in the UK in your area use our website here and we’ll find you the best quotes possible free of charge!

Check out these clear signs that it’s time to replace your windows.

You Can Feel Draught in Your Home

Obvious, but means more than you think. Even the highest quality windows will allow a slight amount of air enter, but it should never be something you can feel or notice, your comfort shouldn’t suffer!
Why? Because your windows will wear out over time and let more air in/out, resulting in you feeling a bit cold. For example, wooden windows can become warped from exposure to moisture in the air resulting in making the window too tight to function properly in some places, while creating gaps in other areas.
Also, another indication would be when the corners of the sashes and frames become loose and create gaps that allow air to penetrate the window

And while your first instinct may be to apply weather stripping, it’s good to note that noticeable drafts often indicate an air leak caused by more than missing or damaged weather stripping. In fact, sealing and weather stripping should not be considered as anything more than just a temporary fix and should not be relied upon to perform properly.

The only solution to fixing these drafts is to replace your windows entirely. Trust me, it’s worth doing it otherwise you’re just going to pump wasted heat out the house, might as well just throw your money out the window!

You Have Some Difficulty Operating Your Windows (Shutting/Opening)

Again this is obvious, but people do tend to ignore this like it is no big deal! The windows that are most effected tend to be the bigger models. This is especially true for older double hung and single hung windows, which have issues with balance. When the balance fails, the window will no longer remain up when opened and can slam shut, posing a potential hazard.
Also be aware that wood and metal windows can also experience similar operating failures, if not properly cared for they can rot or rust so look after your windows like it’s your baby!

There’s Condensation Inside the Glass of Double- or Triple-Paned Windows

Photo Credit: David Dodge

If you have double or triple-paned windows and notice condensation or fog inside the glass, you might need to replace the glass or the entire window!

Why? Because condensation and fog between the glass panels can indicate seal failure. When the seal fails, moisture is able to enter the space between the panes of glass and as a result, air will condense on the glass. And when this happens, the insulated glass is no longer doing its job.

TOP TIP: Condensation in between the panes of glass will leave a white film which is caused by calcium deposited on the glass. If you see this white film, even if there is no visible condensation, it’s a safe bet that the insulated glass unit has failed.

Your Electric/Gas Bill is Expensive

If your heating and cooling costs are high, it’s likely that you have an inefficient furnace, or old windows that are simply not energy efficient, to keep your home at your desired temperature.

So, should you replace your windows?

Photo Credit: Ken Teegardin
According to Energy UK, “If your home has old and/or inefficient windows, it would  be more cost-effective to replace them than to try to improve their energy efficiency. New, energy-efficient windows eventually pay for themselves through lower heating and cooling costs, and sometimes even lighting costs.”
Source: http://www.home-improvement-blog.co.uk/search?updated-max=2014-09-19T09:30:00%2B01:00&max-results=99

Why you should have LED lighting in your home

5 Advantages of Installing LED Lights in your home

LED lights are the most efficient, clean and eco-friendly way of lighting your home. They are a fantastic alternative to halogen or standard lights, and offer the best solution for illumination in your home. Homes using LED lights are saving money on their monthly bills and benefiting the planet while doing it. Read on to find out just some of the advantages of installing LED lighting in your home.

LED lightbulbs

1. Long Life Span

Without question, one of the top benefits of LED lights is that they last much longer than other lighting options. In fact, LED bulbs and diodes have an operational life expectancy of up to 100,000 hours. When you do the math, you will see that if you were to leave your LED light turned on for 8 hours per day, it would last for 20 years!

2. Energy Efficiency

It is estimated that LED lighting has an energy efficiency rating of 80% – 90% when you compare them to conventional light bulbs. What this means is that 80% of the electrical energy used by the bulb is converted to light, with only 20% being converted into other energy forms such as heat. By comparison, a normal incandescent bulb operates at just 20% efficiency, with 80% of the electricity being lost to heat.

3. Environmentally Friendly

LED lights are free of the harmful toxic chemicals like mercury found in traditional bulbs.

LED lights are 100% recyclable and have a longer life cycle which reduces their carbon footprint on the planet. The cost of materials, water, the amount of waste and packaging used in production is all reduced, making LEDs the best choice for the environmentally conscious homeowner.

