Improving your home: When to hire and when to DIY

Improving your home: When to hire and when to DIY

It’s no secret that a lot of money can be made from buying a property that is in need of some work and doing it up yourself. However, depending on the amount of work necessary, this can soon become a costly affair.

Therefore, when you embark on a house-remodelling project, and you’re looking to set a budget, you should consider just how much of it you can do yourself. After all, if you save some money on stripping your own wallpaper, you may be able to afford that beautiful ceramic sink you’ve had your eye on for the kitchen.

The main three questions to consider when deciding whether to DIY or hire a professional are: do you realistically have the time to complete this project? Do you realistically have the skills to complete this project? Could it be dangerous to yourself or damaging to the property if you attempt to complete this project on your own?

Below is a list of some of the most common tasks associated with doing up a house, as well as some recommendations on what you should DIY and for what jobs you should hire professionals.

Opening cans of paint

DIY: painting

Although it can seem daunting, learning to paint a room isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Have a look at tutorials online and perhaps find a more experienced friend or family member to assist you.

Wooden shelves against a grey wall

DIY or HIRE: cabinets and shelves

It may take some practice, but hanging cabinets or shelves isn’t too difficult once you’ve got the hang of it. Again, there’s a wealth of tutorials online on this subject for you to watch and learn.

Repairing a thatched roof

HIRE: roofing

As a rule of thumb, anything that may damage the structure or integrity of your home should be done by a professional. If you need your roof fixed, for peace of mind hire a professional roofing company that has a number of good reviews.

Laying laminate flooring

DIY or HIRE: flooring

When it comes to flooring, you can either DIY or hire, depending on what kind of work you are looking to have done. For example, laminated flooring is much easier to install than hardwood flooring.

Installing plumbing in a house

HIRE: wiring and plumbing

Although most people are capable of doing minor electricity jobs such as changing a plug themselves, all the major wiring should be done by a professional. Getting wiring wrong can cause a lot of damage – not only to yourself but your property. Similarly, plumbing mistakes can seriously damage your property, and the property value along with it, so make sure you hire a trusted professional for all your plumbing needs!

Small jar of chalk paint

DIY: furniture

This doesn’t refer to flat-pack or self-assemble furniture, but rather to a project where you buy a cheap piece of furniture and do it up to your liking. Most people have seen IKEA furniture hacks, and while they may look easy online, it can be difficult getting the desired result. Nevertheless, failed furniture DIY projects would never damage your home and seeing as IKEA furniture is very budget-friendly, you can easily try out your DIY skills without breaking the bank.


Autumn roofing maintenance tips

Autumn roofing maintenance tipscredit

The autumn is an ideal time of year to head up onto your roof and check what’s going on up there. In doing so, you can be alerted to any problems that are starting, and you can hire a local roofer to make repairs before the long, hard, and damaging winter approaches. The weather is ideal, it’s the right time to do some cleaning and maintenance, and you can rest easy during the rest of the year, knowing that your roof will be able to withstand the elements. So keep reading to learn about a few autumn roofing maintenance tips to get started.

Roof gutter with mesh litter guardcredit

Clean out the gutters

First, get into the gutters and downspouts surrounding your home and make sure that all of them are totally clear of debris. You may want to wait until the leaves have all fallen off of the trees so you can remove them as well before the winter hits. The key is to ensure that everything drains smoothly, without any obstructions. If you have to, install some gutter guards, as they’ll make this task much easier and save you time every year.

Wooden roof tilescredit

Check the roof’s covering

Next, head onto your roof with care so you can carefully inspect it to ensure that it will be able to withstand all of the harsh elements that will come its way when winter hits. For example, if your roof is tiled, check for any broken or cracked tiles, as these would need to be replaced before winter. On the other hand, if your roof is made of metal, look for any indications that the metal is warping, rusting or blistering, as those problems will also need to be addressed before winter. If you’ve inspected your roof and noted that a lot of the slates need to be replaced, or there’s a lot of damage throughout the entire roof, you may need to replace the whole thing.

