Home Improvement Essentials

Published: 20th July 2011
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"A change is as good as a rest" and other similar sayings are constantly telling us that a change is good for us, that it makes us feel better….This is both a truth and a lie.

We do indeed sometimes need a change in our lives and as we move from Winter to Spring and Spring to Summer it can be important to blow the cobwebs from our lives and our homes. A new clean home can bring about a new positive attitide.

Moving house can be one option but that can be stressful and very expensive. You may not want to move from your neighbours, your street or your town, so why bother? A redesign of your exisitng home may be all that is needed.

A lot can be done with an instant makeover. This could be a quick paint of your walls or new curtains or just a serious de clutter. Life, however is often not that simple and once in a while it is necessary to spend a bit more time and money on your house. It need not be just a cost and can be used to vastly add to the value of your home. You do however have to be careful, the world out there is geared to get you to spend money.

Look Do Not Buy

The first thing that must be done is to work out what you want. Go to your local DIY store or Home store outlet and just look. Do not buy, just go and look, use the camara on you phone to take pictures or the colours and decorations that you like and see what the latest home fashions are. If it is a new kitchen or a new bathroom you would like, look at the different fittings and furnitre, take their picture (also take a picture of the price tags) and then go home.

Get hold of some colour testers and take them home too!!


See how your new ideas fit into your home. Often the displays in the stores would not work in a home that is smaller. Measure up and plan things out.

Use a ruler and Pen to draw the layout of ythe room you are working on. Take several copies and then use a pencil to add in your changes and proposed layout. It may be better to see how different positioning look.

Go back to the shops and see what can be added to your initial ideas.

Cost the materials

With your ideas planned, put together the cost of the materials and check your budget

Do It Yourself or get a professional in

You now have a choice to make, but you now do it from a positon of power. You know what you want and how much the materials cost.

You can do the job yourself, this can be most satisfying but also immensly frustrating. If the tasks are basic or you have the skills and importantly the tools… go for it. However think about the hassle and maybe what you earn in your normal job. Your costs should be measured in that way. How long will it take you multiplied by your pay rate. Even if you earn less how much longer will it take your to complete the job.

You can pay a large design and build company to come in and do the whole project for you. These companies often have francises on your high street or in your DIY store. It is a 'fire and forget' experience where once you agree a design they will price it and complete it. You pay a lot more for this experience sometimes over 3 times what it should cost.

The third and largely overlooked option is to get a local professionsal to do the work for you. This is often over looked, whether through worry about finding the right guy or the thought that it is too expensive but think about your real costs for doing it yourself. A professional does this work day in and day out knows all the tricks to do things properly and efficiently, whether it is Tiling or carpentry, they will have the correct tools to do the job.

Take your ideas and designs to explain what you want, take the professionals advice and then get the work done, quickly and often in a matter of days.


Paul Latter and Tony Wharton
Quality Kitchen and Bathroom Fitting in Reading, Berkshire area. TWHI also offers a full home improvement service (General Carpentry, Tiling, Wooden Flooring, Window and Door Installation.)
Paul Latter runs http://www.elackland-consultancy.com - Helping Businesses Connect

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