4. Durability

Built with strong components, LED lights are very durable and are built to last. They are constructed in such a way that makes them resistant to vibrations, shock and other external impacts. This makes LED lighting a great option for the outdoor areas of your home, as they can easily deal with anything the weather can throw at them.

5. Compact Size

LED lights come in many different shapes and sizes. They can be made as small as 2mm, which make them a great option for lighting in hard to reach places around your home. If you have some architectural features in your home that you would like to highlight through illumination LED lights can be a straightforward solution to achieving this.

LED Lights are the Way Forward

With LED lights being so efficient, durable and eco-friendly, there is no doubt that these lights are going to be the choice of the future. They can save you money, time and hassle while providing great lighting solutions for your home both inside and out, and you can’t ask for much more than that.

Source: http://greenlivingideas.com/2016/08/29/5-advantages-installing-led-lights-home/



20 Sure Ways to Add Value to Your Home

If you want to work your way up the property ladder to your dream home you need to know how to maximise the value of where you live now. It’s not just about cosmetic enhancements such as converting the loft or redesigning the kitchen — you need to consider basic structural repairs too.

1. Fix Structural Problems

Before you even begin to consider cosmetic improvements and repairs like new bathrooms, kitchens, flooring and redecorating, make sure you fix any major structural problems. Cosmetic solutions can hide problems from potential buyers but are very unlikely to fool a valuer and this will be sure to scupper any sale.

Examples of structural defects include:

  • a sagging or leaking roof;
  • rising damp;
  • structural cracks to walls;
  • bowing walls;
  • rotten joists or roof timbers;
  • insect infestation;
  • missing or broken roof tiles;
  • an unstable chimney stack;
  • a collapsed floor/slab.

These defects can all be repaired but at a price. They are likely to be amongst the most expensive work required in a renovation project but, in terms of adding value, they are absolutely essential. If you are unsure about confusing structural defects with purely cosmetic faults, then consult a builder, surveyor or structural engineer.

As repairing any of these problems can be very disruptive, it is essential to identify them and get the work completed in the early phases of a project, ideally before you move in.

2. Add Central Heating

Adding or updating the central heating system will always add more to the value of a property than it costs. It will be considered an essential by most buyers and mortgage valuers. Using a plumber to add central heating to an average three bedroom Victorian or Edwardian house will cost £3–4,000.

Updating the heating system needs to be done in conjunction with improving the general energy efficiency of the building. Consider:

  • sealing any drafts around doors and windows (but not airbricks)
  • replacing windows that are beyond repair with double glazing
  • add insulation into the loft space

If the existing boiler is in reasonable working order and has adequate output for the heat requirement of the building, always try to make use of it with the exception of boilers that draw their air intake from inside the house. If the boiler has sufficient capacity, you could add new radiators and a heated towel rail, or underfloor heating to the existing system.

3. Update Services

Updating services such as wiring and plumbing is a disruptive job, involving lifting floors and chasing out plaster walls, so find out exactly what is required and complete the work before making any cosmetic improvements.


  • Updating the electrics may be essential if the house has not been rewired for some years. You should be able to tell by looking by the meter if there is an old fuse box, you probably need to rewire the house and install a modern consumer unit with a RCD (residual circuit device) for safety.
  • Adding extra sockets will also add value to your home and in some cases it might be worth opting for attractive face plates for sockets and switches. If rewiring, use the opportunity to update lighting and to add extractor fans in the bathrooms.


  • Old pipework can be very furred up, leading to poor hot and cold flow, knocking or rattling sounds and other noises at worst, it can lead to burst pipes. Consider a pressurised plumbing system, rather than gravity fed, as it eliminates the need for a header tank, thus freeing up space, and ensures good pressure on both the hot and cold supplies.
  • If you have room for a cylinder, you can still have stored hot water for filling a bath quickly. If not, consider a combination boiler that provides hot water on demand but make sure you choose one with a good flow rate you need at least 10 litres a minute for a decent power shower.

