Along with a new year, 2011 often brings about new ideas for both your personal life and your home. Ideas that commonly revolve around the topic of ‘change’. It is no coincidence that gyms receive the highest amount of new memberships in January and most renovations and home improvements are also discussed around this time.
Whether you are planning a full-scale refurbishment or have smaller intentions to just redecorate the bedrooms, knowing how to save money will be very valuable to your overall expenditure. The obvious answer is to DIY but if you intend to do the improvements yourself, how can you ensure you keep the costs down without compromising on the results?
Here are the 5 ways to save money on your home improvements in 2011:
- Get FREE and Valuable Advice
Just because you are not paying for professionals it doesn’t mean that you can’t consult and get advice from professionals. There are a range of websites out there (simply Google “DIY Advice” or other related terms) that offer free information which include How to Guides and forums which allow members to discuss their projects and swap helpful tips and tricks. The topics often cover the main areas of home improvement including carpentry and woodwork, doors and windows, tiling, plumbing, painting and flooring.
- Consider Less Expensive Alternatives
Ok, so you want a traditional masonry fireplace for your living room or marble worktops throughout your kitchen? When discussing the finer points to your refurbishment, it is often the additions that adorn your house that cost the most. Considering less expensive alternatives can always save you money.
- A Lick of Paint Does wonders
Often people want to make changes to their home out of frustration. January brings doom and gloom and grey cloudy skies, so it is only natural they want to see brighter colors. Before you plan to completely renovate a house see what a fresh lick of paint does for your rooms as you will be amazed at what it can do to brighten and freshen up a room.
- Call in a Favor
If you have ever heard of the cosmic law of “6 degrees of separation,” you will know that everyone is connected in one way or another between mutual friends. So why not utilise this network and see if you have any friends that work as a mason, roofer, interior designer, or painter and see if they can give you advice or even “mates rates” on your upcoming project.
- Think to the Future
If you are making changes to your home, it will be valuable in the long run to think about the impact they will have on everyday living, such as saving money on your gas bills. One common change that can save you money is changing your windows or doors. Blocking the cold air that passes around windows can keep homes warmer and effectively reduce your spend on heating. A study by CNN states you can see an “average return of 90 percent on your investment if you replace your windows and doors.” So if you are going to make home improvements it is a good idea to benefit from them financially in the future.
This article was written by guest contributor Sam Murray in association with Yale Door who provide high quality composite doors and furnishings to homeowners.