Hole in a wooden roofcredit

Look for any signs of water damage

In addition to looking at your house’s roof from the outside, you also want to take a look at it from the inside. Look at the interior of the roof to search for any signs that there’s water damage anywhere. Small signs of this type of damage may be identified during this inspection, but because it is the autumn, you’ll be able to have them fixed right away, before the winter can cause further damage with its ice and snow. Remember, a small leak could turn disastrous once heavy rains or other harsh elements come into play.

Repairing roof flashingcredit

Inspect the chimney, pipes, and skylights

If you have any skylights, pipes, or a chimney on the roof of your home, you should also check any of the flashing that surrounds them to ensure that everything is in good enough condition to make it through the next few seasons.

With the tips above, you can make sure that your roof is in the best shape possible every year in the autumn. When the winter hits, you won’t need to worry at all about the integrity and strength of your roof, and you and your family will be protected from the elements.


5 Tips to cheer up your home décor

'5 Tips to cheer up your home' blog post banner

Yellow bed and chair from MADEcredit

Your home is a place of sanctuary – a place where you can kick off your shoes and relax. When you furnish your home, you usually have a specific style in mind, but as time goes by, you can tire of the particular décor you have and feel like a change. Also, if you like your home to echo the changing of the seasons, you can adapt appropriate looks to achieve this. So, how can you cheer up your home on a regular basis without having to spend a lot of money? Here are a few thrifty tips to ensure your home remains beautiful, cheerful and comfortable.

colourful tomato sauce tin upcycled as a vase for cut flowerscredit

Make use of what’s around you

Why spend money when you can spruce up your home with nature’s gifts? During spring & summer flowers are in bloom, in autumn seed heads and berries come to the fore. They immediately add some beauty and warmth. Dot them in strategic places around your home. Need vases? Recycle jam jars and food tins instead of throwing them away. Some of them are very decorative as they are –  alternatively, cover them with colourful wrapping paper or fabric or use any leftover paint you have. This is certainly a ‘canny’ way to put colour into your home!

Flos string light

Use natural light and invest in quality lighting

Proper lighting is essential in keeping your home cheerful. During the daytime, open your curtains & blinds wide to let light pour in. This is an instant (and free!) way to eliminate gloominess and to show off the colours of your home. Once the sun goes down, your lighting system should enhance your décor without being too harsh. Investing in quality lighting is a valuable move which benefits you and your home. You want the kind of illumination that is innovative and timeless – it will enhance the space whatever your décor. These are the characteristics of Flos – you’re guaranteed cutting-edge lighting design which makes use of high-end technology, bringing outstanding results to your home. You can buy Flos products online; check out this website for a wide range of models.

Framed Madonna painting aboove a bedroom fireplacecredit

Spruce up your walls

Don’t forget the walls as they instantly draw attention. A couple of interesting key pieces will instantly make a difference. Save money by creating your own wall decorations. If you’re artistically inclined express yourself in a painting – or try wrapping patterned fabric or wallpaper around an inexpensive frame. You can even change them every few months if you wish.

Minimalist, vintage decorated sitting roomcredit

Too much can be over the top

You want your home to look cheerful, comfortable and functional; it shouldn’t mimic a flea market scene. Try to keep rooms organised and free from clutter. Store away objects that don’t need to be close at hand. Freeing a room of clutter, knick-knacks and little used objects opens up your home and gives an impression of more space. Have a look here for 50 brilliant storage ideas.

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Make it comfortable

A cosy-looking home is an instant hit with anybody. Pile up pillows & cushions for an instant boost which also provide comfort for you and your guests. Choose ones with shades and patterns that complement the décor… subtle tone contrasts or attention-grabbing punches of colour.

[This is an editorial collaboration with Hanna Johnson]