4. Fix All Superficial Defects

Small defects do not directly affect the value of a property. However, cumulatively they will prevent it from selling at the optimum price. The following are typical defects that will put many buyers off, yet which can be fixed simply by any competent DIYer:

  • peeling paint;
  • squeaking or sticking doors and windows;
  • door latches that dont work;
  • mouldy sealants in kitchen and bathroom;
  • dripping taps;
  • loose tiles;
  • sewer smells;
  • broken or damaged windows;
  • squeaky floors and stairs;
  • cracks to ceilings and plasterwork;
  • lifting flooring.

5. Convert the Roofspace

A typical loft conversion costs around £500-600/m² compared to around twice this for an extension. In terms of adding value, it is likely to be a very good investment providing it adds more accommodation than it takes away remember you need to make room for a full staircase and this will take up existing space.

Check first of all that the roofspace can be converted cost effectively. There needs to be plenty of headroom and theroof structure needs to be built either using attic trusses or cut roof timbers. If you see a web of thin timbers then you have a modern fink truss roof which is more expensive to convert in this case you need a specialist contractor and need to weigh up the benefits with the costs more carefully. Header tanks can be moved and if you upgrade to a mains pressure, sealed system, can be eliminated altogether.

Loft conversions must comply with the latest building regulations and this means adding a lot of insulation (around 100mm of urethane) between the roof timbers, and also underneath the trusses (around 45mm or urethane) this will reduce the headroom further. The Building Regulations also require an enclosed means of escape which means adding firedoors on closers to all habitable rooms leading onto the halls and staircase.

Natural light can be brought in either via dormer windows or rooflights. A loft conversion does not require planning permission, as it uses existing volume however, creating dormer windows may need planning if they face a highway (typically the front of a property) and so it is always worth checking with the planners.

6. Replace Windows

New double glazed PVCu windows can add considerable value to a property and in the lower end of the market are considered essential by most buyers, regardless of their style or lack of it. PVCu windows require very little maintenance, are energy efficient and, depending on design and installation, can be very secure.

In higher value period properties, however, aesthetics start to become a more significant factor, to the extent that a premium can be placed on a property that still has its original period windows, providing they are intact and functioning well. In such properties, therefore, it is often only worth replacing windows that are either beyond repair or inappropriate in terms of style, or where they could add more light.

resized-Add-Value-OutsideA remodelled postwar home with floor to ceiling glazing

Where windows need replacing, they should be replaced like for like although it will be necessary for them to be double glazed to meet the current building regulations, unless the building is listed or in a Conservation Area. For most listed buildings, plastic windows are not acceptable to English Heritage.

Plastic windows are available in a style to suit most properties, from traditional small pane casements, leaded light glazing to sash windows.

Make sure that replacement windows:

  • are well balanced and have equal sight lines (the same frame lines on fixed as well as opening lights)
  • avoid top hung air vents the little top lights that are not at all traditional
  • has proportions that are taller than they are wide, ideally at a ratio of around 1:1.6 for each casement and each light

Timber windows can also be low maintenance, either stained hardwood (not a good look for a period style house though), or timber coated with an external layer of PVCu, vinyl or aluminium.

7. Makeover the Kitchen

An attractive, hygienic looking kitchen is essential both to buyers and valuation surveyors. Before replacing a kitchen, consider the fundamentals such as its shape and position and decide if you are going to make any structural changes to the space, or if you want to relocate it elsewhere.

Many existing kitchens can be given a new lease of life for a modest investment. Doors may be hanging off and the worktops may be damaged and peeling, but the carcasses may still be in perfectly good condition. The carcasses of a basic contract quality kitchen are almost identical to that of a designer kitchen, made from mfc (melamine faced chipboard). The only difference is that some top of the range kitchens have timber veneered interiors, and doors that are recessed into the unit rather than surface mounted.

If the units are salvageable, you can move them around and add new units if required to get the layout you want, and then add new doors, handles and worktops. Good quality worktops are critical as they are, together with the doors and handles, the part that everyone will notice most.

For layout ideas, consult a range of kitchen suppliers, many offer a design service for free so make use of it. Make sure there is room for a washing machine, tumble dryer and fridge. Ideally go for integrated white goods, as they look much neater. A new kitchen can be bought for as little as £1,500-2,000 plus fitting for a small property. However, for a more valuable property, it is worth investing more on better quality units, with some bespoke features, superior quality draw runners, etc.

