We’d all love to live in a luxury home with all the mod cons and labour saving devices that come with a life of leisure, but few of us can afford it. If you don’t have the money to move house, but you still want the trappings of a luxury lifestyle there are always ways and means. Create a budget, shop around for bargains and muck in, doing as much of the work yourself as you can and you could improve your home so much you won’t even want to move home!
If you’ve ever been channel surfing at about 7pm on a weeknight you’ve probably seen an episode of Buying and Selling with Drew and Jonathan Scott, a show where two unrealistically handsome twins, one the rugged construction guy type, the other the smart lawyer looking one, renovate a family’s old home and bring the value up so much they can afford to leap several rungs up the property ladder. The thing that often grabs me is, after the work they put into making the old place look fantastic, why bother moving at all?
Transforming the home is something which is essentially within anybody’s reach, unless you live somewhere that is so tumbledown that it needs serious restoration, and if that’s the case, this isn’t the blog for you!
On the other hand, if your home is just looking tired, dated, shabby and doesn’t conform to your needs any more, why not look at other ways you can get the most out of it without selling up and moving on? (And if you still want to move on, do those improvements anyway, the work you carry out is proven to add to the overall value of the house, meaning you get what everybody wants when moving house: options.)
Painting and Polishing
A good deep clean can refresh any room, but a fresh coat of paint outdoes a clean by an incredible factor. A new colour can enliven a room, make it feel bigger and bring light into a space. Fresh paint makes everything look new and well tended. A new colour scheme will change how you feel about the room too. Replace bright colours with more muted tones and you’ll find it more relaxing to be in the room, conversely, paint the space where you’ll eat breakfast a lively bright colour and you’ll feel ready to start a new day with energy.
Keep Sitting Comfortably
The next thing to look at revamping is your furniture. People hang on to their old sofas, couches and chairs for longer than they probably should because they feel the tattier they get, the more comfortable they are to sit in. So you don’t need to buy new necessarily, but if you can find or make new covers and replace the cushions and stuffing you get a suite of furniture that looks and feels new at much less than the price of a new set of chairs.
When you’re shopping for new fabrics, also think about where your furniture sits. Does it make the most of the space you have? Could you afford to retire some of the chairs in exchange for more floorspace? Could you reposition the sofa to create new spaces if you’re rethinking a large room? A big room with awkward ‘dead spaces’ can easily be given more than one use if you use furniture to redefine smaller spaces within it.
Chances are your furniture today is sitting in exactly the same place it was the day you moved it in to the room. Make time to experiment. If you hung the TV on that wall, could you then take away the table it’s currently sitting on? That could mean an extra few square metres of floor space to move other things into.
Everyone Is Crying Out For Storage
If you don’t have the luxury of a garage or loft, or even if you do, you probably find that you simply don’t have enough space for all your stuff. We all have things that we never want to lose, but may not have looked at for years. If you’ve a lot of stuff you never use but are attached to, why not put it into storage? Units range from about one cubic metre to the size of a garage at most edge-of-town storage units if you need to put a lot of stuff away. You get access from early in the morning until after office hours, insurance, security monitoring, and a well lit, dry place to keep your property. Shop around for deals as different companies charge different amounts, but the levels of service they offer also vary.
Clean And Serene
A tired bathroom can knock a fortune off the value of your home, so why not make it feel more expensive and luxurious by upgrading? A cold, draughty bathroom with a shower which isn’t up to snuff makes your daily ablutions a miserable experience. Investing a few hundred pounds on a modern shower, tanking the room to create a wet-room or replacing the bath, tiles, basin and toilet can easily turn a WC into a private pampering venue.
Before you move home, what about changing the purpose of the rooms in your house instead? If you have an under-used room, it could be possible to remove a wall in order to make a connecting room much bigger. If you have an attic that you’re not using, could it be possible to convert it into a new bedroom/study/office? If you don’t want to go ahead and get a complete loft conversion it’s possible to change the use notwithstanding. Simply adding a floor, window and lighting doesn’t change the attic into a new room so far as your insurance or council tax liability is concerned, it doesn’t need planning permission but does provide you with an extra storage and work space which you only used for storage before.
In addition to looking up, is it possible to extend sideways? Like a full loft conversion an extension requires a lot of paperwork, permission and can add to your council tax. On the other hand a conservatory isn’t regarded as an extension, but a temporary structure, and therefore won’t affect your council tax banding. This makes a conservatory a quick, easy way to add not only space, but light and air to your home once installation is completed. Before starting work, think hard about the size and style of conservatory you’ll have and be aware that conservatory owners’ biggest regret is not having chosen self-cleaning glass.
Don’t Just Renovate, Automate!
If you’re going to the effort of gussying up your home, making it more comfortable and adding features which make it not only easier to sell in the long term and better to live in in the meantime, why not consider automating. Home security is something we should take seriously, no matter what, so when you can integrate all your alarms, CCTV, motion detectors together AND control all of your Internet of Things enabled smart devices from a phone when you’re out and by calling out when you’re in, why would you not?
As well as security, Smart home automation allows you to create an energy efficient environment which will save you money in the long run. Smart thermostats and energy low wattage lights, washing machines and dryers which know exactly how much water to use and when power will be cheapest will cut your bills, and help save the planet.
Most suppliers, specifiers and tradespeople offer free, no obligation estimates. Use their expertise to get an idea of what is possible to achieve in your property, look at the latest home and lifestyle magazines to get an idea of where trends are leading and create a mood board. The better you know what you want and how to go about getting it, the more realistic your expectations and budget will be. And remember, money that you spend on your home is an investment, not a cost, so long as you make the right decisions at this stage.