It’s no secret that we Brits are a nation of home improvers, but I was really surprised to find out the extent to which this is so. A recent study by Sainsburys uncovered that home improvement is a £22 billion a year industry in this country, with the focus of most households spread pretty evenly across the garden, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom.
Perhaps the most notable trend has been the attraction to making improvements that generate value and improve energy efficiency, as opposed to merely being about extending living areas or making your home aesthetically pleasing and, with energy firms stubbornly refusing to pass on the benefit of tumbling oil prices to us consumers, it makes sense.
So, if you’re thinking along similar lines, you may be interested to know that there are many good options out there which can save you plenty of money in the long run. Here are 5 of the best…
- Upgrade your boiler
It’s estimated that a boiler accounts for 55% of household energy spend. So what a difference an outlay of roughly £1,000 can make in annual savings. If you’re interested in the nitty-gritty of how you should best go about it, the energy saving trust website provides an excellent guiding hand.
- Double up that glazing
The initial cost may be enough to put you off, or perhaps even the threat of global warming! But if you’re well settled into your family home, it may well be worthwhile. Alternatively, a more cost-effective measure might be to put in some high-quality draught proofing, and/or secondary glazing on the inside of existing windows. Remember that such enhancements not only save energy, but are big factors in terms of adding resale value to your home.
- Put in a heat recovery system
This isn’t only about reducing the degree of heat that your house loses. Heat recovery systems provide fresher air, and can also help mitigate any allergy issues or suffering through better ventilation. Prices on this will vary considerably depending what you’re after, but again, this can be a real selling point for future prospective buyers.
- Consider a helping hand
Especially for those who’ve just moved in, and are seething from paying the deposit, stamp duty, fees, and everything else that comes with buying, there may well not be much of a kitty left over for such undertakings. Depending on your situation, it may well be worth looking into a low-cost home improvement loan. In the current market, APRs can start from as little as 5%, and any cost of interest may well be handsomely outstripped by the improvement(s) itself.
You don’t have to be a burly man with a hard hat to make your house a home. Rather than forking out for expensive contractors, why not take matters into your own hands? A lick of paint, replacing taps, building raised flowerbeds, installing weather stripping, putting lamp dimmers, or even just giving the place a deep clean… You’ll be amazed at how quick and easy it is to give your place a facelift. Not only will it save you plenty of money, but you’ll also get great job satisfaction from stepping back and admiring your work afterwards.
There are so many other little tricks and easy wins when it comes to home improvements. After being in your place for a while you’ll have developed a keen eye for what needs fixing and enhancing. Just be sure that when you tackle such improvements, you go about it in a thrifty way!
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