Make sure there is adequate lighting in the kitchen. A single pendant can easily be replaced with a new unit with halogen bulbs that create a far whiter light that is ideal for kitchens. Under unit lighting can easily be added and is inexpensive.

Ensure that there is an extractor hood to remove cooking smells. An attractive range style cooker is also a feature that will attract many buyers. Flooring should look hygienic, be easy to clean and well fitted, as should ceramic tiles and the rest of the decor.

8. Remodel Existing Space

Adding new space will increase the value of a property, but first you should consider how you can improve the use of the existing space. Maximum value will be added by improving public space, such as the kitchen, dining and living areas. Draw up a simple floorplan of the existing layout you can get a basic CAD system for your PC for as little as 10. Play around adding and removing walls to achieve the optimum layout.

Think about making use of traditional circulation space such as halls and corridors that may not be needed in a home suited to todays less formal lifestyles. Think about combining dining room and kitchen to create a dining kitchen and other potential multi-functional living spaces. Fewer but larger rooms with clear sight lines will make a house seem larger, especially if the flooring and wall finishes continue throughout.

Before removing any walls, work out which are structural by checking the direction of the floor joists joists should always rest on structural walls. Structural walls can be removed, but will need to be replaced with steelwork and this will require calculations by a structural engineer or building surveyor. Adding new stud walls to divide existing space is relatively straightforward and inexpensive, but remember to add acoustic insulation.

9. Makeover Existing Bathrooms

Bathrooms need to be fresh and hygienic looking, so make sure there is adequate light and paint the walls a nice neutral light shade ideally an off white. If there is not enough light, replace a single pendant with a triple halogen spotlight unit, available for as little as 10.

The bathroom is the ideal place to add a touch of luxury and, with it, a real wow factor that will add value. Make sure that at least one bathroom has a shower – it is an essential for most buyers. Check your plumbing system first and buy the right unit depending on whether you have a mains pressure system (modern houses), a gravity fed system (consider a power shower) or a combi system (if the flow rate is low you may need to install an electric shower that heats its own water direct from the mains).

If the existing sanitaryware is chipped, badly stained, or an unfashionable colour such as pink, avocado, peach or chocolate brown, replace it. A basic white bathroom suite, complete with taps and waste, can be bought for under £300 and will have much broader appeal.

Flooring should be clean and hygienic, carpet is not really suitable for bathrooms. Go for a vinyl or tiled floor tiles start at as little as £3/m². Consider painting unfashionable tiles with white tile paint. If you need to replace tiles, you could tile over the old ones as removing tiles can be a difficult and very time consuming job.

Make sure the bathroom has an extractor fan for ventilation. Adding a mirror or two will make the space seem larger and brighter and think about adding a heated towel rail. If you are laying new floor tiles, consider underfloor heating, but bear in mind that an electric mat system will raise the floor level by 3–4mm.

10. Improve or Add to Existing Accommodation

A great deal of value is placed on the number of bedrooms in a property, and so adding bedrooms will usually add to the sale price, although be aware that there is a ceiling value for every street and so at some point the additional cost ceases to bring any return.

Extra bedrooms can be created by dividing up existing space by removing and adding walls, by converting the roof space, or by extending. Re-using existing space is most cost effective but only likely to be an option in old period houses with vast bedrooms.

If a loft conversion is possible, it can prove very cost effective compared to extending, but will also use space for the staircase. Extensions need designing very carefully to ensure that the new space is integrated well with the old and that access does not result in lots of dead space such as corridors, or through rooms. Make sure you create a balance between bedrooms and the number of bathrooms a ratio of one to three is a minimum.

11. Makeover the Garden

An attractive, tidy, well designed garden can add a great deal of value to a property as well as making it more sellable. It is worth getting a designer on board for a consultation and to give you a few ideas. You can then draw the plans yourself.

Privacy is vital and improving the feeling of seclusion will add value. Consider adding fences and even mature trees. You can raise boundary fences and walls up to 2m without needing planning permission (0.6m on the highway). Structures within the garden, such as pergolas, can be up to 4m without needing planning even if they are right up to the boundary.

