Five Affordable Improvements For Your Home

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    Feb 27, 2014
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Five Affordable Improvements For Your Home Photo by John Nicholson

Home improvements are a penchant of the British. We are, after all, a nation of homeowners of whom it has long been said that our places of residence are our castles. This is as true today as it ever was, and there are few things a Brit likes more than installing a new set of curtains, clipping an elegant garden to perfection or getting a new sofa put in. This considered, you might be forgiven for thinking that the country's longest squeeze in household incomes in a long time comes as a body blow to the Brits – but think again. Even as pennies are necessarily pinched, here are a few ways that the resourceful and determined denizens of the British Isles have been improving their homes to a tight budget.

1. A green push by the incoming government back in 2010 might have gone under the political radar, but it's certainly worth looking at. Anybody with a wall, floor or ceiling that needs insulating may be able to get a government grant to do so – the really clever bit is that this money is recouped by HM treasury through the savings you make on your energy bills, so you quite literally don't pay a penny until, well, you start saving pennies. And pounds. And all in a warmer home.

2. Spruce up your garden. For every handyman London hires to replace a set of doors or put in a new kitchen, people forget that there are plenty of huge improvements that can be made without the splashing around of huge quantities of cash. One of these that really shows is your front and/or back garden – there is nothing quite like walking up a beautiful garden path or taking out the deck chair and lounging in that oh-so-rare British sun surrounded by a beautifully kept garden.

3. A small repaint can go a long way, and this is something that anybody can do over the course of a weekend if they put their mind to it. You needn't even call paint shops recommend you call if you are willing to put in a little energy and put down a lot of newspaper. It's important to do the work, of course, with old paint absolutely having to come off if it is peeling, and a white undercoat highly worth putting the time into. But for a very modest sum and a little sweat, you can transform an indoor space with the application of something as simple as, in the words of Tom Waits, a new coat of paint.

4. Forget-ye-not the obvious clean up. This may not be an appealing prospect, but a concerted push is often all it takes and if you focus on a specific and manageable job, it is often not difficult to rally a family, a group of friends or even just yourself to get a great chunk of clearing done. Throwing out or giving away unneeded stuff sometimes takes a monk-like act of will, but your home will really thank you for it. And you'll thank your home right back.

5. Finally, no list would be complete without mention of the higher pleasures. A good piece of art can really change the feeling of your home for the better, and need not cost a lot. Browsing a city's markets, rummaging around charity shops or even perusing small-scale art galleries exhibiting lesser-known artists can be a great way to find something beautiful to bring your home a new breath of air and sophistication.

There are hundreds of similar ideas floating about. From green living to clearing out and sprucing up, if there is one thing that has been disproved by recent years of austerity is the mad theory that Brits might turn their backs on keeping their beloved homes beautiful. Nothing could be further from the truth.

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You can't do any home improvement if you don't have the proper tools for the job. Here is what you need Tool Box Treasures

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