Whether you've lived in your property for twenty years or recently moved in, there's nothing quite like hauling in help from your family and friends to embark on a DIY home transformation.
Many homeowners are put off improvement work due to cost, however, with our handy money-saving DIY tips, you won't have to worry and can get one step closer to creating your dream home.
Study online video tutorials for a professional finish
If you look back five or even ten years, getting at tradesperson in to complete home improvements was almost essential, however, thanks to the introduction of YouTube, amongst other things, how-to tutorials are now part of everyday life. If you're looking to renovate your home, spend a couple of months exploring all the different tutorials on the market, including those from leading home improvement YouTube channels such as Ask the Builder and eHow Home. By studying tutorials, you can brush up your skills, saving you heaps of cash that you'd otherwise spend on costly tradespeople.
Remember, technical improvements such as rewiring, plumbing or those that involve changes to the structure of your property should be carried out by a qualified professional with years of experience.
Choose second-hand tools rather than pricey new ones
As you'd expect, many DIY superstores recommend that you purchase a pricey selection of the latest tools to carry out your home improvements; however, that's not always entirely accurate. While having good quality tools are vital to accuracy and, importantly, safety, the tools you're using don't need to be straight out of the box. Instead, spend time sourcing tools from online sites such as eBay and by strolling around your local market and car boot sale, even, to find tools that are in good shape but still a fraction of the cost of those available in specialist home improvement stores.
Avoid the big guys – find an independent DIY materials and fixings supplier
Materials such as wood, tiles, and adhesives can set you back an eye-watering amount if you rely solely on the leading home improvement stores such as B&Q, Wickes, and Homebase. While these stores are incredibly convenient, with one in almost every town or city across the UK, it's important you consider all options to ensure you're getting the most for your money. Typically, on your doorstep, you will find a roster of independent, family-run DIY material suppliers that will have everything you need for a fraction of the cost of the big guys. All you need to do is take a little time to find the right supplier for you and build a positive line of communication with them to get the best deal. You don't want to squeeze your local supplier too much but, usually, there's some room for negotiation.
Test your palette before your paint
According to television presenter Ty Pennington, former host of the American version of home improvement show Extreme Makeover, painting interior walls is one of the most effective home improvements you can make cheaply – and we agree completely. If your home is looking a little drab or dated, refreshing your rooms with a new coat of paint is an excellent way to transform your living space and is one of the more light-hearted home improvement challenges you, your friends and family can tackle together. However, many homeowners get excited about re-painting and dive straight in without thinking the project through – if that's you, take a step back and breath.
Before you begin your painting project, search for inspiration in popular home improvement magazines to find out more about your taste and what finish you're looking to achieve. Once you've whittled your paint choices down to a handful of colours, purchase test-size tins and apply them a wall to make an informed decision about whether the tone works for the room. Testing your paint means you won’t have to waste time and money buying more later down the line as it’ll be right-first-time.
Take your time and avoid “bodging”
We can't emphasise this enough – time is money, but mistakes are money, too. Before you begin any DIY work on your home, make sure you have plenty of free time to complete the work – for small tasks, at least a couple of free weekends is ideal. Then, approach the work carefully and with ultimate precision, without rushing, to ensure your finish is of a high-quality. After all, if you bodge your job, you'll live with it for years to come and, in the worst-case scenario, you may even have to call in experienced tradespeople to fix your mistake which will, at the least, cost you hundreds of pounds.
To save money when completing home improvements DIY-style, do the research, take your time, and always look for cheaper alternatives when you can, without compromising on quality.