Create distinct areas for each function, seating, eating/barbecue, storage, lawn, work area. A well designed deck will extend a buyers perception of the amount of useable living space somewhere between the house and garden, and will add value.

Even if you do not makeover your garden, make sure you carry out at least the basics: clean up and tidy litter and dead plants; weed; repair and feed the lawn; cut back overgrown trees and shrubs; create interesting shapes with beds and borders; add colour and interest with planting.

12. Enhance the Kerb Appeal

Most buyers will decide if they do not like a property before they even get out of the car and it can be hard to shake off negative first impressions created by a poor or unattractive exterior. The garden is important (see above) but you can also significantly add to the value of a house by improving its exterior. This may involve any of the following:

  • repointing brickwork;
  • repainting doors and windows;
  • replacing an old garage door;
  • changing/repairing windows;
  • repainting walls;
  • repairing cracked or broken cladding such as render or timber;
  • removing stone cladding;
  • adding a porch;
  • adding climbing plants/trellis;
  • replacing/adding a house sign or number;
  • or even renaming the property.

Larger scale external makeovers can totally transform the appearance of a property, changing an unattractive 1950s or 60s house into a property with period charm, or an old bungalow into a cutting edge contemporary house. This may involve changing roofs, wall cladding, windows, chimneys, and porches. Conversion of existing space such as garage or roof, or extending may also appeal.

Such radical exterior makeovers will need designing and may need planning permission although there is a great deal you can do under Permitted Development Rights. You will need an architect or designer, such as specialists Back to Front (01252 820984).

13. Add a Conservatory

A conservatory can add far more to the value of a property than it costs, providing it is designed, built and integrated into the layout of the house well. Conversely, a poorly conceived conservatory can detract from the value of a property.

A basic conservatory kit costs £3–5,000 and a further £2–3,000 to build. In most instances, it will not require planning permission, although it will have to comply with the Building Regulations. On valuable period properties, a basic kit conservatory is unlikely to be a good investment, depending on the ratio of cost to value; a bespoke conservatory is likely to make more sense, even if it costs £10,000s.

Whatever end of the market your property is at, it is essential that you stick rigidly to the fundamentals of good design. The conservatory needs to be oriented so that the glazed part faces south to ensure it gains more heat than it loses – never build a north facing conservatory. The floor and glazing should be energy efficient and the space must be heated so that it is useable all year round. Equally importantly, the space must be well ventilated to prevent it from overheating and suffering from condensation.

The additional floor area needs to add functionality to the existing layout of the house, either as an enlargement of an existing room/living space, or if sufficiently large, then a room in its own right. Above all else, it must feel like a part of the rest of the house and not an add-on.

14. Add a Great Feature

One or two memorable features that add a real wow factor to your property and set it apart from others for sale in the area will add a significant premium to your sale price. The impact of such features will be enhanced the further up the property ladder you climb.

In a basic house, a wow factor might be a wooden deck, a contemporary style kitchen or an elegant working fireplace. In a larger more expensive property, it could be: a master bedroom with a vaulted ceiling, perhaps with exposed roof timbers; a panelled sitting room; or a contemporary style frameless glass conservatory. Many simple features can be added easily and cost effectively, providing they are planned and undertaken thoughtfully. Remember to work in sympathy with the building in terms of scale and period.

15. Buy More Land, Renew Leases and Apply for Planning

A property with a diminishing lease will begin to reduce in value once it gets to under 60 years. Once the lease on a property gets below 30 years it can be difficult to get a mortgage. If the landlord does not live on the premises you may be able to buy the freehold, or a share of the freehold, and grant yourself a new lease, restoring the value to the equivalent of a freehold property. Taking control of the freehold will also give you control of ground rent and service charges, plus management of repairs and common areas.

Usually you will have to pay your landlords legal costs, as well as your own, plus a share of the marriage value, the uplift in the value of the property created by joining the lease with the freehold. A solicitor will be able to work out if you qualify to buy your lease known as enfranchisement and a surveyor will be able to work out how much it will cost.

Buying adjoining land can also significantly increase the value of a property, especially if:

  • it enhances amenity, i.e. allows the creation of a garden or off street parking where there was none;
  • creates potential for further enlargement of the property;
  • or if it adds the potential to keep horses to a rural property.

Gaining planning consent for improvements, from an extension, to a new house in the garden, can enhance the value of a property, even if the work is not carried out.

16. Restore or Enhance the Building’s Character

Inappropriate alterations or additions to a property can depress its value and so it follows that removing them can add value. Removing the following is likely to be a good investment:

  • polystyrene ceiling tiles;
  • pine cladding;
  • internal stone cladding;
  • textured ceilings or walls;
  • plastic fake beams or beams that are inappropriate;
  • poorly laid laminate flooring;
  • mismatched period details such as mouldings or fireplaces;
  • flush doors;
  • windows that are out of keeping;
  • inappropriate porches;
  • conservatories with a flat polycarbonate roof.

Restoring or replacing the following will add value:

  • original or period style fireplaces;
  • decorative mouldings;
  • panelled doors;
  • polished floorboards;
  • appropriate style windows;
  • stair banisters and handrails;
  • knot-free panelled doors;
  • concealed timber beams or beams concealed behind masses of black paint.

The key is to find out about the buildings origins and the way it is constructed and to work in sympathy with this, whilst avoiding being twee.

17. Create Off-Street Parking

Off street parking can make a big difference to the value of a property, especially in an urban location where on street parking is restricted. In such instances, creating one or two parking spaces in front of, or alongside, a property can add significant value, even if it means sacrificing part of even all of a front garden. For many buyers, a well designed, low maintenance drive is more valuable and appealing than a garden they never use.

resized-Add-Value-GraciaA remodelled 1950s house

If a road is unclassified, i.e. neither an A- or B-road, then you will not usually need planning permission to create a new vehicular access onto your land. You must, however, comply with the local authority Highway regulations for the construction of the drop kerb, and details such as visibility splays. You must also check that you have a right of way to cross over any land that you do not own e.g. a grass verge. You can check ownership via HM Land Registry at a nominal cost per search.

18. Add More Storage Space

Storage is a real selling point and lack of it can really put buyers off and depress your property’s value. Make use of every bit of spare space you can find, and either build shelves or fit doors to create cupboards. Look for:

  • concealed nooks in corridors;
  • dead space either side of chimney breasts or at the end of corridors;
  • space in the eaves;
  • understairs space;
  • space in the cellar or attic that can be upgraded;
  • space beneath the bath tub or alongside cisterns;
  • space above sinks;
  • unused wallspace for wall mounted cupboards.

Creating a measured plan of the layout of your home can sometimes reveal odd spaces concealed behind plasterboard that you did not know existed.

19. Add Bathrooms/Shower Rooms

Adding a bathroom is usually a good investment, especially if it creates an en suite to the master bedroom. Extra bathrooms can be added by remodelling existing space, or by extending. Ideally there should be WC facilities on every floor that has bedrooms, so if you are converting the attic, try to include at least a WC, if not a full bathroom.

Work on a ratio of one bathroom for every three bedrooms, plus the master en suite. For properties in high value areas, it may be worth adding an en suite to every bedroom. Where there is insufficient space for a full bathroom, consider including a shower room with careful design it need only measure around 1m by 2.5m.

In a traditional two storey Victorian or Edwardian terraced house, moving the downstairs bathroom upstairs can add to a propertys value, but beware of losing a bedroom.

20. Make Your Property the Pick of the Bunch

If you make your property more attractive even purely in cosmetic terms than the rest of the street, then providing it is structurally sound and in a good state of repair, more people will be interested in purchasing it and the sale price will be correspondingly higher. In other words, just by decluttering, adding a lick of paint and careful styling, it is possible to add 5–10% to the value of a property.

Valuers may find it hard to place a figure on the increase in value made by only cosmetic improvements, but the market will always place a premium on an attractively decorated and styled property. Simple ideas that will make a difference include:

  • adding wooden floors;
  • repainting throughout in neutral shades;
  • reopening fireplaces;
  • decluttering;
  • upgrading lightbulbs;
  • cleaning windows;
  • a makeover to kitchen and bathrooms;
  • sanding floorboards;
  • creating storage;
  • stripping woodwork;
  • styling with furniture, lamps, accessories and flowers.

Home Decorating and Renovation – advice and useful tips


Home Decorating and Renovation – advice and useful tips

The thought of giving your home a makeover can seem daunting at first, there are numerous decisions to make, a great amount of time and energy to invest, as well as financial resources to take into account. But a fresh look for your home doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on time nor on money.

1. Do your research

The internet will overwhelm you with design ideas, tips and DIY projects and it’s a good place to start . A simple search for home improvement ideas will generate hundreds of clever, innovative and ‘on a budget’ suggestions on how to make the best of the space you have, which colours or fabrics go with what, storage solutions or how to turn your garden into an oasis. Gather all material in one place, organise your thoughts and start picturing your perfect home.


Don’t rush this step. It’s important to clearly define what you like, while being aware of the practicality of whatever it is you want to do. For instance, as amazing as this suspended pirate ship room looks like, you might not have the space for it so don’t set yourself up for disappointment from the start.


Work out a budget and plan ahead The biggest mistakes people do here is either not allocating enough or spending too much.

Be realistic in relation to what you’re looking to achieve and plan for each step of the project. Most professionals are more than happy to give you advice or even meet you to discuss requirements and offer free estimates. Figure out when you want to start renovating. Consider all aspects that might affect or interfere with the work, such as other commitments, the weather, being able to find accommodation if needed, etc.

3. Hire a professional

If you are not confident in doing the work yourself or can’t find the time, energy or enthusiasm, the safest route is to contact a professional company, that can help you from start to end. Again, doing your research is vital. You’ll need to make sure that they are reliable, competent and of course affordable. Don’t just buy into a big name and assume they will rise up their reputation. Monitor their professionalism from the first call to the first visit. Are they prompt? Are they easy to get hold of? Do they keep their appointments and arrive on time? Can they give you references from past projects? Are they being clear about costs and the work they intend to do? Do they have the right people and tools? All these are signs of how dedicated the company is to their customers, as well as how passionate they are about what they do.


4. Monitor progress

If step 4 is done well, you would be kept updated throughout the project about timescales and consulted with on design, materials etc. Make sure you keep records of what you want and ensure that all requests are clearly communicated to the team of decorators so no room for misunderstandings is left.

5. Put your feet up and enjoy your new home


Plumbing and heating

If you have basic plumbing knowledge, you’re probably comfortable and confident to tackle some minor repairs, however in most cases involving heating or gas pipes, the safest option is to engage a professional plumber. When in need of a plumber, there are several things you should consider before hiring one, from reputation, experience to cost.

A plumbing mistake can potentially cause thousands of pounds worth of damage and would be a tremendous hassle, so make sure you hire a professional plumber.


Hiring a plumber checklist

5 top things to look for when booking a plumber in London

  1. Are they qualified?
  2. Are they insured?
  3. Is the price competitive?
  4. Do they guarantee their work and materials used?
  5. Are they offering a contract/written agreement?

Carpentry made interesting



It is incredible how something as simple as a shelf can be transformed in a work of art. What’s certain is that in order to achieve this, you need passion, expertise and a vision. Our excellent London based carpenters can turn your vision into reality.

Cupboards, cabinets and storage units are no longer just functional, they can easily become part of your home décor. The best part? At Chaboun Construction, you can have bespoke units designed and built just for you!

A desk can easily become a dreaded place where to spend time, particularly when you work from home a lot, however there are ways to customise your workspace, thus increasing productivity and enjoying your work even more.


Create your perfect garden

There is nothing worse than an untidy, ignored outside space.

But finding the time to take on the project of bringing your garden to life can be a challenge.

Luckily, there are professionals like Chaboun Construction who can transform your garden into an oasis in no time. What we can help you with:

  • Power washing patio
  • Installing/repairing sprinkler systems
  • Building/assembling sheds
  • Building or repairing fences/gates
  • External decorating
  • Garden Clearance
  • Garden furniture assembly
  • Garden maintenance
  • Tree surgery
  • Decking installation